Warning: The following is potentially boring, if you get bored by these sorts of things.
I've had serious problems with iTunes for a while now--it's big and clunky and a little hard to figure out. There are still things about it that I don't like, but I've just recently come to appreciate it's more subtle features. I got that new iPod the other month, and it's been great. I'm getting tired of listening to Janice Joplin, however. No matter how good she was, I have three or four of her albums, and almost all of them have a different version of "Get it While You Can". Ok, I got it. While I could. Message received.
The problem was that the iPod Shuffle is damn near random--it never grabs exactly the same song twice, but it would happily choose thirty songs by the same artist if that's how it's little dice rolled. So, following the advice of a person on Slashdot I set up three smart playlists, and started to realize how cool iTunes can be:
- Playlist 1 chooses 128 megs of music (about 25 songs, give or take) that haven't been played in the last five days and that I rated three stars or higher. So this is music that I know is good, but haven't heard in a few days.
- That can get boring, though, because if I've rated something at all it's probably a song that I've had for a while a know fairly well. So Playlist 2 is 384 megs (80 songs or so) of music that are:
- less than 10 minutes long
- not from the "Tone Groups for Jazz Ear Training" CD, or potentially any other not-suitable-for-normal-use music
- haven't been played in three days.
Finally, Playlist 3 is 512 megs (the capacity of my iPod) of music that is either:
- a song on Playlist 1
- a song on Playlist 2
- or a song with the title "Your Ice Cream is Ready"