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Make even smarter Genius playlists Apps
I love iTunes' Genius feature. It's replaced smart playlists as my favorite way to construct aesthetically coherent sequences of songs. But I find the Genius dopey in one way: It repeats itself.

Let's say that, on Monday, I'm really liking the song For Emma by Bon Iver and want to hear it and songs like it. I'll select the song, hit the Genius button, and listen happily to the resulting playlist for hours. But then let's say that on Tuesday I'm still really liking For Emma and want to hear it and some more songs like it again, but I don't want to hear all the related songs I listened to the day before.

I could hit the Refresh button, but the Genius will likely suggest the same subset of songs. Same goes for other Bon Iver songs: Genius playlists based on any of them will likely overlap. I wish there was a way to tell the Genius to favor songs I haven't heard in a while. Barring that, my solution is to combine smart playlists with the Genius:
  1. As usual, select the song on which you want to base your playlist and click the Genius button. From the Limit To drop-down menu, select 100 songs, then click on Save Playlist.
  2. Go to File » New Smart Playlist. Set the selection criterion to Playlist Is, and point it to the Genius playlist you just created. Then select Limit To number of songs, Selected by Least Recently Played. You can choose any number of songs, but it should be something less than 50, in order to keep the playlist fresh.
  3. Click OK and give your new smart playlist a name. I save all such playlists to a Genius folder, for easier syncing with my iPod.
There is one glitch in this system, and it's a biggie: The new smart playlist won't contain the actual song on which the original Genius list is based. So, in my example, my smart playlist would contain a bunch of songs related to For Emma but not (because I played it recently) For Emma itself. I'm still working on that one. Any suggestions?
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Make even smarter Genius playlists | 9 comments | Create New Account
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Time to combine multiple playlists
Authored by: lujo on Feb 27, '09 08:34:17AM

One of the big limitations of individual smart playlists in iTunes is the lack of any way to combine AND and OR operators in the same list. The solution is to set up separate playlists that focus on different variables you want in your playlist, then combine these playlists in a final smart playlist by referencing those individual playlists and making sure to use "Match ANY of the following rules".

In your case, you just need to go a step further by taking your Genius-based smart playlist (already based on another playlist), create another playlist that simply has your desired song, then make another smart playlist that's set to "Match ANY of the following rules" and include Playlist Is your Genius-based list and Playlist Is individual song list (For Emma).

It's a bit kludgy but does the trick.



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Make even smarter Genius playlists
Authored by: astrosmash on Feb 27, '09 08:50:06AM

Great tip. It never occurred to me to point a smart playlist to a Genius playlist, nor to select songs by least-recently played.



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Make even smarter Genius playlists
Authored by: neuralstatic on Feb 27, '09 11:17:53AM

is this very different than just making the 100 genius matches, playing 50 one night sequentially, then hitting pause and playing the remaining 50 the next night?



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Make even smarter Genius playlists
Authored by: hamarkus on Feb 27, '09 04:44:18PM

Or just make a 100 songs Genius playlist, save it, and the next day sort by the least recently played (so you don't have to remember where you stopped the day before).



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Make even smarter Genius playlists
Authored by: hiuwo on Feb 27, '09 09:20:50PM
i guess

1. just save the genius playlist with a name let say 'my playlist' (with 50 songs maybe),
2. after listening to all the songs,
3. refresh genius again (let say 50 songs again),
4. create a smart playlist with the settings,
  • match all of the following:
  • Playlist, is, Genius
  • Playlist, is not, my playlist

5. does it work?

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Make even smarter Genius playlists
Authored by: hiuwo on Feb 27, '09 09:26:57PM

i guess

1. just save the genius playlist with a name let say 'my playlist' (with 50 songs maybe),
2. after listening to all the songs,
3. refresh genius again (let say 50 songs again),
4. create a smart playlist with the settings,
* match all of the following:
* Playlist, is, Genius
* Playlist, is not, my playlist
5. listen to the smart playlist, does it work?

6. then when you finish the second round of the songs, you select all the songs from the smart playlist and dump into 'my playlist',
7. refresh the Genius list,
8. go back and listen to the smart playlist again.

9. repeat 6,7,8 until all the songs are finished.



[ Reply to This | # ]
Make even smarter Genius playlists
Authored by: hiuwo on Feb 27, '09 09:28:57PM

i guess

1. just save the genius playlist with a name let say 'my playlist' (with 50 songs maybe),
2. after listening to all the songs,
3. refresh genius again (let say 50 songs again),
4. create a smart playlist with the settings,
* match all of the following:
* Playlist, is, Genius
* Playlist, is not, my playlist
5. listen to the smart playlist, does it work?

6. then when you finish the second round of the songs, you select all the songs from the smart playlist and dump into 'my playlist',
7. refresh the Genius list,
8. go back and listen to the smart playlist again.

9. repeat 6,7,8 until all the songs are finished.

**sorry i am not very familiar to the comment system here.



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Make even smarter Genius playlists
Authored by: alternapop on Mar 16, '09 11:11:49AM
Time to combine multiple playlists
Authored by: cpaulg on Feb 02, '11 11:37:09AM

Thank you, thank you, thank you lujo. Ever since the days of MusicMatch in the late 90s, and being able to choose "And" or "And Not" in its "AutoDJ", I have been waiting for iTunes to add a similar feature. My playlists have always been hampered by this lack of a seemingly simple little option. And I have just stumbled across your simple little solution by accident. Thank you again!



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