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 Floating Shuffle

Smart Playlists
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Was browsing around this site, very happy to see other people are as crazy as I am about playlists. Nothing I saw really came up with something I felt really happy with. I configure my iPod/iTunes a little weird. I have over 120GBs of MP3s and a 20 GB iPod. As I am very shady about iTunes messing with my tags, I actually have all my music for my iPod set aside just for iTunes. Also, I'm a stringent album-only listener. I never listen to random music, but my iPod got me rating songs and now I have over 530 rated tracks on my iPod that I can listen to randomly, but no playlist would give me enough slack to hear what I wanted to while still hearing stuff I haven't listened to in a while.

I tried doing playlists divided up by time period, tracks not listened to in a week, etc, but this got tiring after a while. You end up listing to the whole playlist and then moving on to 3 Weeks, or This Week, in which you end up listening solely to music you've already heard, or music you probably don't want to hear. So, instead, I came up with this once I discovered the "Playlist Is" function. It's composed of multiple playlists that all feed in to each other to achieve a list that is truly semi-random. (The P:'s are how I organize my list, included for sorting purposes.)

All playlists have the following options in addition to stated options.

Match Only Checked
Live Updating


P:LRP

Limit to 50 songs selected by least recently played


P:LP
Match All
My Rating is greater than 2
Playlist is not P:LRP
Limit to 50 songs selected by least often played


P:MRP
Match All
My Rating is greater than 2
Limit to 50 songs selected by most recently played


P:MP
Match All
My Rating is greater than 2
Playlist is not P:MRP
Limit to 50 songs selected by most often played


P:Random
Match All
My Rating is greater than 2
Playlist is not P:LP
Playlist is not P:LRP
Playlist is not P:MP
Playlist is not P:MRP
Limit to 50 songs selected by Random


Then all these playlists feed into the following lists.

1:Shuffle
Match All
Playlist is 2:Shuffle All
Last Played is not in the last 4 days


2:Shuffle All
Match All
Playlist is P:LP
Playlist is P:LRP
Playlist is P:MP
Playlist is P:MRP
Playlist is P:Random


And just to mix things up even more, I include:

3:Middle Ground
Match All
My Rating is greater than 2
Playlist is not P:MRP
Playlist is not P:MP
Playlist is not P:LP
Playlist is not P:LRP
Limit to 80 songs selected by random


1:Shuffle is the primary playlist you listen to regularly. 2:Shuffle All is the main playlist that is composed of all the others, that you can use to branch off more complex time-based playlists.

The idea, and it might be flawed, is to keep a going cycle of music you haven't listened to recently, music you like, and some random stuff thrown in from your collection. You can adjust the "limit to" numbers yourself, like I can already tell I might want to decrease the number of "most recently played" tracks. Etc, it's all highly customizable.

Been listening to it for an hour now and it keeps playing good stuff, so I'm happy. Hope it helps someone out.


by Brad Root on Jul 24 | 8:00 am
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Comments

I had to change the "Match All" setting to "Match Any" in the '2:Shuffle All' playlist in order to see any tracks at all. The 5 playlists being sources by 2:Shuffle All are mutually exclusive of each other so "match all" creates an empty list.


by zanshin on Jul 25 | 9:51 am

Yeah, I wrote this a really long time ago. There's a few changes I've made since then, as I've increased the Random playlist to 100 tracks not played in the last 4 days. LRP is 75 tracks. LP is 75 tracks. And 1:Shuffle is now limited to tracks not played in the last 1 day, instead of four. Works out a lot better.


by Brad Root on Jul 25 | 3:57 pm

If you listen to >50 tracks a day (call it four hours) then none of the MRP playlist tracks will get into your new playlist because of the not-played-in-last-1-day clause.

I myself like the idea of listening to both the least- and most-recently-played tracks at the same time, the least because it brings in the greatest variety, and the most because it creates that "hot hits" kind of mix, where you hear the same songs a couple of days in a row.

How do you choose which 20 GB of your 120 GB of tunes to put on the iPod?

talking_animal


by talking_animal on Jul 27 | 4:07 pm

The 1-day clause is meant to do that, because otherwise I find that my iPod tends to play the MRP tracks over... and over... and over again. Adding that clause at least allows me one day where I can hear some new stuff instead of whatever it is the iPod wants to play. I'm not sure why the iPod seems to do this, but the 1-day clause was the only way I could get it to stop.

About how I choose what 20gb to put on my iPod. I have my copy of iTunes set up seperately from my music collection, where it sorts all the music as it wants to. I drag over (1) my favorite albums, and (2) new albums I need to listen to. That's it. When I run out of room, I uncheck albums I haven't listened to in a while, or if I have a lot of rated tracks by an artist, I uncheck all the unrated tracks if I haven't been listening to them, etc.


by Brad Root on Jul 27 | 4:28 pm

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