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.
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?
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).
- Will removing a credit card from Safari also remove it from Apple Pay?
- Can I mute Handoff calls coming into my Mac from my iPhone?
- How do I keep my iPhone calls from ringing on my Mac?
- Why doesn’t Traffic show up on my Today Notifications Screen?
- Why doesn’t my iPhone reconnect to Wi-Fi after I turn it on?
- Why can’t I see the iPad-style landscape view on my iPhone 6 Plus?
- Apple partners with SAP for mobile enterprise solutions
- Apple adds Accessibility section to its online store
- LAPD hacked into iPhone 5s for murder investigation
- More details emerge on Apple Music overhaul
- iPhone tops Time’s list of most influential gadgets
- Kohl’s integrates rewards system with Apple Pay
- Apple hires ex-Nest exec to aid in health initiatives
- Apple loses exclusive ‘iPhone’ trademark in China
- Apple to reveal ‘sweeping changes’ to Apple Music interface at WWDC
- Apple releases fourth developer betas for iOS 9.3.2, tvOS 9.2.1
- August Doorbell Cam
- August Smart Lock HomeKit enabled + Smart Keypad
- ecobee3 HomeKit-enabled smart Wi-Fi thermostat
- Zagg Now Cam
- Yantouch EyE Portable Wireless Speaker
- Netatmo Wind Gauge
- Incipio Stashback for iPhone 6/6s
- Schlage Sense Smart Deadbolt with HomeKit support
- ClamCase ClamCase Pro for iPad mini 4
- Brydge BrydgeMini II Keyboard for iPad mini 4
- Filling the Gap: A look at third-party HomeKit apps
- Instant Expert: Secrets & Features of tvOS 9.2
- Instant Expert: Secrets & Features of iOS 9.3
- Opinion: Why Apple needs a dedicated HomeKit app
- Inside the betas: What’s new in iOS 9.3 and tvOS 9.2 (Updated)
- Life with HomeKit: Our experiences with Apple’s home automation system
- Under the Radar: 10 ‘hidden’ details about the new Apple TV
- Instant Expert: Secrets & Features of iOS 9.0
- Under the Radar: A closer look at smaller iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus changes
- A First Look at iOS 9’s Transit in Apple Maps (Updated for watchOS 2)