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Scripts to manage iPod Mini selections from iTunes Apps
I have over 25GB of music in iTunes (ripped from my personal CD collection). I bought an iPod mini and wanted an efficient way to select and remove music from the playlists that sync with the iPod. Moving music in and out of a playlist by hand just did not cut it for me. I also did not want just any 4GB of random music from my collection. Let's face it, there is some music from some CD's I would rather not hear, so a random selection is not an option.

My solution was to set up a smart playlist that selects songs based on the content of the comments; in this case, the playlist looks for the text "iPod Mini" in the comment field. I created two AppleScripts I placed in iTunes' script menu, one to add selected words to the comments and a second to delete those same selected words from the comments. It works like a charm to easily manage my iPod mini's playlist.

I want to thank Doug's AppleScripts for iTunes for providing me with plenty of sample scripts from which I was able to piece together the following two scripts. To those whose scripts I borrowed the code from, I am sorry I did not keep track of the authors to give them proper credit. Note that because I pieced these scripts together, they probably are not the most efficient.

Add iPod Mini comment. Copy and paste the source into Script Edito, and save the script into your user's Library -> iTunes -> Scripts folder (create the folder if it's not there yet), and you'll have fast access to the script from the iTunes menu. You can select multiple songs at once and activate the script -- it will and add to all the selected songs in one pass.

Remove iPod Mini comment. Again, copy and paste into Script Editor, and save it as described above for easy access. This script will also work on multiple selections.
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Scripts to manage iPod Mini selections from iTunes
Authored by: FunkDaddy on Oct 19, '04 11:21:10AM

Wouldn't just making a non-smart playlist and dragging those same files to it do the same thing? If you added other options like playlist size, rating, recent date, etc, I guess that's a plus, but I fail to see the advantage of doing it this way.



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Scripts to manage iPod Mini selections from iTunes
Authored by: acalado on Oct 19, '04 12:53:11PM

My girlfriend has a Mini and all she does is rate her music, then create a smart playlist that picks only 4 or 5 star songs and is limited to 4GB selected by least often played. This ensures you are listening to all your music evenly. An even better mix would be to have one playlist as above, but limit it to 3.5GB and then a second playlist which is 500MB of your most recently added music rated 4 or 5 stars. This way you get your most recent stuff mixed in with stuff you haven't listened to for a while.

Star ratings and what ratio to devote to least listened to vs. most recent can be adjusted for personal preference.

In my opinion, if you are going to mark a song as in the posted hint, you might as well just add or remove it from a playlist instead.

My 2ยข

Andy



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Scripts to manage iPod Mini selections from iTunes
Authored by: designbot on Oct 19, '04 02:55:54PM

It never ceases to amaze me how much trouble people will go to to avoid just using the simple features of iTunes the way they were designed.

"I didn't want to go through the trouble of dragging my songs in and out a playlist. After writing these two AppleScripts and installing them in my Scripts menu, all I have to do is select the songs I want, choose the appropriate script from the menu, wait while it processes the files, set up a smart playlist to recognize the keyword in the comment field, and have my computer constantly search through every one of my music files in the background, transferring my keyworded files into the new, smart playlist I've set up. To remove songs from the playlist, all I have to do is select the songs in my playlist and choose my keyword-removal script from my Scripts menu, so it can search through my comments fields, removing my selected keywords so my smart playlist will automatically remove those files the next time it updates!

It's so easy!"



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Scripts to manage iPod Mini selections from iTunes
Authored by: nokinnets on Oct 19, '04 04:03:52PM

Why use a script when you can use the "Get Info" command on selected songs to add or delete any comment you want all at once?



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Scripts to manage iPod Mini selections from iTunes
Authored by: neier on Oct 19, '04 06:47:11PM
Why use a script when you can use the "Get Info" command on selected songs to add or delete any comment you want all at once
If you edit the comment field of multiple songs like that, then you cannot "add" another comment without affecting any previously filled in comment. It will change all songs to be the new comment exactly.

So, if I have two songs -- one with a comment "live, 1995", and the other with a different comment, then editing the comment like you proposed would delete the older comments, and each song would only have the "ipod mini" comment. The scripts are better in that regard. The choice between the script and old-fashioned drag/drop is one of personal preference, I think.

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Scripts to manage iPod Mini selections from iTunes
Authored by: arru on Oct 21, '04 06:33:34AM
The choice between the script and old-fashioned drag/drop is one of personal preference, I think.

If your personal preference is to do thing real slow, that is. The drag-and-drop method is waay faster. I mean, everybody's free to do things the way they want but I what is this obsession with doing stuff that Apple already arranged for with an array of custom applescripts and weird playlists?

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A simple, non-AppleScript method
Authored by: Graff on Oct 20, '04 12:07:35AM

A simple trick that does something similar without needing AppleScript is this:

  1. create a playlist containing all the songs you would ever want on your iPod, name it "iPod Songs"
  2. create a smart playlist named "Current iPod" with the following rules:
    • check: Match the following condition
    • Playlist is iPod Songs
    • check: Limit to 3500 MB selected by random
  3. attach your iPod and open the iPod Preferences in iTunes
  4. choose "Automatically update selected playlists only"
  5. make sure that only the playlist "Current iPod" is checked
  6. close the iPod Preferences and update your iPod

Now you will get a random 3.5 GB sample of only the songs that you want the iPod to have. To change what songs are shuffled onto your iPod just add songs to or remove songs from the "iPod Songs" playlist.



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Other uses for the scripts
Authored by: sinjin on Oct 21, '04 12:52:37AM

Thanks for the great hint, particularly the scripts.

Note the scripts have more utility than managing iPod content. For example, I have been using similar scripts to insert the word "Explicit" into track comments so that I can censor my library when young (or old!) listeners are visiting.

The mp3 "comments" tag in is a great resource for parsing audio libraries in unconventional ways and in combination with other tags such as "genre" or "rating".



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