Creating Smart Playlists

In this lesson for iTunes on the Mac, we look at Smart Playlists. With Smart Playlists, iTunes will automatically add our media, such as music or podcasts, to playlist based on specific rules or criteria.

Creating a Smart Playlist
To create a Smart Playlist, we go up to File in the menu bar while in iTunes. One of the options under New is Smart Playlist. When we select this, a new window will open. In this window is where we add our rules that we want our smart playlist to be built with.

Let’s say you want to create a playlist with songs that you’ve played 5 or more times in it, you’ll first select Music for the type. From there you select Artist, you’ll see all the options you have when you click on Artist for creating a Smart Playlist. To go with our playlist of 5 or more times, you’d select Plays. Then in the next field, you’d choose Greater Than and then type a 4. To wrap it up, you’ve just create a rule that selects all the songs that have been played 5 or more times.

You can also set a limit to how many songs are included in your playlist. This is helpful if you want to put list playlist on your iPhone and you do not want to take up too much space.

If you want to playlist to be continually updated, then keep Live Updating selected. This will continually update the playlist. As an example, when you play another song 5 or more times, it will automatically be added to your playlist. If you deselect this, your smart playlist will not be updated.

Once you are finished creating your rules, you click on OK. You will have a new playlist that has all your music that has been played 5 or more times.

Adding More Rules
To edit a Smart Playlist, you control-click on the playlist in the sidebar. Hold down the control key and click on it. A menu will show, select Edit Rules. When you do this, a window will open up with your existing rules. To add a new rule, you click on the plus symbol to the right. You’ll see a new field will be added to the Smart Playlist window.

When you are looking at your playlist, you can also edit the ruled by going to Edit Rules at the top of your playlist.

Matching All or Any of your Rules
When you have multiple rules, you’ll have a new option – you can match your media for All of your rules, or Any of your rules.

When you select Match All, all of your rules will need to be matched for your media to be included in your smart playlist. So if you have a rule for played 5 or more times and another rule for artist Lorde. The only songs that will show are going to be Lorde songs that have been played 5 or more times.

When you select Match Any, any of your rules need to be matched for your media to be included. So back to your rule of 5 or more times and artist Lorde. If Any is selected, all the songs that have been played 5 or more times will show, regardless of if they are from the artist Lorde or not. Also, all the Lorde songs will be included regardless of if they have been played 5 or more times.

So when you add multiple rules, make sure you get the Match right for what you want in your Smart Playlist.

See this Lesson in Action
If you want to see this lesson in action, take a look at the video above.

Lesson tags: Mac Tutorials
Back to: Tutor for iTunes for the Mac > Working with Playlists