Submit Hint Search The Forums LinksStatsPollsHeadlinesRSS
14,000 hints and counting!

Use iTunes4 smart playlist options for better randomization Apps
When I'm at home for several hours at a time, I like to listen to (almost) my entire music collection on shuffle. Only problem is, that adds up to several days' worth of music -- there's no way I'll get through it all in one sitting. Since iTunes reshuffles every time you start a playlist (as opposed to pause/resuming it), eventually there gets to be this pattern of some music being favored by the randomizer and some that you never hear.

iTunes4 adds a few new Smart Playlist options, and with them you can get more randomization of a large collection. Create a smart playlist with "limit to N songs selected by least recently played," set it to shuffle, and start it playing. Because it keeps updating the playlist live, it'll never stop playing -- it'll randomize through the library and not play a single song twice until it's played everything else at least once. Because of this, I recommend setting < i>N to something like 25, so you you get just a screenful of what's coming up. If you want to see what just played, you'll have to make a second smart playlist that selects by most recently played.

[robg adds: Though I like the new options in the Smart Playlist, this hint doesn't work really well for me -- since there's no way to select "random" and "least recently played," I wind up with a playlist containing a bunch of tracks off the last one or two CDs I ripped to the collection. Any modifications to this hint that would yield a truly random collection of the least recently played songs?]
    •    
  • Currently 1.00 / 5
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  (1 vote cast)
 
[6,231 views]  

Use iTunes4 smart playlist options for better randomization | 13 comments | Create New Account
Click here to return to the 'Use iTunes4 smart playlist options for better randomization' hint
The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.
RE: robg's comment
Authored by: cybergoober on May 14, '03 11:02:14AM

You could tell the Smart Playlist to "Match the following condition:" and select "Play Count" and set it 0 (or less/more than or a range etc...). Then tell it to "Limit to <i>N</i> songs selected by random" and check "Live updating".

That's about the best I could come up with.



[ Reply to This | # ]
RE: robg's comment
Authored by: valx on May 14, '03 11:08:51AM

Depending on how many songs you have and how long it takes you to cycle through all of them, you could create a smart playlist with the criteria:

[Last Played] [is not in the last] [n] [days/weeks/months]
Limit to [n] [songs] selected by [random]

If I set this for 2 months, I get a nice random selection of songs I haven't heard in a long time.



[ Reply to This | # ]
RE: robg's comment
Authored by: jolinwarren on May 14, '03 11:48:54AM

The problem with this method is that you can't have a smart playlist that includes multiple artists. For instance, if I want the following criteria:

Artist contains "Eric Clapton"
Artist contains "Derek and the Dominos"
Playcount is less than "1"

Choose "2" hours selected by "random"

there's no way to combine this. I have to either have songs matching _all_ the criteria (impossible, since no song has an artist containing both "Clapton" and "Derek and the Dominos") or I have to have songs matching _any_ of the criteria (which will have any non-Clapton and non-Derek and the Dominos songs that have a playcount less than one).

What I really want is nested criteria:

(Artist contains "Eric Clapton"
OR
Artist contains "Derek and the Dominos")
AND
Playcount is less than "1"

Choose "2" hours selected by "random"

but, alas, this is not possible. So thanks for the hint! I had not noticed the "Least recently played" limit, and this, combined with shuffle, achieves the goal described above.

Cheers,
Jolin



[ Reply to This | # ]
RE: robg's comment
Authored by: DanFrakes on May 27, '03 10:47:47PM

This comment is two weeks after the original thread, so jolinwarren may never see it ;) but at least it will be in the archives...


Instead of "nested" criteria, you can solve your particular dilemma by adding "clapton" to the comments field for anything by Eric Clapton, Derek & the Dominos, Cream, etc. Then create a playlist that contains any song with "Clapton" in the comments field.

---
------------------------------------------
Mac OS X Power Tools:
http://www.macosxpowertools.com/



[ Reply to This | # ]
RE: robg's comment
Authored by: doggkruse on May 14, '03 12:08:04PM

I don't think you understood the hint... You don't need to to select "random" and "least recently played,"... you select only select "least recently played" in the smart playlist options, and then you hit the shuffle button on the bottom of the iTunes window... This reproduces the Random effect without random actually being selected.



[ Reply to This | # ]
RE: robg's comment
Authored by: marky on May 14, '03 07:01:04PM

Try adding to the Smart Playlist criteria something like this:

[Date Added] [is not in the last] xx [days, weeks or months]

You could also use "selected by random" instead of "selected by least often played" and:

[Last Played] [is not in the last] xx [days, weeks or months]

---
Forgive the self promotion...

Add the AboveCalifornia Sherlock channel!
sherlock://www.AboveCalifornia.com/sherlock/SherlockChannel.xml?action=add



[ Reply to This | # ]
Use iTunes4 smart playlist options for better randomization
Authored by: Cap'n Hector on May 14, '03 11:07:58AM

My version of this playlist uses this for the selection of songs: "Last Played" -> "Is Not In The Last" -> X Days/Weeks/Months, with X being a number of days, of course. Then the playlist picks 25 songs at random.



