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iTunes 10 Essential Training
Illustration by John Hersey

Creating Smart Playlists


From:

iTunes 10 Essential Training

with Garrick Chow

Video: Creating Smart Playlists

Now let's take a look at how to create a Smart Playlist. A Smart Playlist is essentially a saved search command. We saw how to use the Search field a little bit earlier, where you can type in a word or partial song title to search your library for songs or videos, but Smart Playlists give you so much more power in terms of specifying exactly what you're looking for in a file. The difference between a Smart Playlist and a regular playlist is that a Smart Playlist has the ability to change and update its contents on its own based on the criteria you create for it. A regular playlist is a static list that does not change until you manually add or delete songs from it.
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  1. 1m 37s
    1. Welcome
      1m 1s
    2. Using the exercise files
      36s
  2. 31m 45s
    1. Opening iTunes for the first time
      3m 20s
    2. Exploring the Source pane
      4m 49s
    3. Using the playback controls
      6m 33s
    4. Setting general preferences
      3m 21s
    5. Exploring the interface differences in the Mac and Windows versions
      7m 14s
    6. Setting parental controls
      4m 39s
    7. Using keyboard shortcuts
      1m 49s
  3. 57m 19s
    1. Understanding file formats
      8m 58s
    2. Importing from a CD
      5m 41s
    3. Entering song info manually
      8m 40s
    4. Finding and adding album artwork
      6m 41s
    5. Adding lyrics to songs
      4m 2s
    6. Dragging in song files
      6m 32s
    7. Converting single files
      2m 24s
    8. Using the Automatically Add to iTunes folder
      5m 0s
    9. Joining tracks
      4m 46s
    10. Importing videos
      4m 35s
  4. 25m 44s
    1. Consolidating your library
      4m 8s
    2. Upgrading to iTunes Media organization
      2m 29s
    3. Extending your library
      4m 47s
    4. Working with multiple libraries
      2m 38s
    5. Finding duplicate songs
      3m 56s
    6. Moving a library
      7m 46s
  5. 1h 2m
    1. Browsing
      6m 34s
    2. Searching
      1m 52s
    3. The Snapback button
      1m 18s
    4. Rating songs
      2m 7s
    5. Exploring playback options
      9m 35s
    6. Creating playlists
      5m 53s
    7. Creating Smart Playlists
      7m 13s
    8. Creating playlist folders
      2m 55s
    9. Shuffling and repeating
      3m 4s
    10. Using iTunes DJ for party playlists
      7m 14s
    11. Using the Equalizer
      7m 1s
    12. Using the Visualizer
      4m 20s
    13. Using internet radio
      3m 27s
  6. 20m 6s
    1. Sharing over a network
      5m 6s
    2. Turning on home sharing
      4m 2s
    3. Burning discs
      6m 54s
    4. Using AirPlay to stream content from iTunes to an AppleTV or Airport Express
      4m 4s
  7. 38m 46s
    1. Store overview
      3m 29s
    2. Creating an account
      3m 28s
    3. Browsing for content
      4m 2s
    4. Searching for content
      3m 29s
    5. Purchasing content
      7m 32s
    6. Purchasing gifts for others
      3m 44s
    7. Redeeming iTunes gift certificates
      1m 15s
    8. Using the Genius sidebar and creating Genius playlists
      5m 50s
    9. Using the Ping social network
      5m 57s
  8. 9m 2s
    1. Finding and subscribing to podcasts
      6m 50s
    2. Listening to and interacting with enhanced podcasts
      2m 12s
  9. 27m 38s
    1. Managing your iPod
      7m 21s
    2. Syncing music and movies
      7m 16s
    3. Syncing photos from a Mac
      3m 51s
    4. Syncing photos from a Windows computer
      3m 2s
    5. Syncing contacts and calendars from a Mac
      3m 5s
    6. Syncing contacts and calendars from a Windows computer
      3m 3s
  10. 14s
    1. Goodbye
      14s

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iTunes 10 Essential Training
4h 34m Beginner Nov 10, 2010

Viewers: in countries Watching now:

iTunes 10 Essential Training takes an in-depth look into the popular music and media hub from Apple. Author Garrick Chow demonstrates how to perform the core functions in iTunes: playing, purchasing, sharing, and streaming content. The course also covers specialized features such as setting parental controls, syncing with iPods, subscribing to podcasts, listening to Internet radio, using the Genius feature, the Ping social network, and much more. Exercise files are included with the course.

Topics include:
  • Using the playback controls
  • Setting preferences
  • Understanding audio and video file formats
  • Importing from a CD
  • Managing multiple libraries
  • Building playlists and smart playlists
  • Creating playlists automatically with Genius
  • Shuffling and repeating songs
  • Burning discs to share
  • Shopping at the iTunes Store
  • Managing an iPod
Subject:
Audio + Music
Software:
iTunes
Author:
Garrick Chow

Creating Smart Playlists

Now let's take a look at how to create a Smart Playlist. A Smart Playlist is essentially a saved search command. We saw how to use the Search field a little bit earlier, where you can type in a word or partial song title to search your library for songs or videos, but Smart Playlists give you so much more power in terms of specifying exactly what you're looking for in a file. The difference between a Smart Playlist and a regular playlist is that a Smart Playlist has the ability to change and update its contents on its own based on the criteria you create for it. A regular playlist is a static list that does not change until you manually add or delete songs from it.

