My first Playlist that I will share with you is about queuing up music to be played.
This kind of playlist may not be necessary if 1) you don’t believe in rating your music, and 2) you don’t have that many songs to queue. I have over 20,000 songs, so managing what I am going to play requires some planning. Also, being a bit of a obsessive type I find organizing things to be a source of enjoyment for me. 😉
First of all, create a Playlist in iTunes by going File > New Smart Playlist, then name it. I called mine ‘Rating Queue”.
iTunes prompts you with a new window asking how you want to filter the music in your Smart playlist. Use the following filters:
1) Plays is less than 2 (This is important since I listen to songs at least twice when I rate them. Sometimes, I will rate a song as soon as I hear it, other times it will be the second go around).
2) Media is Music (this filters out movies and podcasts and audio books).
It will look like this:
Now, if you have thousands of songs, your new Smart playlist will have thousands of songs to queue and rate.
Next, you create a second Playlist, by going File > New Playlist, then name it. I called mine ‘Selected Rating Queue’ which is a manual Playlist (it is not a Smart Playlist as it has no filters) and this is an important distinction as you will soon see.
So now you will have two playlists: A Smart Playlist called ‘Rating Queue’ filled with all of your songs, and a standard Playlist called ‘Selected Rating Queue’ that is empty.
Clicking on the ‘Rating Queue’ Smartlist brings up our entire library of music. Because of the filters there will be no movies, audio books, or podcasts. Also, since we have not played any of these songs they are pure, virgin music that is waiting to be listened to. 🙂
Each Playlist has its own window that you can adjust and sort by as you see fit. I sort the ‘Rating Queue’ by Date Added, but you can sort by whatever you want by clicking on the sort column you wish.
With our Smart Playlist sorted, we can move the songs over the manual Playlist.
Using the mouse and shift key, I select the songs I want to listen to. I then drag the selected songs into the ‘Selected Rating Queue’ list (the 2nd manual list we created). Alternatively, you can right click on the selection and then send them to the list that way.
Clicking on the ‘Selected Rating Queue’ we now have a portion of our library for us to add to our iPod, listen to, and then rate. Because it is a manual list, it is dependent on what you add and remove from it.
Plug in your iPod and add the ‘Selected Rating Queue’ Playlist to your device. Take the device and enjoy the music. Don’t forget to rate it! Here is a suggested guide for how to rate your music. Don’t add your ‘Rating Queue’ Smart Playlist to your iPod because that just adds all of the songs. The goal here is the organize your play queue to be manageable.
When you have listened to and rated the music, you reconnect your iPod to get the next batch of songs. What happens is that because you played your songs twice or as often as you wanted, you will see the ‘Rating Queue’ get smaller because those songs are now considered to have been played and hopefully rated. It is possible to build in a more complicated filter in the Smart Playlist to require you to rate your music before it is taken out of the queue, but I am assuming that you rate your music happily and consistently.
Clicking on your ‘Selected Rating Queue’ list you will see the songs you listened to, and you will also see the number of plays have increased. It is at this time, that I remove these songs by selecting them and hitting ‘delete’. Don’t worry, you are just removing those songs from the playlist, not from your library.
So now you have rinsed the manual playlist clean, time to go back to the queue and repeat the cycle.
Congratulations, you have just found out how to now organize your music so you can listen to it in a systematic way. Next we will talk about how rating our music can create a better listening experience for you.