Favorite, Interesting, Unique Playlists?
October 3, 2005 12:58 PM   Subscribe

What nifty playlists do you have in iTunes or for your iPod?

Now that I finally have my 12,000 iPod-worthy tracks tagged correctly by year and genre, I've been playing with playlists. What are some unique playlists you have? I have a "Best of" by decade, "Best of" by genre, Best of (90s) Seattle Sound, subgenre playlists (bop, old school rap, turntablism, cool jazz, soul jazz, paisley underground, trip-hop), local rock, my entire playlist in chronological order, "Cowbell Fever," artist retrospectives (ie Tweedy's work from Uncle Tupelo through Wilco), murder ballads, Sun Records, and "You're In High School Again" (music from my high school years).

What are some of your more interesting or unique playlists?
posted by keswick to Media & Arts (21 answers total)
I'm a playlist dork, i like to make topical lists. for instance:
I am Superman (songs about superman and/or clark kent)
Everyday I Write the Book (songs about writers, writing, and books)
Start of Brand New Hipser Generation (songs that mention hips)

it's really kind of fun. plus i have the obligatory, 'i'm so lonely i could die' playlist as well as the 'he broke my heart and made me cry' list.
posted by jodic at 1:08 PM on October 3, 2005 [1 favorite]

Hopefully you have upgraded to iTunes 5, where nested playlists are a possibility.

Some of my stranger playlists include one with girls names as song titles, place names, weather conditions, seasons, and a monthly top ~20 I make each month of songs I like at that moment. iTunes 5 has let me file these away a little bit better, but it's great for instant nostalgia.
posted by sdrawkcab at 1:11 PM on October 3, 2005

Oh, and I totally have the Superman playlist jodic mentions.. Also songs from movies.
posted by sdrawkcab at 1:12 PM on October 3, 2005

I have one called Songs for the MotherFuckin Train....because I mostly listen to my iPod on the subway every morning for work.

I also have one called Latest where I just rotate new songs (new to ME being the key criteria) I've purchased or burned. That way if I always want to hear the latest stuff, I don't have to dig through my entire collection.
posted by spicynuts at 1:17 PM on October 3, 2005

I have a 70's playlist which tends to weird some folks out when they hear it. Not only are there the "classic rock" staples, there are also doses of early punk/new wave in there. A lot of folk don't realize bands like Talking Heads, Ramones, etc. started recording as early as '75 or so. And Iggy goes even further back.
Kind of nice to juxtapose some Pink Floyd with the Sex Pistols.
posted by Thorzdad at 1:21 PM on October 3, 2005

I'd also recommend doing some smart playlists - I use one called "New, but . . ." where I pick up everything that I've purchased or imported from a certain date with a play count less than 5.

Lots of variations on that possible.
posted by cptnrandy at 1:27 PM on October 3, 2005

I tag my music with sets of keywords as I rip or download it. I then just set up smart playlists to do the work. I do have a number of manually created playlists, but I do like the sometimes surprising results that a clever smart playlist can yield.

Coast to Coast - a playlist with U.S. State, city or place names that figure prominently in the song or its title.
Folk Fatale - All Women Folk Artists.
Kids Today - new music.
Life on Liquid Glass - All my Phillip Glass and Laurie Anderson
My Old Kentucky Home - Songs about the Bluegrass State and/or by Kentucky songwriters (there are more than you think).
The Uncanny X-mas - holiday music, focusing on choral music.
posted by Verdant at 1:27 PM on October 3, 2005

I had a playlist that I think I called "Chill Out" - but it was songs that were about taking life less seriously, not mellow songs. Great to listen to everytime I got too torn up about life in general.

And I had a couple for moods depending on the day or time - "Afternoon", "Sunday Night", Friday Night Going Out", etc. since I know there are certain songs I listen to only at certain times. And, of course, the obligatory playlist for running.

Sadly, in the reconfiguring of my computer, I lost all my playlists.
posted by bibbit at 1:30 PM on October 3, 2005

I have a smart playlist set to bpm != 0 and a dashboard widget to tag tracks with bpm.
posted by rfordh at 1:44 PM on October 3, 2005

I use "least recently played" to figure out what it's time to delete. I have a few keywords that I like to cast a wide net with [mash-up, cover, non-usa] and then there are a few like "hip songs for sleepy babies" for the dozens of new-parent friends I have, as well as "sea shanties" "there's nothign wrong with the banjo" and a few lists that are just as many versions of a particular song as I can find [rocky top, shady grove, butcher boy, house carpenter, jolene] which have limited application but are the perfect thing once in a while.
posted by jessamyn at 1:44 PM on October 3, 2005

My favorite is my Recent Picks playlist, which includes everything I've put on daily playlists for the last 4-5 months.

