Home > Articles > Home & Office Computing > Entertainment/Gaming/Gadgets

  • Print
  • + Share This
From the author of

Tip #3: Create Smart Playlists

Believe it or not, not all users know how to create music playlists in iTunes. A playlist is, of course, a collection of tracks that you've grouped together for a particular reason. You can listen to playlists within iTunes or on your iPod, and you can use playlists to determine which songs are copied to your iPod or burned to CD.

To create a standard playlist, all you have to do is select File > New Playlist to create a new "untitled playlist" item in the Playlists section of the Source pane. Double-click this item and enter a title for the playlist; then select Music in the Library section of the Source pane. Select the songs you want to add to the playlist, and then drag them onto the name of the playlist in the Source pane. Voilà! You now have a playlist of the songs you selected.

Even easier is a Smart Playlist, which automatically creates a playlist based on criteria you select. For example, you might want to create a playlist of your favorite soul singers, or music released in a given year, or even dance tracks at a specific tempo. All you have to do is define the rules, and iTunes will find the matching tracks and use them to create a new playlist.

To create a Smart Playlist, select File > New Smart Playlist. When the Smart Playlist dialog box appears, define a new rule that follows the form field > matches > keyword. Pull down the first list box to define the field (Album, Artist, Genre, and so on); pull down the second list box to define the match (contains, does not contain, starts with, ends with, and so forth); then enter one or more keywords into the final text box. For example, to include all songs by Frank Sinatra, select Artist > contains > Frank Sinatra.

To define another rule for this playlist, click the + button next to the first rule. This displays another set of selection controls. Repeat the steps just above to add the new rule, and then repeat the entire procedure to add even more rules for this playlist.

When you're done defining the criteria for your Smart Playlist, select whether you want songs to match Any or All of the rules you just created. To limit the size of the playlist, check the Limit To option and enter the number of items desired. And to keep this playlist updated when you add new items to your music library, check the Live Updating option. Click OK when done.

iTunes will now search your music library for items that match the rules you've defined and then create the new playlist. (The playlist is initially labeled "untitled playlist," so you'll need to select it in the Source pane and give it a proper name.)

  • + Share This
  • 🔖 Save To Your Account