Here’s an outline for a set of Smart Playlists that will get you started building an accessible iTunes Library…The basics should be universal, but you’ll want to customise it to suit your taste: if you have lots of music pre-1950, for example. If you need a reresher on making a Smart Playlist the how-to guide is at the bottom of the page.
‘0 Star': My Rating is 0 Star
‘1 Star': My Rating is 1 Star
‘2 Star': My Rating is 2 Star
‘3 Star': My Rating is 3 Star
‘4 Star': My Rating is 4 Star
‘5 Star': My Rating is 5 Star
‘1950s': Year is in the range 1950 to 1959
‘1960s': Year is in the range 1960 to 1969
‘1970s': Year is in the range 1970 to 1979
‘1980s': Year is in the range 1980 to 1989
‘1990s': Year is in the range 1990 to 1999
‘2000s': Year is in the range 2000 to 2009
These Smart Playlists are used either in other smart playlists or when you are maintaining your library
‘Unplayed': playcount is 0
‘Played': playcount is not 0
‘Unplayed and Unrated': playcount is 0 and my rating is 0
‘No comment': comment is â€œâ€
‘No Genre': genre is â€œâ€
‘No Year': year is â€œâ€
‘Ignore': genre is spoken or spoken word or comedy or novelty or kids or christmas (this is a useful SPL. If you rate some comedy etc 5 star but you don’t want to hear it all the time, make your High Rotation SPLs have the condition ‘playlist is not ‘ignore”.
‘Recently Played': last played is in the last 7 days
‘Recently Added': Date Addded is in the last 7 days and rating is 0
‘Top 100′: my rating is 5 star, play count > 0 limit 100 by most played
‘Top 1000′: my rating is 5 star, play count > 0 limit 1000 by most played
‘Top but not top 1000′: my rating is 5 star and playlist is not ‘Top 1000′
‘Remind Me': my rating is 5 star and not played in the last 3 months
‘Remind Me… meh': my rating is 4 star and not played in the last 12 months
‘Long Songs': playlist is not ignore and time > 15 mins
‘Short Songs': playlist is not ignore and < 3:00
‘Covers': comment contains (cover)
‘Live': comment contains (live)
‘Rock': genre is alternative or punk or metal or hard rock hardcore or doom or garage rock
‘Mellow': genre is pop or rock or soul or rnb or folk or reggae
‘Urban': genre is hip/hop or rap or funk or drum and bass
‘Mind Melt': genre is krautrock or psychedelic or ambient or avant-garde and time > 8:00
How to create these Smart Playlists
Create a folder for each group. cmd-opt-n to Create a new Smart Playlist. Here’s an example of an SPL and how it should look in iTunes:
‘Top 1000 Most Played': My Rating is 5 Stars, Play Count is Greater than 3, Playlist is not ‘Spoken Word’, Limit 1000 by Most Often Played.
Combining conditions is a great way of refining SPLs. for example: ‘Cred list': genre is ‘punk’, year is less than 1980, My rating is 5 Stars.
Having a good set of Smart Playlists can really help you get access to the tracks you want to hear, but SPLs depend on good tagging.
Try going through your Library looking for the tracks that haven’t made it into your SPLs and then build SPLs to suit.