Advanced Smart Playlists | iLounge Article


Advanced Smart Playlists

Ask iLounge offers readers the opportunity to get answers to their iPod-, iPhone-, iPad-, iTunes-, or Apple TV-related questions from a member of the iLounge editorial team. We'll answer several questions here each week, and of course, you can always get help with more immediate concerns from the iLounge Discussion Forums. Submit your questions for consideration using our Ask iLounge Submit Form. We reserve the right to edit questions for grammar, spelling, and length.

View the complete Ask iLounge archives...

Q: I’m trying to set up a smart playlist of my four- and five-star rated Morrissey and The Smiths songs. I am of course able to set up one Artist with a rating range but when I add the second artist and the subcategory I come up with no hits. Played around with all my any/all settings and nothing seems to work. What am I doing wrong?

- Adam

A: Prior to iTunes 9 it would have been necessary to create a secondary Smart Playlist to handle this, since in those earlier versions you couldn’t mix both AND and OR criteria in a single Smart Playlist—you were forced to either match ALL criteria or ANY criteria listed in the Smart Playlist. Since a single track can’t be by two different artists, a request to match ALL criteria with more than one artist listed would never match any tracks at all, and switching to use ANY criteria would match too many tracks.

Fortunately, iTunes 9 introduced the ability to create multi-layered Smart Playlists, allowing you to mix different criteria in the same Smart Playlist. The secret to this is to add a new criteria group by clicking the ellipsis button at the left of the first criteria line, which will add a secondary criteria group. You can actually nest criteria up to five levels deep and there is no practical limit to how many criteria groups you can have at each level, allowing you to create extremely complex Smart Playlists.

A Smart Playlist similar to the following should do what you want:

Note that if you’re still using an older version of iTunes, the best idea is to simply upgrade to iTunes 9 or later so you can create these more complex Smart Playlists. If for some reason you absolutely need to remain on an older version then you will need to setup a Smart Playlist to group your Morrissey and The Smiths tracks (using match ANY) and then another Smart Playlist to select all tracks in the first Smart Playlist and select the rating (using match ALL).


« Music videos play audio only

Transferring iTunes to another user account »

Related Stories

iLounge Weekly

Recent News

Recent Reviews

Recent Articles

Sign up for the iLounge Weekly Newsletter

iLounge is an independent resource for all things iPod, iPhone, iPad, and beyond.
iPod, iPhone, iPad, iTunes, Apple TV, Mac, and the Apple logo are trademarks of Apple Inc.
iLounge is © 2001 - 2018 iLounge, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Terms of Use | Privacy Policy