Smart Playlists
Day in day out, I'm never without my iPod! I became a playlist fanatic and liked to plan playlists for the day beforehand! It became quite tiring after a while! So i came up with this *FreshMix which serves me well everyday!

Here is how I do it. The rationale: I wanna hear more popular tunes, along with some little-heard song to spice up the playlist a little. And I dun wanna hear the same song twice in a day(or 2).

It's made up of several Playlists.

1)Top Rated

Match all of the following conditions
-Rating between 4 and 5 STARS
-Last Played NOT in the last 3 days 
Live updating

2)Top 40 Most played
Match all the following conditions
-Last Played Not in the last 2 days
Limit to 40 songs selected by most played

3)Next top 80 Most Played
Match all the following conditions
-Playlist is NOT Top 40 Most Played
-Last Played NOT in the last 3 days
Limit to 120 songs selected by most played 
*Mine's a mini, so figures are relatively smaller :P)

4)Juz Added
Match all the following conditions
-Added in the last 1 week
-Not played in the last 2 days
Live updating

5)Da Rest
Match all the following conditions
-Playlist is NOT 1)
-Playlist is NOT 2)
-Playlist is NOT 3)
-Playlist is NOT 4)
-Last played NOT in the last 6 days

Match ANY of the following conditions
-Playlist is 1)
-Playlist is 2)
-Playlist is 3)
-Playlist is 4)
-Playlist is 5)
Limit to 40 songs selected by random
Live Updating

I love this mix as it never serves up the same combination twice. And not-so-hot tracks arent repeated so many times. Since i dun mind listening to the faves more, in some sub-lists, i set the not played in the last X days to be shorter.
And newer tracks get played too!

Hope you all like it!

by Alvito on Mar 10 | 8:00 am


I like this a lot. I had never thought to match a smart playlist to anothe smart playlist. Very clever and useful.

by vertigo25 on Mar 18 | 12:41 pm

Thanks! Glad u have found it useful!

by Alvito on Mar 21 | 9:37 pm

I have a bunch of playlists that I pick from- new stuff, old stuff, stuff not heard recently, and favorites. I never thought to mix them all- now I have. Thanks!

by Mike M on Mar 25 | 3:31 pm

One disadvantage of combining playlists is that it doesn't do the live update on your ipod (read: not on my mini). For example when you've selected; Not played in last 1 days, it doesn't correct your playlist when you've just played it on your ipod.

by uncle jim on Apr 05 | 10:51 am

OK, I've done this and I like the results. But I'm wondering about uncle jim's comment about the failure to refresh. Actually I've been unsure about this basic feature on the iPod for a while--does the iPod itself keep track of how often a song is played? Whenever I make a smart playlist that is designed to play a song then drop that played song off in favor of another randomly-chosen unplayed song, I find that this doesn't tend to happen.

So with this *freshmix, does this mean that all by itself the iPod is just going to keep giving me the same 40 songs it received when I last synched it, or will it, once the mix is played through all the way once, supply a new assortment of 40?

And if not, will it refresh when I plug the iPod back into my computer? Or is there something I need to do to the playlist to make it refresh?

by Herself on Apr 07 | 11:03 am

it only will refresh when you plug your iPod back into your computer. That's what i experienced.

by uncle jim on Apr 07 | 11:24 am

OK, since I tend to plug the iPod in at least once daily, that's not so bad. Thanks.

by Herself on Apr 07 | 12:30 pm

From my experience (im using an ipod mini) the ipod does keep count of the play count and 'last played'. i dun have to plug it back into the computer.

But if u put the playlist of 40 songs here on repeat, the playlist doesnt change.

So wat i do is this: Put repeat 'off'. Once all forty songs finished, ur ipod should bring u back to MAIN MENU. Once there, select your playlist again, and there should be another *Freshmix of 40 new songs again!

by Alvito on Apr 07 | 1:18 pm

An additional point:
Even if you listen to say, 12 songs, then go back to MENU and choose *FreshMix again, there should be 12 new tracks to make up for the 12 gone. The remaining 28 would be the same. At least, that's how it works on mine! =)
(Also remember that, if by some chance, u only listen to half a song, or even 99% of a song, the play count of that song is not updated.)

by Alvito on Apr 07 | 1:25 pm

Thanks. I don't use repeat for the playlist. But this is helpful.

by Herself on Apr 07 | 1:55 pm

Ad "One disadvantage of combining playlists": I've also stumbled on this issue using my mini. However I found out how to make live updating work with embedded smart playlists: Given a smart playlist "SP_Selection". Create a copy of its content in a (normal/non-smart) playlist let's say "NP_Selection". Then include "NP_Selection" in the list of "Automatically update selected playlists only" under iPod->Preferences. From now on smart playlists of type "Recently played" or "Not played within last x-days" based on NP_Selection or SP_Selection should be updated.

by arieli on Apr 07 | 6:48 pm

From the discussion above, I couldn't tell if this was a playlist that used "select by random". If so, I think you'll keep getting the same songs over and over even if it does update. That's because the iPod (at least my 3G) does not ever assign songs new random numbers unless they are manually deleted from a playlist in iTunes.

Lots of people get around this by adding a criterion such as not played in last x days, but you'll still start cycling through the same songs with the lowest random numbers after x days. Therefore, I select by least recently played. If you use shuffle a lot, then over time least recently played ends up behaving the way you'd like select at random to behave.

by davepmiller on Apr 09 | 3:50 pm

I agree with davepmiller here. "Least Recently Played" works pretty well for me. My freshmix analogue draws from two pools: the smaller, preferred-music pool and the larger, less well liked pool. The ones from the larger pool on the SPL right now I last heard in October; the preferred ones were last played the first week of March. When itunes combines them it sounds random enough to me.

by talking_animal on Apr 12 | 6:48 am

I've been using this playlist for a while, and in the last couple of days my iPod has started doing something strange with it--it's playing songs alphabetically by artist. Yesterday I had 20 of 25 songs on the playlist by The Smiths; the other songs were also by 'S' artists--today I've got a lot of songs by Shack. I know there isn't an easy way to make a playlist that forbids putting an artist on more than once, but is there some way around this? A script, perhaps?

by Herself on Apr 20 | 9:23 am

OK, re: my last comment; I had the *Freshmix set up to select by least recently played, and was getting a lot of the same artist. Changing that to random SEEMS to ameliorate the problem, but we'll see what happens over the next few days. I didn't have the problem at first, it sort of crept up the more I used the playlist.

by Herself on Apr 20 | 10:04 am

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