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iTunes smart playlists with nested rules Apps
I was adding a Smart Playlist to iTunes (10.7) and could not find the option to add nested rules... until I held down the Option key and the plus icon became an ellipsis which then provided the ability to add a nested rule.

[kirkmc adds: This isn't new in iTunes 10.7, but rather iTunes 10. However, I see that it's not on the site, so it's worth mentioning. Apple has a technical note about smart playlists, and they call the ellipsis button the "Nest" button.]
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iTunes smart playlists with nested rules
Authored by: doneitner on Oct 15, '12 03:01:55PM

Good to know. It may be worth reminding people also that iTunes smart playlists can be built on top of other playlists (one of the rule conditions is Playlist Is / Playlist Is Not) so that if you've built a complex ruleset once and want to use it again with another condition, you can refer back to the existing playlist.

I use this for instance to filter all my spoken word, video and podcast tracks out of my music, leaving me with a "Music only" smart playlist, and then I build additional smart playlists for each song rating (1-5) by simply referring to the "Music only" playlist and adding a condition for the star rating I want.

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iTunes smart playlists with nested rules
Authored by: BMarsh on Oct 19, '12 10:54:40AM

yeah, I use this method. I made a general playlist that filtered out things I don't commonly listen to (like comedy, holiday music, etc...)
Then one for "Good" that is 3+ stars, and another one for Unrated.
Then I made the next smart playlist pulling the "good general" with BPM filtering to get different "speed" playlists to somewhat match moods or faster music for walking/working - staying awake...

I can see cases where the nesting would making one off smart playlists easier, although I don't think I'll be changing my current setup (easier to debug if I make a logic mistake in the choices)

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iTunes smart playlists with nested rules
Authored by: ericmstewart on Oct 15, '12 05:29:41PM

One thing to note with this feature (and the previous comment) is that there are some limitations when using smart playlists with iTunes Match.

iTunes match will not support nested playlists, and you should get a little notification in iTunes.  The smart playlist should not show up on other match devices.

There are seems to be some general complexity rules in place too.  For instance, I have a Smart Playlist that works correctly in iTunes on my Mac machines but forces the Music App to hang and quit when used on my iPhone or iPad.
  • Match Any
    • Artist = Beatles
    • Artist = Black Keys
    • Match All (two conditions using the nested ellipsis)
      • Artist = Grizzly Bear
      • Rating is greater than 5 Stars
    • Match All (two conditions using the nested ellipsis)
      • Artist = MGK
      • Rating is greater than 5 Stars
There is a pretty good apple forum that covers the basics of smart playlists and match, but I have not found any great resources on why more 'complex' smart playlists seem to be inconsistent between OSX and iOS.   "In iTunes Match, why are Smart Playlists Messed Up??"

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iTunes smart playlists with nested rules
Authored by: grahamix on Oct 16, '12 03:26:28AM

In the past, I have found that nested Smart Playlists do not play nicely with syncing to iOS devices or with iCloud.


If you have Smart Playlists of 'Electronic' and '1990s' and then create a nested Smart Playlist combining the two called 'Electronic of the 1990s', the playlist will not work on device unless *both* playlists are synced to the device. This is problematic when you have a large music library on your computer and you're trying to use SPLs to manage music on your iPhone/iPod.

For this reason, I stopped using them.

I've not done much investigation (see above), but one of my remaining nested Smart Playlists showed an iCloud error icon, so I'm assuming similar restrictions apply.

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iTunes smart playlists with nested rules
Authored by: macemx on Oct 17, '12 05:05:04AM

Hey, this works with Find in a Finder window, too! (Or maybe I'm the only one who didn't know that...)

It allows "Any", "Either", or "None" for multiple conditions, so a Finder search can be created for, say, files that have a red file label OR a green file label. Or files with any file label BUT red. Nifty!

Mac'em X

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