iPod Week – Day 2

Hello! It’s nice to see all of you again! One of the first features new iTunes users pick up on is playlists. Everyone likes to create a playlist of their favorite songs, their workout songs, kid songs and so on. But a feature that is often overlooked is Smart Playlists. To get you to understand the idea behind Smart Playlists, I want you to imagine how great it would be if you could set up a few rules to automatically select songs that match those rules and instantly have a playlist of your favorite songs from the 1980s or maybe some songs in your library you’ve only listened to a few times. Sound good? Well, today, I’m going to show you how to do just that. Let’s go!

1.) To get started, open up iTunes 7.

2.) Select File, followed by New Smart Playlist.

3.) This box will then appear:

4.) As you can see, the Smart Playlist is asking for a rule to match up with, as I mentioned before. Click on the first drop down box so that you can see what kind of rules you can set.

5.) You have nearly 40 choices! You can sort by artist, genre, year, rating, times played, album, name and so much more. To give you an idea of how this works, let’s give the Smart Playlist feature a try.

6.) From the first drop down box, select Year. Leave the second drop down box as is. Finally, in the third drop down box, type in a year of music you like. I typed in 1979.

7.) Click OK and a playlist will be generated. Pretty cool, huh?! At the bottom of the screen, you can see how many songs are in the playlist you just created.

8.) Now, right click on the playlist you created (called “Untitled Playlist”) and select Edit Smart Playlist.

9.) In the middle drop down box, select “Is in the range of” and put two years. Then click OK.

10.) The playlist will then update to match your specifications. Now see how many songs you have:

When you widen the criteria, more songs will be added. Neat, don’t you think?! Now, let’s narrow the rule down.

11.) Edit the playlist once more. This time, press the + (plus) button and a new rule line will appear.

In the first drop down box, select Genre. Set the second one to “Is” and in the third box, type a genre of music you like.

12.) Check out the number of songs you have now:

13.) To get better at creating Smart Playlists, you just need to keep experimenting with it. Keep trying different things and you’ll be a playlist pro in no time at all!

Now, I’m going to show you a few of my favorite Smart Playlists I think you’ll enjoy!

1.) Holiday Playlist – When you’re in the holiday spirit and want to hear your favorite carols all in one place, give this Smart Playlist a spin:

2.) Favorite Songs of the Year – Every year, many of us add several songs to our iTunes library; some we really like and some we don’t care as much for. This playlist will give you your favorite songs of the year by looking at the number of times you have listened to each song.

3.) Unheard Songs – This is the last Smart Playlist I have for you today and it’s quite simple, but I love it. We all have songs on our computer that we have never listened to. Well, you can use this playlist to discover some of the hidden treasures you have already downloaded!

Now, go on and create some awesome Smart Playlists. I’ll talk to you all tomorrow!

~ Neil Patel