No more than x per album?

I've been trying to create a playlist that features stuff I've rated highly recently, but not heard in the past 2 weeks. Here's the current incarnation:

> 3 stars
last played not in the past 14 days
date modified after 5/1/04
limit to 200 songs.

The trouble is, even when sorted by "random," this playlist tends to give me every track off particular albums that fit the criteria. Since it's a small playlist, I would really prefer variety.

The ideal solution would be an option such as "no more than 3 tracks per album" or "no more than three tracks per artist." I definitely have enough top reated stuff in the library to fill a playlist with more eclectic stuff.

Can anyone think of a way to limit a smart playlist to no more than x number of songs per artist or album?

by Matthew on Nov 10, 04 | 12:09 pm


Not an easy way I can think of. You could start rating your songs, then use a rating value as your cutoff. Then, you'll end up with just a few songs from each artist...

by dfbills on Nov 14, 04 | 1:02 am

... I already rate my songs, but based on how much i like 'em. I wonder how top suggest a feature to the iTunes designers. Surely I'm not the only one who would like this functionality?

Thanks for the suggestion,


by Matthew on Nov 14, 04 | 3:37 am

I'm quoting Palmin:

Well, I have solved a similar problem (one artist being very prominent in my library) by having a SPL without this artist (something standard like random by least recently played), which is quite long (a few hundred songs), and then one playlist by this artist, with only very few songs, and then a SPL which takes tracks from both these lists. By changing the number of songs, you can adjust how many Nirvana tracks will be mixed into the SPL.

by Ryan on Nov 14, 04 | 5:05 pm

I have a similar system: I have several playlists for artists that I have tons of music from. I call them "U2 Limiter" and "Wilco Limiter", etc. I set these up to only grab a set number of songs from each artist. I then create a list called "Limiters Compiled" where I include each of the "limiters" playlists. I then create a "Non-Limiters Compiled" playlist where "Artist is not" any of the "limited" artists. Finally, I create a playlist that combines "Limiters Compiled" and "Non-limiters Compiled" and use the result as the basis for all other playlists. Not an easy solution, but it works well.

by A/V Geek on Nov 16, 04 | 1:21 pm

You all might find this AppleScript of interest in playlist generation:


by RB3 on Nov 18, 04 | 2:05 pm

I think "block party" ROCKS!

by dfbills on Nov 22, 04 | 1:46 am

Man, some of these smart playlists could be created so easily in JRiver's Media Center. Great Program!!! But I want to use iTunes as my master music library due to the ease of iPod integration and updating.
iTunes needs to catch up to come of the things they can do very easily.

Here is a playlist that I made in Media Center and would like to recreate in iTunes:

[Genre]=[Alternative],[Euro Dance],[Indie] ~s=500 [Last Played]=>=10080 -[Artist]=[Jane's Addiction],[Morrissey],[Porno For Pyros],[Smashing Pumpkins],[Ween] [Rating]=>=4 ~limit=-1,10,[Artist] -[Album]=[Stereopathetic Soul Manure]

This one does the following things:

1. Selects genre(s)
2. Limits the list to 500MB
3. Gets tracks that haven't been played in a (week?)
4. Removes artists that I don't want included.
5. Rating is greater than or equal to 4
6. Limits to 10 songs per artist
7. Removes albums that I don't want included.

iTunes needs to catch up! If it could support an "or statement" that would be a great start.

BTW - how can I create a smart playlist with multiple artists but still have another qualifier like rating?

by hobbes8calvn on Dec 26, 04 | 10:38 pm

I really wish iTunes had a built in way to limit the number of songs per artist. the limting SPL's can do the job, sure, but I'd like to just be able to say in my own smart play list something like


and be done with it.

by synecdoche on Dec 27, 04 | 9:18 pm

Suggest the max songs per artist idea to apple:


Perhaps if enough people say something about it..

by healy on Feb 15, 05 | 6:42 pm

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