[ Reply to This | # ]
Use iTunes4 smart playlist options for better randomization
Authored by: borgendorf on May 14, '03 11:09:32AM

I have to say I didn't believe it until I tried it. I have a smart playlist that filters out mp3 streams and Christmas music so I can just hear my CDs.

(Kind "is" MPEG Audio File)
(Genre "is not" Christmas)
I chose to limit it to 5 songs chosen by "Least Recently Played" and checked the "Live Updating" box.

I clicked the shuffle button in iTunes and pressed play. It randomly played the 5 songs, then before my very eyes picked 5 new songs. I was convinced that it would stop after the 5 songs. Thanks for the great tip! I'm going to change the value to 8 hours instead of 5 songs. Now I can randomly hear a day's worth of music I haven't heard in a while.

---
Time flies like an arrow. Fruit flys like a bananna.



[ Reply to This | # ]
Use iTunes4 smart playlist options for better randomization
Authored by: borgendorf on May 14, '03 11:29:28AM

Oooh, now that I read the other postings, I like the other options better. Now it's set to Last Played "is not in the last" 7 days, and Select 8 hours by "random."

---
Time flies like an arrow. Fruit flys like a bananna.



[ Reply to This | # ]
Use iTunes4 smart playlist options for better randomization
Authored by: mike3k on May 14, '03 12:07:33PM
I posted something like this last year at http://207.44.196.33/~macmega/modules.php?name=News&file=article&sid=303. (sorry for the weird URL, I just moved to a new server and the DNS change hasn't propogated)

[ Reply to This | # ]
Use iTunes4 smart playlist options for better randomization
Authored by: simX on May 14, '03 02:40:58PM

I don't understand what robg's problem with this hint is. You simply create a new smart playlist, and then add a condition to say "Last Played is not in the last 30 days" or whatever time period you want to define as not recently played. Then simply select Limit to 25 songs selected by random (or however many songs you want to view), and check live updating.

Now it will give you a list of random songs that haven't been played in the period you said. Even if you've recently ripped a CD, it doesn't always take it from that CD, since it's choosing at random.

So what's the problem?



[ Reply to This | # ]
Use iTunes4 smart playlist options for better randomization
Authored by: h2o on May 14, '03 05:27:37PM

Good idea. Some notes/ideas:

1. No need to use the "kind" match, as suggested by others.
2. Limit to XXX songs selected by LEAST RECENTLY PLAYED.
3. Click the Shuffle button for that playlist (at the bottom).

*. If you only select 25 songs, it will likely fill with stuff that has never been played all the way through (as robg reports). Fix this by, for a time, bumping the song count up to a 100 or more. This will improve the randomness across around 10 CDs or so.

*. As songs get played, the randomness will increase over time as the mixes are mixed and mixed in turn.

*. CAVEAT: I chose 250 at one point, and the Shuffle-play becomes not-so-random (sequential, in fact). 100 seemed sufficient to preserve randomness. This may be due to the lag between iTunes4 reconstructing the LIVE playlist and the shuffle-selector code not getting a sufficiently fresh seed...dunno.

*. Using the "Match by LAST PLAYED NOT IN the last 30 days" and turning back on "Last XXX songs selected by RANDOM" would work fine, too, initially, to mix up the last-played timestamps. This will not work, however, to insure that your entire library is played-through before starting over. Neither does method #1 (entirely), but it comes close. The smaller the XXX, the more likely it will churn through them all, but at the expense of variety.



[ Reply to This | # ]
my smart playlist
Authored by: mazatty on May 14, '03 11:49:54PM

the limit to so many songs selected by least recently played just doesn't cut it. if i set the limit low i get songs from the end of my library. if i set the limit high i get songs that i've listened to again already.

what i want is all my music that i have listened to only 2 or fewer times. so, what i did was create a smart playlist with the following critera.

play count is less than "3"
last played is not in the last "2" weeks
kind does not contain "stream"
live updating

i turn on shuffeling for this playlist and sort by number, don't really know what the column is called, it's the one with no title, the first one.

- i get all the music i have listened to less than 3 times, so i can listen to all my music.
- i don't hear a song more than once every 2 weeks, at the most. this is nice for when the play count is updated in the smart playlist and for tracks that have been recently added to my library.
- none of the streaming stations in my library are added
- live updating adds new tracks as they are added to my library and removes tracks that are removed from my library.

it's true that i have to change the smart playlist once i've listened to everything 3 times. i don't really see a problem, because i only have to change the smart playlist every 8 days, if i was listening all the time, but it usually takes a few months.

another nice thing that happens with this smart playlist is that if i always skip a track i don't want to listen to it will be left on the list once i've listened to everything else and i can decide if i want to remove it or not.

not a perfect solution, but it works for me.



[ Reply to This | # ]