Advanced Smart Playlists in iTunes 9


Q: I have a Smart Playlist setup to choose music that was not played in the last 30 days and is in my Party playlist. Now I want to add another playlist criteria to this Smart Playlist, but when I add “Playlist is Beach Music” it only shortens the list to show songs that in in both playlists. How can you select from multiple playlists to play in a Smart Playlist?

Advanced Smart Playlists in iTunes 9

– Russ

A: Prior to iTunes 9 this required that you actually set up two Smart Playlists. The first would select your music from either Party OR Beach Music (match ANY condition) and the second would then select all music from the first Smart Playlist that hadn’t been played in the past 30 days (match ALL conditions). This was necessary as you could only specify that a Smart Playlist match ALL criteria or ANY criteria, but not a mixture of both.

Fortunately, iTunes 9 now provides more complex Smart Playlist options, and you can nest multiple layers of different conditions without having to resort to intermediate Smart Playlists. When creating a Smart Playlist in iTunes 9, you can add an additional criteria group simply by clicking on the ellipsis button which appears to the right of the minus button. You can then specify that the ANY or ALL of the rules in that sub-group must be matched, and then that matching condition combined with the next highest grouping. You can even nest these groupings several layers deep. A Smart Playlist like the following would likely meet your requirements:


This essentially says that the Smart Playlist will select all music that has not been played in the last 30 days AND is in either the Party playlist OR the Beach Music playlist.


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Jesse Hollington

Jesse Hollington was a Senior Editor at iLounge. He's written about Apple technology for nearly a decade and had been covering the industry since the early days of iLounge. In his role at iLounge, he provided daily news coverage, wrote and edited features and reviews, and was responsible for the overall quality of the site's content.