Limit Smart Playlists to an iPod sized Library?

Here's my story:

My iTunes Music Library is 60gb.
My iPod is only 30 gb.

Here's my wish:

I want my smart playlists to apply only to random 30gb chunks of my music library, but there is no way to specify "have these 100 smart playlists sum to 30gb".

I think what I want to do is to simply write an applescript to select the checkboxes for 30gb of music and then just check "only sync checked songs" or whatever that option is.

Does this make sense? Please let me know if there is a better way.

In addition, there are still songs that I want to keep unchecked, so I think I'll write another script to first set say the BPM field to 0 for all songs that I currently have unchecked, and then tell my "Check 30gb" script to ignore any songs with BPM = 0.

I also like to listen to full albums, so I think I want it to select full albums up to 30gb, there's a script at Macosxhints.com that I can't seem to find right now that might help me out some.

Anyway,...I don't know anything about applescript, so any tips or useful websites would me much appreciated.

Thanks in advance!

by Mike C on Dec 12, 03 | 9:31 am


You might start with Jerry Kindall's iPod Remix script (www.jerrykindall.com). I've struggled with the same issue with my original 5 GB iPod, used partially as a backup drive, and a collection of over 6 GB of songs.

by Ben Rosenthal on Dec 16, 03 | 8:18 pm


by dfbills on Dec 16, 03 | 10:47 pm

iTunes allows you to limit a smart playlist to a total size
where you get 'Limit to 25 songs' by deafult change it to 'Limit to 30 GB' and select by random

by Tilo R Oakes on Jan 14, 04 | 10:21 am

The problem with your solution, Tilo, is that Mike wants to limit a collection of playlists to 30 GB.

by Ben Rosenthal on Jan 14, 04 | 12:01 pm

Well, Mike, your ultimate solution was just released and posted today to VersionTracker: Playlist Blender, $10 shareware from William Wareham. Check it out.

by Ben Rosenthal on Jan 21, 04 | 10:45 am

I think there's a very, very simple solution to your problem, one you can use without needing Applescript at all.

I also don't see why you need to mess with setting the BPM field to zero to indicate unchecked songs, as every SmartPlaylist can include or exclude unchecked songs. If you want a SmartPlaylist that shows just unchecked songs, see below for how to do this.

First, create an SP called "Checked Songs" (or SourceList, or whatever) by setting the following parameters:

>Check "Match ALL of the following conditions"
>Check "Limit to 28 GB selected by RANDOM" (or whatever's the formatted capacity of your 30G iPod)
>Check "Match only checked songs"
>Check "Live updating"

If you want to listen only to full albums, and this is important to you, delete the "track number" tag on all songs that are just singles. Then, on your "Checked Songs" playlist, add one more parameter:

>Track Number IS GREATER THAN 0

This will ensure that you have a source playlist that only contains full albums, and is small enough to fit on your iPod.

Now, go into your other playlists, and add one more parameter to them:

>Playlist IS "Checked Songs"

This way, you'll still have all your Smart Playlists, but they will contain songs randomly chosen to add up to 28 Gigs. For decimal Gig sizes, use the MB field instead (here's a converter http://www.t1shopper.com/tools/calculate/ that will help you figure it out).

If you want to be able to see which songs you have unchecked or that have been randomly excluded from your main source list, create a new SP called "Unchecked-Excluded Songs" with the following parameters:

>Check "Match the following condition"
>Playlist IS NOT "Checked Songs"
>Uncheck "Match only checked songs"
>Check "Live updating"

If you want to have a SmartPlaylist with all checked songs, and another one with just 30G of checked songs, you can, just name them differently and make sure to add the 30G title in the "Playlist IS _____" parameter for your other SPs. That way, you can create separate "Unchecked Songs" and "Excluded Songs" playlists if you want to keep track of them separately.

by ArsenicJulep on Apr 29, 05 | 6:16 pm

What would be nice would be a 'bucket' playlist, from which iTunes will transfer tracks until your iPod is full.

I listen to a lot of podcasts, so the space available on my mini varies depending on whether I've got lots of casts stacked up; I therefore end up manually resizing certain smartlists (usually 'unrated' or 'recently added') to make best use of the space without getting the 'unable to synch as there's too much to tranfer' message.

by PhilB on May 03, 05 | 10:30 am

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