Change of Smart Playlists behavior in iTunes 8

iTunes Tips
It seems that the behavior of Smart Playlists with the "Live updating" option disabled has changed in iTunes 8. Specifically, it used to be that you could force these playlists to update simply by opening the "Edit Smart Playlist" window for the list and clicking OK. As of iTunes 8, this no longer updates the playlist. You must instead open the window, select "Live updating", click OK, open the window again, unselect "Live updating", and finally click OK again.

This is proving bothersome to those (like myself) who use a non-live-updating playlist to listen to unrated tracks, rating them as they go. Allowing the playlist to update live interrupts playback whenever you rate a track you are listening to. With the change in iTunes 8, getting a new batch of tracks to rate is a relatively lengthy process.

Apple Support Forums thread: http://discussions.apple.com/thread.jspa?threadID=1742897

Kevin Yank

by dfbills on Dec 17 | 10:59 pm

 Use iTunes search pane to search ratings

iTunes Tips
Just when I thought I knew everything about iTunes, I caught this cool hint on MacOSXhints-

The iTunes search allows search by star ratings. Simply add *'s to your search with or without other keywords. The more astericks you add, the higher the rating.

This makes it possible to find songs by the Beatles with three stars without having to resort to a Smart Playlist. Very cool!

by dfbills on Feb 29 | 10:09 pm

 Fixing up your tags

iTunes Tips
To get the most out of smart playlists, you really need to have complete tag information. Some of my favorite third-party tools are:

iEatBrainz - This free program examines songs in your library and then creates an auditory fingerprint of the sound of each song to match it with the correct information maintained in the MusicBrainz Database.

Jaikoz - This commercial software (£15 GDP or about $30 US), also uses MusicBrainz as well as Acoustic Ids provided by MusicIP.

Remember that no identification system is 100% accurate so make sure to double check the results no matter which tool you use.

by dfbills on Feb 21 | 5:22 pm

 Movies to rent from iTunes

iTunes Tips
Here's how to create a list of movies to rent from the iTunes Store from karlfranz on MacOSXHints.

- Go to the Power Search feature of the iTunes store.
- Select movies from the first category dropdown list.
- Click the checkbox "Search movies that are available for Rental".
- Leave all other search fields blank.
- Click the Search button.

You will get a list of all movies that can be rented.

Now, for your list of movies to rent, just:

- Create a playlist within iTunes called Rental Wishlist or whatever.
- Select the movie you are interested in renting from the list view in the Search results above and drag it into the playlist.
- When you want to rent something, go to your wishlist playlist, select the item and click on the arrow next to its name. It will take you to the page on the iTune Store for that movie.

It's that easy.

by dfbills on Jan 16 | 2:11 pm

 How to find songs you missed

iTunes Tips
A feature that iTunes is sorely lacking (in my opinion) is one which lets you see what songs you've already put into a playlist somewhere. (or perhaps more importantly, which ones you haven't)

I'll be listening to my iPod and wonder why I never hear "The World is Mine" until I get home and search all my playlists and realize that I overlooked it when creating them.

But searching through 40 playlists to see which one it's on (or isn't on) is tedious.

My suggestion, if you have this problem, is to make a new smart playlist to see which songs got left behind.

I named mine "Clearing the baffles" (I know, I'm a geek)

The set up is this:

Must follow ALL rules
~Playlist is not "House Mix"
~Playlist is not "Supercheesy 90s"
~(repeat until you've covered all the playlists you load onto your iPod)
~Playlist is not "DO NOT LOAD"
~Rating is not one star

~Limit to 100 songs by most played
~Live updating

This shows me every song, starting with the ones I've listened to most, that are not going to be loaded onto my iPod. I can check 'em out and see if they belong on one of my source playlists (which a smart playlists draws from when live updating). If I know I don't want them loaded onto the ipod, I put 'em into the "DO NOT LOAD" playlist. Or if I know I don't really like 'em, I rate 'em one star.

It still takes time to go through everything, but when I realized how many good songs weren't in circulation, it was worth it.

by limbodog on Oct 01 | 1:32 pm

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