Sam Brown

Smart Playlists

A very nifty feature in iTunes that I’d heard about but never looked at or played with is Smart Playlists. They are created by going to the File menu then New Smart Playlist, not by pressing the Plus sign at the bottom left had side of iTunes, that will create a regular playlist.

There are already Smart Playlists set-up within iTunes and on your iPod when you install it, Top Rated, Recently Played, and Top 25 Most Played. Here is the first of many Smart Playlists I have started creating:


Why did I create this playlist? I have well over 2000+ songs on my iPod, that is over 6 days of consecutive music, a lot of which I have never listened to before. Infact, about 40% of the music I have on my iPod I haven’t heard.

What does this playlist do? This Smart Playlist adds 25 songs with a play count of 0, randomly to a playlist with Live Updating turned on. But you knew that already cause you looked at the image!

So whenever I listen to my iPod and listen to my new Never Played playlist I get to listen to music I have never heard before.. not only that, but because Live Updating is on once I have listend to those 25 songs for example, the playlist gets updated with a new randomly chosen selection of 25 songs that have never been played before either. Brilliant.

The possiblities are endless. The dropdowns that you see in the image are huge, and the Plus or Minus conditions beside allow you to set multiple rules so you can create complex Smart Playlists such as only Easy Listening from the 1990’s, or Rock from the 1960’s that lasts longer then 3minutes or even Dance music that has greater than 120BPM (beats per minute) from the year 2001.

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Sam Brown co-founded Iterate, and was previously VP of Design at Foursquare. Based in NYC.