Ratings-weighted playlist

Smart Playlists
iTunes has the option to play higher rated songs more often, but the iPod does not have that option. To get around this I created 4 playlists --

5 star limited to 60 songs by Least Recently Played (out of 140)

4 Star 100 LRP (out of 430)

3 Star 30 LRP (out of 800)

20 Random, not played in the last 8 days

Then I create a playlist that is made up of these four playlists (using Playlist is - ). This gives me a list that has more of my favorite songs but also mixes in some songs I don't hear that often. Using Least recently played for each sublist makes sure I go through all my music and the 20 RND list helps mix things up a little.

Of course you can adjust the numbers for your own personal taste and use as many sub playlists as you want, I also have a playlist of my most recently added songs mixed in. Any songs that appear on more than one sub list will only apear once on the master list. If you want your sub playlists to go to to the bottom of the list you can use a special character (like Ω) at the front of the list.

The only downside to this is the iPod takes a couple seconds to start playing a smart playlist that is made up of other smart playlists. The more sub-playlists the longer the pause, on my iPod the it takes about 4-5 seconds for the list to start playing.

by Anachronism on Feb 13 | 8:00 am


I use a similar weighting system. The bummer is that the iPod doesn't do live updating on playlists that reference other playlists unless your iPod is connected to your computer. I'd hoped that they might correct that eventually, but I just downloaded iPod updater 2005-02-22 and ran a test to determine that it still isn't fixed. That was a waste of a half hour downloading that update.

by davepmiller on Feb 26 | 3:14 pm

My 4G iPod does update playlists made of other playlist but all the sub-playlists have to be on the iPod.

by Anachronism on Feb 26 | 3:48 pm

Are the sub-playlists smart playlists? And does it do the live updating even if you aren't connected to your computer?

by davepmiller on Feb 26 | 4:06 pm

Wish I had made my first post had been more clear...

Yes, the sub playlists are smart playlists and the master list updates even when the iPod is not pluged into a computer. The master list updates just like every other smart playlist, when you leave the list and go back to it.

Again, I have a 4G and this only works if all the 'sub' playlists are on the iPod also.

by Anachronism on Feb 26 | 5:06 pm

All of my 'sub' playlists are on my iPod too, but I have a 3G. I wonder if this is something that they fixed on the 4G but won't ever fix on the older versions. I don't suppose you know anybody with a 3G that you could test this theory with?

Thanks for the clarification.

by davepmiller on Feb 26 | 5:26 pm

A long time ago I read this post: http://smartplaylists.com/comments.php?id=P319_0_1_0_C

and I've been building a "master" playlist using the trick described there since, even as my iTunes music has surpassed my iPod's memory limits. Just go to the iTunes library, uncheck all, then open each smart playlist you want to add and check all in turn. Your "master" playlist is simply a smart playlist blank but for a check next to "Match only checked songs." I take no performance hit such as you describe above.

Yes, it is a little process to update the sub-PLs manually, but I use that time to rate the new songs I've played and do some iTunes maintenance. The master pl usually has about 210 songs on it (15 hours); I have listened the whole way through once in six months. After around song 100 I update, rate the new songs, and create a new master SPL.

by talking_animal on Mar 08 | 6:34 pm

My 3G doesn't update playlists that rely on other playlists.

The workaround for me was to add both sub-playlists to the "On The Go" playlist and shuffle that (which is essentially what my superplaylist does).



by Jeez on Mar 08 | 10:20 pm

I use a similar system. However, I have a problem. I have a lot of songs rated 3, and have a playlist that sends a small portion of these to the "master" playlist. I want to be able to skip some of these songs if i don't like them that spesific day (might like them the next). The problem is, songs stay in the playlist until they are played all the way through.
How do I make a list that are completely new each time I use it?

by gb on Jun 05 | 8:08 am

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