So let's take a look at Smart Playlists. Now we already have some Smart Playlists built into iTunes. We have 90s Music, Classical Music, Music Videos, My Top Rated, Recently Added, Recently Played, Top 25 Most Played, and by clicking on some of these I'll see that they already have some content in them, for the most part. So these are the built-in Smart Playlists that'll automatically update themselves and which you don't have to do a thing to. They just constantly monitor the files you're importing, editing, or deleting and update themselves based on that. So let's take a look at how to create a Smart Playlist.

Just like creating a regular playlist there are multiple ways to create a Smart Playlist. I can go to the File menu and choose New Smart Playlist or use the keyboard command. On the Mac I can also hold down the Option key and notice that the New Playlist button, in the lower left hand corner, turns into this gear icon and that's the icon for the Smart Playlist. On Windows you hold down the Shift key to bring up the Smart Playlist icon, so I'll click that. And now we are looking at the Smart Playlist window and it's in here where you create the rules for your playlist. You see at the top we have Match the following rule selected and if I click on this first menu you can see I have a lot of different criteria to choose from.

Let's say I wanted to create a playlist based on play count or Plays. Now depending on what you select in this first menu the other menu in the field, to the right will change. So in this case it says Plays is, or is not, is greater than, is less than or is in the range. So let's say I wanted to create a playlist that will show me any file that I've played less than two times so I'll say is less than 2. This could be a way for me to identify songs that I don't listen to very much so I can either spend more time listening to them or maybe just eliminate them.

And that's how you create a rule for a Smart Playlist. If you want to further specify additional criteria just click the plus button. So, maybe what I really want is a Smart Playlist that shows me only the songs by The Jellybricks that I have played less than two times. So Artist is The Jellybricks, plays are less than 2 times, and because I have it said that all criteria must be matched I'll only see songs by The Jellybricks that are played less than 2 times. Now I can continue to add more criteria just by continuing to click the plus button. If I click it too many times I just click the minus button to remove them.

If I've create a playlist that's likely to include hundreds of songs I might want to limit the number of songs in the new playlist by checking this option, and if you've limited the number of songs you might also want to specify how the songs that appear in that list will be selected, so you have them selected randomly, by album, artist, genre, highest rating, lowest rating, and so on. I am just going to uncheck that for now. Now Match only checked items means that only item with the check next to them in my Library will be added to the Smart Playlist, and you can see the checkmarks next to each item here.

So if there are items that you know you never want to have come up, just uncheck them. And Live updating means the Smart Playlist will automatically update itself without me having to do anything else. All right, so here's my Smart Playlist. Again, this will only list songs by The Jellybricks that I have played less than 2 times. Let's click OK. It's been named The Jellybricks and here are all the songs that it has found. We have 35 songs in here. Now I am going to right-click up on my header area and I want to see the number of Plays for each one of these songs and it looks like most of them I've never played on this computer. There is one song that I played once.

Let me go ahead and play this one again, this is the one that I joined together in a previous movie, and I am going to move this to the very end of the track and watch what happens to it when we reach to the end of the song. I am just going to fool it into thinking we've played the whole song. (Music playing) And you can see it just disappeared from my playlist because I have the Smart Playlist setup to only show me songs that are been played fewer than two times. So that song no longer matches the criteria for this playlist, which is why it was removed.

If you need to edit a playlist, just simply right-click on it and choose Edit Smart Playlist. Maybe what I really want is a playlist that shows me all the songs that I played less than two times and that are not The Jellybricks. Now we also have the ability to create what are called nested rules. A nested rule is a rule that only comes into play if the main rules hold true. So for example, right now I have the Smart Playlist setup so that the items it lists must follow the two rules that their play counts are a less than 2 times and that the music is not by The Jellybricks.

With All selected up here both of these rules have to apply. Now I am going to click the ellipses button to add a nested rule. Here I am going to select any, so that any of these nested rules I am about to create can apply in order for the song to appear in my playlist. First, maybe I want to limit the number of songs to only songs that were recorded in the 90s or later. So I am going to set this to Year is greater than, and I'll say 1989. But maybe I want to make an exception for The Beatles. If there are any Beatle songs that I have played less than 2 times I still want them to appear.

So add another rule here, among the nested ones, and I'll say Artist is The Beatles. So let's take a look at this again. First of all, for a song to appear in the Smart Playlist it has to be played less than 2 times. It can't be The Jellybricks. On top of that, the song either has to have been released after the year 1989 or the artist has to be The Beatles. I'll click OK. So now I have a list of songs that were released during or after the year 1989 with the exception of The Beatles, which you can see right here.

In fact, let me right-click on my header area and choose Year and you can see these are all in the 90s or later with the exception of The Beatles. So as you can see you can get very specific with Smart Playlists. Also, you're free to edit any of these pre-existing Smart Playlists as well or even delete them if you don't need them. For example, look at the Recently Added playlist. If I right-click on that choose Edit Smart Playlist, I can see the rules here say that the date added to my iTunes Library is in the last 3 weeks.

Media Kind is not Podcas, so basically anything that's been added to my iTunes Library in the past 3 weeks that is not a podcast will appear in the Smart Playlist or maybe I want to see everything that's been added including podcasts. So I'll click minus, to get rid of that rule, click OK and then if I had any podcasts that are been added in the past 3 weeks they would appear in this list. So I just wanted to show you, you can edit the Smart Playlists that appear by default in your iTunes Library. And that's how you work with Smart Playlists in iTunes 10.

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