Q: I was just wondering if it were possible to set up a playlist that show what your top 25 songs were over the past week. I could only get it to show songs with the highest total playcount that just happened to be played in the last week.
A: As you’ve found, iTunes simply lacks the ability to do lists like this, since the program only records the total number of play counts and the last time the song was played – it doesn’t record date stamps for each play count.
One way to analyze your listening habits is through an external program that links to a web-based statistics system, like Last.fm. This site tracks your listening habits, shows you your most played music in the last week, month, and year, and can also recommend similar music to you. However neat these statistics may be, however, there’s a fundamental problem with this solution for most of iLounge’s readers: they’ll only track the music you listen to in iTunes; the music you listen to on the iPod is ignored. If you want time-sensitive “top played” charts to monitor your own habits, Last.fm is one of the best ways to do it, but – as always – we’ll all have to wait and see if Apple expands iTunes’ statistics capabilities with an optimal solution. (Edit: Correction – alternate Last.fm clients iScrobbler (Mac) and iSproggler (PC), have the capability to “scrobble,” or publish, your listening habits directly from an iPod as well as from iTunes. Thanks.)