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Create Smart Playlists

Creating playlists by hand is great when you want to pick specific songs for your mix, but with Smart Playlists, you can have iTunes automatically fill your playlist based on the rules you choose. For example, you can make a Smart Playlist of jazz music, your highest rated songs, songs you haven’t played in a long time, or songs that you’ve recently purchased.



Tips

Limit the length of a playlist

If you want to use a Smart Playlist to create a CD, and want to make sure all the songs will fit on one CD, you can have iTunes create a compilation of songs that will fit perfectly on a CD. To limit the length of a playlist, simply choose the "Limit to" option and set it to 70 minutes for an audio CD, or 650 MB for a MP3 or data CD.

Create a Smart Playlist based on more than one rule

If you want to hear all the songs from a particular artist that were recorded between 1990 and 2000, for example, you can easily create a Smart Playlist to collect all those songs in one place. To create a playlist using multiple rules, simply click the plus sign button when creating a Smart Playlist. You can add as many rules as you want to get the perfect combination of songs.

Quickly create a Smart Playlist

You can also create a Smart Playlist by holding down the Shift key (Windows) or Option key (Mac)and then clicking the gear button in the lower-left corner of the iTunes window. In the window that appears, create a rule and then click OK. If there are any songs that match the rule you created, they will be added automatically to the playlist.

Smart Playlist based on another Smart Playlist

If you want to create a Smart Playlist that’s a little more complex, you can create a new Smart Playlist using an existing Smart Playlist as one of your rules. For example, you might want to listen to only "Alternative" and "Rock" songs that you’re rated with four or more stars. Start by creating a new Smart Playlist that finds all songs with genre set to "Alternative" or "Rock". Make sure you choose "any" from the Match pop-up menu at the top of the window. Now create a new Smart Playlist. Select "Playlist" from the first pop-up menu, select "is" from the next pop-up menu, and then select the Smart Playlist you just created from the list of playlists in your library. Click the + button to add a new rule. Choose "My Rating" from the first pop-up menu, "is greater than" from the next pop-up menu, and then click the third dot from the field provided. When you’re finished, click OK. Your new Smart Playlist will find both "Alternative" and "Rock" songs you’ve rated with four or more stars.

Steps

Create a Smart Playlist of your favorite rock songs

  1. From the File menu, choose New Smart Playlist.
  2. Choose "Genre" from the first pop-up menu.
  3. Choose "contains" from the next pop-up menu.
  4. Type "Rock" in the field provided. Notice as you type, genres in your library are filled in for you.
  5. Click the + button to add a new rule.
  6. Choose "My Rating" from the first pop-up menu.
  7. Choose "is greater than" from the next pop-up menu.
  8. Select a rating of three stars by clicking the third dot in the field provided. With this rule, iTunes will select songs that you’ve rated with four or five stars.
  9. If you want to limit your playlist to a certain number of songs, ensure the "Limit to" option is checked and type the number of songs you want.
  10. Ensure "Live updating" is checked, and then click OK.
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