Tag Archives: playlist

iTunes: Last Played feature

There’s over 2,000 songs in my anime and jpop playlist that I want to hear but my iPod keeps playing the same songs over and over.  The Shuffle feature doesn’t seem to help either.  I’ve played around with the Last Played feature and achieved the desired results.

Create a Smart Playlist with the Last Played and “is not in the last” option.  Go back in time as far as possible then stop where there is still music.  This is your first playlist.  It may only have a few songs–songs you haven’t heard in the longest time.  Your first few playlists will be sparse.  Keep adjusting the time forward to keep songs in your playlist.  The drawback to this playlist is having to adjust it.

iTunes Last Played

iTunes: Play selected albums more often from any playlist

headphonesSay you want to listen to your soundtrack playlist but have music from Interstella5555 play more often.  This tweak will give certain albums more play from any playlist.

Features

  • Randomly selects tracks from playlist
  • Sets a ratio of playlist versus selected albums
  • Playlist refreshes on next play excluding tracks just played

Steps

  1. Create a new smart playlist
  2. Select “Playlist” then “is” then select your playlist
  3. Click the plus symbol and on the next line select “Last Played” then select “is not in the last” then enter 1 then select “days” (skip this step if you don’t have enough songs)
  4. Check the check box before “Limit to” and then enter a number (i.e. 100) then select “random” and click OK.

Create a smart genre

  1. Create a new smart playlist with album to be played more often
  2. Select “Album” then “is” then enter the name of the album
  3. Click the plus symbol and on the next line add a required rating (optional only if tracks are rated)
  4. Click the plus symbol and on the next line select “Last Played” then select “is not in the last” then enter 1 then select “days” (skip this step if you don’t have enough songs)
  5. Check the check box before “Limit to” and then enter a number (i.e. 25) then select “random” and click OK
  6. Repeat these steps (6-10) to add more albums (optional)

create smart albums

  1. Lastly, create another smart playlist.  This will be the one you actually play.
  2. Select “Playlist” then “is” then select playlist created in step 1-4
  3. Click the plus symbol and on the next line, select “Playlist”  then “is” then select playlist created in step step 6-11. Repeat this step as needed if you created additional playlists
  4. On the top line select “any” before “of the following rules”
  5. Leave the check box before “Limit to” unchecked and click OK

Create smart more-plays playlist

Tip

To adjust the ratio of your genre versus specific album(s) adjust “Limit to” number for each. For example setting an equal number would create a 1:1 ratio.

iTunes: Tagging your songs for creative playlists

Say you want to make a playlist out of all your j-pop CDs but not all of them have the j-pop genre.  Right-click on an album or a track and select Get Info.  In the comments box add your tag “jpop.”  I would use letters and numbers only with no spaces.  If you would like to add a another tag for anime soundtrack add “animesoundtrack.”  You don’t need commas between your tags just leave a space, “jpop animesoundtrack.”

Edit Info box

Simple Playlist

Now you can create a playlist from your tags.  On the toolbar select File then select New Smart Playlist. On the first drop down box select Comments.  On the next drop down box select “contains” then type your tag in the box.  If you would like to add multiple tags, click the + button then repeat the previous step as needed (make sure to change the “all” button to “any”).

Simple tagged smart playlist

Best of Playlist

To make a “best of” playlist you’ll have to rate tracks first then make a smart playlist.  On the toolbar select File then select New Smart Playlist.  On the first drop down box select Rating.  iTunes will automatically make this 5 stars.  Next, click the ellipsis button to add your tags.  On the next drop down box select Comments.  On the following drop down box select “contains” then type your tag in the box.  If you would like to add multiple tags, click the + button then repeat the previous step as needed. Make sure to change the “all” button above your tags to “any.”  Compare your options with my example below.

"Best of" tagged playlist

Exporting your itunes playlist to the Web

Note: Requires MS Excel and Dreamweaver

  1. Select the playlist in iTunes by clicking on it.  Right-click and select “Export…” from the pop-up menu.
  2. Save as a text file .txt
  3. Import the text file in Excel (I’m using Office 2010).  Choose delimited and select unicode UTF-8 as the file origin IF you have a foreign language like Japanese.  Click finish.
  4. Delete any columns you like.  You will need a plug-in for Excel to create an xml and xsd file.  Go to this Microsoft page.  Follow the instructions on that page.
  5. In Dreamweaver click the Spry tab and click the Spry Data Set icon.
  6. Select XML as the data set.  Browse the the XML file you created with Excel.  Dreamweaver will also ask you for the xsd file you created with Excel.  You’ll be walked through a wizard.  Make sure and choose the options you want (i.e. sortable columns).
  7. Upload the files to your site.

Here is an anime music playlist I created.  Clicking the table headers lets you sort the column data.

Tips:

  1. To change iTunes bytes column to megabytes create a new column and enter the following formula =ROUND((D2/1024/1024),1) where “D2″ equals your first cell with bytes. When your cursor changes to a thin plus sign drag that formula into all the cells below. Format the new column as text.  Copy and past it again using the values option.  Delete the original bytes column and the 1st column you created.
  2. To change iTunes seconds column to mm:ss create a new column and enter the following formula =INT(E2/60)&”:”&INT(MOD(E2,60)) where E2 contains the first cell with seconds.  Use the same instructions above to populate and delete columns.  Unfortunately, using this method will not allow you to properly sort this column so keep it as seconds if you want to sort it.  What I did was sorting the data by time before editing then leave “sort column” as “none” using the wizard for a default time sort.
  3. Remember to format your number cells as numbers so they properly sort.
  4. You can also use Google Docs if you don’t have your own site.  You can skip the XML steps that way too. :)