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Approximating iTunes DJ in iTunes 11 Apps
iTunes 11 removed iTunes DJ (neé Party Shuffle), in which it was possible to queue up a random subset of your library or of a selected playlist, and change the queue with a click of the "Refresh" button. At first it seemed as though this was gone completely, but after some fiddling it appears you can get most of the functionality back as part of the new Up Next feature.

First the basics: Starting from a playlist, just click the shuffle icon (the intersecting arrows) in the header of the playlist view, not the shuffle icon in the iTunes LCD. However, there is no shuffle icon when you view your entire music library, so you'll have to fake it by creating a smart playlist with the condition "Media kind is music," with live updating turned on.

Click list icon at the right of the iTunes LCD to view the Up Next queue. The clock icon in that list shows recently played tracks, like the dimmed portion of the old iTunes DJ interface. You can re-order songs in Up Next by dragging them around, and new items can be added to the top of the queue form anywhere in your library using the contextual menu, just like you could in iTunes 10, or by clicking the > icon that displays when you hover your cursor over a track.

What may not be obvious is how to replicate the function of the Refresh button. To do this, click the shuffle icon in the header of your playlist view again.

Now for the caveats:
  • Clicking that shuffle icon again stops the currently playing song, rather than creating a new queue as iTunes DJ did.
  • You have to click on the Up Next list icon again to see the results (or use the new Command-Option-U shortcut), rather than them being immediately visible.
  • Even with shuffle set to songs (Controls > Shuffle > By Songs), you will still see tracks from the same album show up in the list in sequence fairly often. There used to be a way to control this, but I've forgotten and can't seem to find it now.
Perhaps comments on this hint will reveal ways to overcome those issues.

[kirkmc adds: I was initially very confused by Up Next, but I've figured it out, and it's quite practical for queuing up music. However, you can only see 20 songs in the queue, which can be a bit limiting. So it's not a real replacement for iTunes DJ, and this hint does help a bit. Personally, I never used it to play music from my entire library, so the current implementation works for me.]
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Approximating iTunes DJ in iTunes 11
Authored by: lokithefirst on Dec 14, '12 12:40:14PM

A major problem with using Up Next as a DJ Shuffle replacement is that changing metadata can stop playback. I have a smart playlist for unrated songs that I listen to through the day and use keyboard shortcuts to rate as they play. If I set my unrated playlist up in Up Next and change the rating, it is moved from the playlist and iTunes doesn't finish playing the track or skip to the next track, it just stops. dead. silent. DJ used to keep on playing and the newly rated song just wouldn't come back up from that playlist.
Also, you can't used Cmd+I to Get Info on tracks from the mini player which can be annoying if you happen to see an error in the metadata during playback.



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Approximating iTunes DJ in iTunes 11
Authored by: interlard on Dec 15, '12 11:37:23AM

Thanks for the warning. Having music just stop dead just because I rated the song or fixed the album name is exactly why I started using iTunes DJ. This is yet another reason not to *downgrade* to iTunes 11.



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Approximating iTunes DJ in iTunes 11
Authored by: rynosoft on Mar 15, '13 02:31:12PM

I do something similar to you. I created a smart playlist that approximates iTunes DJ, too. The key to avoid the music stopping is to turn off "Live updating" in the playlist settings. Limit the playlist to 25 items and you'll have to edit and OK every 25 songs to refresh.



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Approximating iTunes DJ in iTunes 11
Authored by: chancer on Dec 14, '12 03:37:04PM

Thank you for this. You just helped me finally understand what that shuffle icon in the playlist is. I had been totally confused about it.

I now understand, and correct me if I'm wrong, that the playlist shuffle icon means "play this playlist in shuffle mode". I had thought it meant "toggle shuffling on or off for this playlist". And the playlist arrow icon seems to mean "play this playlist in non-shuffled mode", rather than, as I'd thought, "toggle playback on or off for this playlist".

I feel a little less crazy now. Whew. Thanks!

And yes, it's a bummer that the current song gets interrupted when you click the shuffle icon a second time, and even that you have to look at Up Next just to see the upcoming play order. The DJ *was* iTunes to me, even as a non-partying solo listener, and I miss it.



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Approximating iTunes DJ in iTunes 11
Authored by: izaakm on Dec 14, '12 10:28:33PM

I used to use iTunes DJ a lot, but there is one function/behavior that I haven't figured out how to replicate in iTunes 11. The basic scenario is this: I use several smart playlist based on ratings and they are enabled with "live updating." I have global keyboard shortcuts set up so that I can increment the rating of a track up or down.

