Make Your Songs Earn Their Keep

Smart Playlists
Why should your songs just be given a free ride? I make all my songs earn their place in my library and earn their ratings.This involves Making 6 playlists:

1. 5 down to 4
Match All
Rating is *****
Skip Count is greater than zero

This gets all five star songs that i have skipped once or more in a playlist

2. 4 down to 3
Match All
Rating is ****
Skip Count Is greater than one

This gets all four star songs that i have skipped twice or more in a playlist

3. 3 down to 2
Match All
Rating is ***
Skip Count is greater than two

This gets all three star songs that i have skipped three times or more in a playlist

4. 2 Down to 1
Match All
Rating is **
Skip Count is greater than three

This gets all two star songs that i have skipped three times or more in a playlist

5. Out The Door
Match All
Rating is *
Skip Count is Greater than four

This gets all one star songs that i have skipped four or more times in a playlist

6. Rating Down Playlist
Match Any
Playlist is 5 down to 4
Playlist is 4 down to 3
Playlist is 3 down to 2
Playlist is 2 down to 1
Playlist is Out The Door

You can change the values if you like however I think it makes sense for a higher ranked song to be skipped less.

You will find that you will rank songs higher because you know that if you end up not liking a song you will drop the rating on it anyway.

by Aaron Moss on Apr 24 | 2:13 am


I have consistantly viewed my ratings from the bottom up. Since reading this, I've had a mind twist and I am more likely to start new music I add at the top and let it find it's natural level. I've changed the skip counts to 1,3,5,9 so it takes a bit more for something to fall, but I am loving the concept.

Any thoughts on how I might find songs that deserve to be moved up? I've thought about resetting skip and play counts when I change a rating and using that as a flag, but haven't fully thought that thru yet.

by Denrael on May 11 | 12:08 am

Good idea

Denrael: I can't say how well it's going to work, but I'm experimenting with playlists to identify songs that have "earned the right" to be moved up a notch. They're based on the idea that if I've listened to a song X number of times without skipping it more than Y times, then perhaps it deserves a higher rating. For an example, here's the playlists for songs I might bump up to 5-star from 4-star:

"Up to 5?"
Match All
My Rating is 4
Skip Count is less than 1
Play Count is greater than 3

(I should probably note that I've adjusted Aaron's skip counts up by one each, so my "5 down to 4" list identifies songs with skip counts greater than 1.)

by witeowl on May 13 | 5:06 pm

Hi,I can't beleive that people actually like this and i am delighted that it has helped people change their thought process.I was trying to think of a similar playlist to make the ratings go up instead of down but it is much harder,if anybody has any ideas please post

by Aaron Moss on May 13 | 8:33 pm

Aaron: do you mean if anyone *else* has any ideas? Any feedback/suggestions/tweaks for the idea that I posted?

(Not that my ego is that fragile. It, well, just dents easily.)

by witeowl on May 14 | 11:51 pm

No,i am so sorry that it came across that way.What i meant was if Anybody has an idea.I hadn't actually seen your post before i posted that

One again Sorry

by Aaron Moss on May 15 | 1:30 am

No need to apologize, Aaron. :)

by witeowl on May 15 | 9:00 am

How do I get this to work? ITunes has the playlist added but has no songs. I thought ITunes Automatically generates these lists? Help me.

by Red Flame on May 26 | 12:14 pm

Red Flame: Are you sure you have any songs that meet the criteria? These sorts of playlists actually SHOULD be empty if the songs in your music library are properly rated.

Songs will only show up if they should be downgraded. (Or, in the case of my experiment, upgraded).

by witeowl on May 26 | 10:30 pm

Also, make sure that the playlist which combines all the other playlists is set to match ANY, not ALL.

by witeowl on May 28 | 12:53 am

This is a pretty good way to rate songs, however it would not work for me.

The reason is that I base many of my smart playlists on "last played" and "is not in the last 30 days" so that my lists will refresh themselves so that I get songs that I haven't heard or played.

If I skip them, the smart playlists do not refresh themselves. Sometimes they do not refresh if I haven't rebooted the iPod in a while, but my iPod has hard drive issues.

Nice concept though! :)

by gooober on Aug 06 | 2:35 am

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