Playlisting and Shuffling

As someone who loves music and getting the most out of software, I decided to explain how I have set up smart filters in iTunes so that the iTunes DJ (aka Party Shuffle) randomly plays songs I probably haven’t heard but will also probably like.

Background info:

  • The music comes mostly from CDs ripped on my father’s computer and iTunes collection.
  • Stored on my Seagate terrabyte (1000GB) external hard drive, along with my photos, as my laptop is limited.
  • A mixture of bands  from those I know well to not at all.
  • Genres ranging from rock, punk and metal to ska, blues and classical.


I enjoy a lot of music but I am not always in the mood for 60s music (with old recording quality) or hard rock. So I have a GENERAL smart playlist which is my whole library exclusding music from certain normal playlists I have compiled such as BLUES and METAL. Regardless of the genre columns, if I find a song in GENERAL that belongs in BLUES, I drag it there and it also disappears from GENERAL. There is no overlap.

Then I created an Unrated ’70+ playlist. Conditions:

  • Playlist is GENERAL or  TRYOUT sort (not yet allocated to a genre playlist).
  • Rating is unrated
  • Year is greater than 1970.


My iTunes DJ is set up with Source as the Unrated ’70+ playlist.

I leave the DJ playing in the background while working on my laptop and if I notice a song I want to rate, I give it a 3 or 4 out of 5 usually. It will continue to play once rated, but because of the condition mentioned above it will disappear from Unrated ’70+ playlist and such will not play again in iTunes DJ.

So I get to listen to a lot of songs fitting in GENERAL and easy to listen to, and that I haven’t yet properly listened to and rated before. I figure that I want to spend more time listeing to songs I don’t know than just playing the songs rated 4 stars and above, which I get tired of if I listen to too often.


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