Japester's Administrative Suite

iTunes Tips
Following is the complete suite of smart playlists I use to maintain my library. All are prefixed with the bullet character to keep them at the top of the list of playlists, which makes them easy to find in iTunes.

• Temporary:
I use this for songs that are going to stay only for a short time. These are mainly MP3 previews of albums I've downloaded to see if I like the music, or albums lent to me by a friend. These are deleted regularly after one or two listens.

Temporary songs are defined by "• Temporary" in the genre tag. The playlist is as follows:

Genre - is - • Temporary

On the iPod, I can select a temporary track by browsing by genre. This gives a list of artists, then sublists of albums. This is a lot neater than using a smart playlist to find them. As I'm not keeping these tracks, the genre tag can be considered irrelevant.

• To Be Checked:
When listening to a song on the iPod, I rate it one star under the following conditions:
-I don't like it and want to delete it
-I realise the tag information is incorrect (eg. I'm listening to a hard rock smart playlist and it's not hard rock, there's a misspelling in one of the tags, etc.)
-I've just discovered more information about it, eg. the composer or original artist
-The quality is low and needs to be re-ripped.

After synching my iPod every day, I click this playlist and handle any songs that come up. If you don't address the songs in this playlist soon after you've rated them, you may forget why you did so, so it pays to do it every day, if possible.

The playlist is simple:

My Rating - is - 1 star

• To Be Converted:
I rip at 128kbps AAC. I leave MP3s at whatever quality they came in. Sometimes I rip from AIFF files, like when I rip the music from a DVD.

This playlist shows me any songs that are in AIFF format, as they are only in the library to be ripped. I don't keep massive AIFFs around to chew up space on my iPod. I can select all the songs that come up here and choose Convert Selection to AAC from the Advanced menu. You can see the progress just like on a CD. Once you've completed the ripping, you can select all the songs and press Option-Delete to send them all to the trash.

Kind - contains - AIFF

• To Be Rated:
Many people have a variant of this. Mine is thus:

Match - all - of the following conditions:
Last Played - is in the last - 1 - months
Play Count - is greater than - 0
My Rating - is - [blank]
Genre - is not - • Temporary

Use of this playlist is simple: click it in iTunes and rate any songs that come up. Do it regularly and you won't have any unrated songs for more than 1 month.

I hope this gives all of you a set of useful tools.

by japester on Feb 19 | 8:00 am


I like the *Temporary playlist.

Does anyone know any special characters that will get the playlist to show up at the bottom of the playlist on the iPod, rather than at the top? Or am I just stuck with "zz"?

by thenightfly42 on Feb 20 | 4:32 pm

If we ever get nested playlists, this will be even better. Have an "Admin" playlist with all these playlists under them.

by Taco John on Feb 21 | 6:22 pm

It hasn't happened yet in iPhoto (at least user-accessable), but we can hope!

by dfbills on Feb 22 | 1:29 pm

I use two symbols to get the playlist down to the bottom:

an Omega ?
a PI sign ?

Hope that helps.

by redheron on Mar 26 | 3:46 pm

heh.... guess this site doesnt like the extended characters....

This is on OSX

for Omega OPTION+Z

by redheron on Mar 26 | 3:54 pm

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