Now, the problem: Let's say that my smart playlist requires that the rating be greater than 3 stars. If I increment the track to below 3 stars while it is playing, iTunes will automatically remove the track from the current playlist (because of live updating), and stop iTunes from playing. I used to use iTunes DJ, because the track would continue to play normally, and 'DJ would load in new tracks, but the track would also be removed from the playlist.

Is anyone aware of way that I can replicate this old behavior?

Thanks in advance.



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Approximating iTunes DJ in iTunes 11
Authored by: lokithefirst on Dec 17, '12 05:25:52AM

The only way I've been able to get around this issue is by selecting a large swath of tracks from the playlist to add to Up Next so it treats them like individual tracks and not as an entire playlist. It's not perfect by any means, but it's better than nothing.



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Approximating iTunes DJ in iTunes 11
Authored by: izaakm on Dec 17, '12 06:54:12AM

Hmmm, I hadn't thought about that. It only seems to work if I drag the tracks to the iTunes LCD. When I selected all of the tracks in the playlist and then pressed play, iTunes apparently thought I was trying to play the playlist. I wonder if there is a way to get AppleScript to handle this... e.g., tell iTunes to play every track of some playlist, as opposed to tell iTunes to play playlist.



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Approximating iTunes DJ in iTunes 11
Authored by: stevebr on Dec 15, '12 04:40:29PM

I didn't look here yesterday, so missed the posting. When I submitted the hint, I had a point about cmd+L not jumping to the currently playing song, instead only the active playlist. Kirk has wisely edited this out. As it turned out, it was only happening while the old-style sidebar was visible (View > Show Sidebar), and now I can't seem to replicate it at all even when it is. Maybe this was a bug fixed in the 11.0.1 update, or maybe I imagined the whole thing.

Also, thank you Kirk for straightening out my tangled prose.



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Approximating iTunes DJ in iTunes 11
Authored by: firedune on Dec 16, '12 10:34:21AM

See discussion at Apple Forum:
https://discussions.apple.com/thread/4553398?start=0&tstart=0

Send message to Apple asking them to bring back iTunes DJ and/or Cover Flow:
http://www.apple.com/feedback/itunesapp.html



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Approximating iTunes DJ in iTunes 11
Authored by: itunesmaster on Dec 16, '12 03:59:46PM

I hated the new version at first but now only miss double clicking for multiple windows.

First of all, if you hold option key and click arrow or shuffle icon next to playlist name, the songs will be added without stopping the music (the arrow will change to a plus sign and add music un shuffled).
Doing this will add the entire list and bypass the 20 song default so it can be much bigger than the 100 songs max from DJ. You can even add additional playlists to the same list.

To make it work and look even more like DJ, go to preferences/advanced tab and check both: keep mini player and movie window on top.
Click window (menu bar at top, not in itunes) and select mini player. It will stay open. Then you can click playlist bars and up next list will open. Drag to lengthen and widen and put at left side of itunes window after making room on desktop for it.
Play a song and click artwork viewer. Picuture will open. drag it to width of up next list and place below list in bottom left corner of desktop. Then drag iTunes window next to both windows and drag to fill the rest of the desktop. I keep this as one of my spaces.

If you don't close these windows when you shut down your computer, this setup will be there when you restart and open iTunes each time.

The art work window changes with each new song.
By making the up next list it's maximum width and matching the artwork window size to the width of the next up playlist window, it is larger than the old DJ artwork window.
I like the new setup better than iTunes 10 now after originally considering going back to it.
I still expect them to bring back multiple windows, PIA without it.

I would include a picture if there was a browse button.



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Approximating iTunes DJ in iTunes 11
Authored by: DavidRavenMoon on Dec 29, '12 05:35:52PM

Oh, and it's spelled "née" :)

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Approximating iTunes DJ in iTunes 11
Authored by: otaku2 on Dec 31, '12 01:17:54PM

Swell, but there are at least two features misssing AFAICT:

1. The DJ used to remember the last-played song and resume from there.

2. You could tell the DJ to play higher-rated songs more often. This is not the same as just selecting higher-rated songs in your playlist.

Has anyone found workarounds for these things?



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Approximating iTunes DJ in iTunes 11
Authored by: vernalbogneris on Feb 06, '13 06:46:21PM
I've got a better idea (I think).

Create a Smart Playlist with these settings:
> Media Kind is Music
> Limit to 25 songs (or 1 hour or any duration you want) selected by random

Voila. Now if you want to refresh your song selection, just select all the songs in the playlist and hit delete. They will instantly be replaced by new random songs.

You could also add another setting to customize what you want to groove to: Playlist is..., or Genre is...

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