Radio Airtime Sourcing

My iTunes Smart Playlists, c. 2011

Five years ago, I wrote about my iTunes Smart Playlists set. Since then, more than a few changes have happened to iTunes, including Genius playlists and the renaming of Party Shuffle to iTunes DJ. Amazingly, I’m still largely using the setup I had five years ago. Here’s what I have feeding everything:

I found the filter necessary for a couple of reasons. Most importantly, I didn’t want to hear stuff that I’d skipped over, and I didn’t want to hear crappy music. The Christmas genre rule gets removed between the day after Thanksgiving and Christmas, but otherwise it stays gone. As for comedy tracks, I’m wanting to listen to music when I use this playlist. I choose to listen to comedy albums beginning-to-end, anyway. 1

Here’s the source for the filter:

There’s been consolidation. The cutoff of “Rolling 3 Months…” is “of Adds”. I went from a rolling month to a rolling quarter purely because I wasn’t adding music to the library as often. The only thing I’m really missing here is the Randomizer list; writing this has me considering re-instituting it.

The Rolling 3 Months list isn’t worth taking a screenshot. The only filter on it is that the Rating must be non-zero.

Great But Forgotten:

The main change here is the definition of “forgotten” from a five days to 90. I often use this as an iTunes DJ source playlist.2

Heavy Rotation:

This playlist is the main reason I reset my iTunes play counts on New Year’s Day. The play count can get skewed if there’s an album you listen to a ton. I’ve also had an album end up Heavy Rotation purely because I had it playing in iTunes with the sound muted. 3 Having a fresh start on the play count is a good thing. Heavy Rotation will tell you that I’ve spent a lot of time listening to Broken Bells and Radiohead this week.

Least Often Played:

The other thing that concerned me about resetting plays was that this playlist would become useless, but the Last Played data does stay intact. Very cool.

I don’t think 4-Star and 5-Star Albums require explanation.


  1. If you’re curious: Caliendo, Leary, Engvall, and that Blue Collar Comedy stuff. It makes me laugh. I can’t help it. 

  2. It was the source playlist while writing this. 

  3. I’ve taken to stopping iTunes rather than letting it play in the background and seeing Last.FM data. I don’t have a good answer as to why I was doing that before.