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Getting a good play list on the iPod

I have spent some time getting my ipod playlists to do what I want. Here is my current configuration and I suppose, until Apple add some more features, it will stay that way. I have a 3G iPod. This method was first covered in much less detail at my page on Totally Gourdgeous & Penelope Swales.

The intent of this play list is to make the ipod play the tunes I like more, more often.

To start I use all 6 options for my rating – no stars through to 5 stars.

No Stars is used for new items which I have loaded in from my CD collection or from a podcast.
1 star is used for music which is not to be stored on the ipod.
2 stars is used for radio shows which are only to play once.
3 to 5 stars are used for all the music. Music starts off at 3 stars and then if I like the song while listening to it on the ipod I increase the rating. Sometimes I grow weary of songs and decrease the rating.

To do this you need lots of play lists.

First there are 4 smart playlists. I call mine 2 capped, though to 5 capped. They have the following settings:

  • my rating is set to the number of stars equal to the play list number.
  • play count is less than a number. For 2 capped this number is 1. For the others the number varies over time. I will include a table later of the numeric progression I use.
  • The play list is set up to play the lease often played first, though this has no outcome on the final lists below.
  • Live updating is on.
  • Match is set to all.

I then create two play lists, one which includes the radio shows and one which does not. The play list is made up of the other play lists. 3+ capped is the first playlist.

  • playlist (1) is 3 capped
  • playlist (2) is 4 capped
  • playlist (3) is 5 capped
  • Limit to 99,999 songs so you can set the playlist to random.
  • Live updating is on.
  • Match is set to any.

To create the 3+ radio plat list just add a fourth playlist – 2 capped.

When the songs are playing I will move them up and down in star rating while they are playing. The only thing to consider here is not to use zero and 2 start ratings as they have special meanings. So the songs can slide up or down the scale 1-3-4-5 stars.

There are some drawbacks and side effects of this arrangement.

  • It relies on the play lists constantly restarting. This is normally true as I regularly update the podcasts.
  • New songs play more often than old ones.

The number sequence I use is below. I increment the numbers from time-to-time to keep a minimum number of songs in the playlist, equal to 1/3 of all my songs. I have shown the first cycle of the sequence. After this it repeats.

2 capped

3 capped

4 capped

5 capped

1

3

6

12

1

3

6

13

1

3

6

14

1

3

7

14

1

3

7

15

1

3

7

16

1

3

8

16

1

4

8

16

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