Seldom Salad

Smart Playlists
When I'm not listening to new music, I often want to hear songs that I haven't heard in a while. But if I just sort my Library by "Last Played," I hear those songs in the same order that I heard them last time... which gets a bit repetitive. I want to hear the tracks I haven't listened to in a while, but in a semi-randomized fashion. I came up with the following Smart Playlist:

limit to 34 songs selected by "least recently played"
live updating

I then sort this playlist by Song Name, and put it on repeat. 34 is the number of songs that will show in my iTunes window with no scroll bar. As soon as a song is played, it disappears and another one shows up.

Ironically, this results in a more "random" experience than if I turned on Shuffle. Why? Because Shuffle only randomizes the existing playlist once. Any new songs added to that playlist after that come in at the bottom, and stay in that order until you re-randomize the playlist. As each "least recently played" song is added, they'll come in at the bottom and eventually I'll be listening to the songs in the same order I heard them previously.

Instead, I keep the list alphabetized. When a new song is added, it comes in somewhere in the alphabet -- either before or after the currently playing song. In effect, this gathers the 34 "least recently played" songs and scatters or tosses them around the playlist. That's why I call the playlist "Seldom Salad."

by Penner on Sep 16 | 8:00 am


I like your playlist, and especially its name. I use a similar arrangement to accomplish a similar goal.

I have a playlist I call "Dusty Tunes," which sifts through the 2,800 songs on my iPod, removes the ones with "notmix" in their comments (which is a tag I apply to things like Christmas music, audio books, etc.), omits anything with only 1-star, and then compiles eight hours of my least recently played music. I sort this by rating and play by shuffle. When I want a good song, I pop up a level on the iPod and go back down to get the best rated, least recently song I have.

I chose eight hours as that's a workday.

This works pretty well for me.


by RB3 on Sep 20 | 10:17 pm

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