I also have a Master Playlist, which includes every song on any playlist.

Both are smart playlists.
posted by kdern at 1:51 PM on October 3, 2005

I keep a playlist of songs that I'd like to add to my iPod. Every week or so I find a great track hidden deep in an album that I don't really pay much attention to. It's a lot easier to update the iPod with cool stuff instead of just throwing my most played albums on there.

Also, when a bad song ends up on my iPod, I hit the center button a few times and give it a one-star rating so I'll remember to remove it the next time I update.

Other playlists: Happy Feel Good Mix, Road Trip, Songs for Stalking, and Sleep Dammit!
posted by idiotfactory at 2:03 PM on October 3, 2005

I have a Karaoke playlist. It's a smart playlist of all 5-star songs. It's basically a list of all of my favorite songs that I like sing.

I use the stars to sort out stuff in general. 5-stars is singable. 4-stars are just good danceable stuff. 3-stars is just good.
posted by CrazyJoel at 2:03 PM on October 3, 2005

Breakup songs, high school happy songs, new stuff, never listened (play count = 0), running music, happy music, songs to fall asleep, songs to cry.
posted by superkim at 2:05 PM on October 3, 2005

Aside from the standard playlists, I have a playlist for unrated songs and songs without a BPM associated with them.

In and of themselves they aren't sensible playlists, but once they're empty I can make other playlists based on those criteria, and know that the entire library is being leveraged.
posted by o2b at 2:29 PM on October 3, 2005

I make playlists very infrequently, but when I do, it's for occasions that need untended musical accompaniment.

For instance:

dinner music (for when families come over for dinner): nina smone, frank sinatra, nat king cole, some jeff buckly, very particular tom waits songs, ambient stuff, certain bjork songs

stuff like that.
posted by shmegegge at 2:31 PM on October 3, 2005

Response by poster: Okay, I'll bite:

What are the qualifications for a song to fall under "Songs for Stalking?"

And rfordh, where'd you find that widget?
posted by keswick at 3:36 PM on October 3, 2005

widgets @ dashboardwidgets.com

Meanwhile, Playlists, each in folders (which I wish my pod had these folders mirrored!)

Smart playlists:
Brand new - everything that's 30 days or less that isn't a podcast/comedy/speech
8 weeks
8 weeks with play (on the songs I have heard)
Four to Five starts
Recently played

Smart playlists for podcasts
Current podcasts
News names (NPR, ABC, KYW (local news station)
ABC only, KYW only, NPR only
Unheard Podcasts
Short podcasts (anyone else think that the podcasts that are >10 min are usually junk?)

Regular playlists
Based on emotion: Fun, Wakeup, Quiet, Relax, Relax2, Cleaning, Heavy Duty, Pick yourself up, Quiet Alternative, Upbeat and Upbeat 2

Workout Music
Playlists 1-15 all with aerobic starts and more intense music for weight training)
posted by filmgeek at 5:21 PM on October 3, 2005

I have a bunch of playlists which I use as bases to create playlists I listen to.

When I'm listening to a song, I try to rate it as well as add it to any of the following relevant playlists:
Chill Out 1, Chill Out 2, Chill Out 3, Danceable 1, Danceable 2, Danceable 3, Spaced Out, Morning, Low, Power Jams, Yacht Rock, Coming Down, Music. I also have a few playlists based on where the music is made, or if a concert, performed (Miami, New York). I then have a few playlists that use these.

The 1-3 on Chill Out and Danceable playlists relate to tempo, etc. because I realized early on that they were too big. The Music list excludes Comedy, Classical, Podcasts, and anything that I've listened to that does not have a rating (hip-hop skits, dialogue from soundtracks, etc.).

I use the Grouping area of the tag to indicate if the song has any number of the following characteristics: Acoustic, Session, Demo, Live. I use the Composer area to list if the song is a cover of someone else. A cute playlist can be made if you have a bunch of originals and covers back to back.

I have Smart Playlists set up to recognize members of groups after they've split. For example, one of these is called "The Pixies" and includes any song with the following artists: Pixies, Kim Deal, Breeders, Frank Black.

The point?
Other than to satisfy my OCD, I can put together some favorable playlists from these. For example, right now I'm listening to a playlist that has the following attributes: rating of 3 or more stars, after the year 1999, not listened to in the last 2 weeks, (this last part uses a few other playlists not mentioned) playlist is either Chill Out 2, 3 or Danceable 1.

Top on my wishlist is the ability to make a playlist that's, for example, 2 hours in length, made of 80% Danceable 3 and 20% Danceable 2.
posted by 7878ponce at 8:16 PM on October 3, 2005

I add keywords to songs such as: sleepy, sexy, morning, evening, groovy, energetic, etc. Then I make smart playlists based on that. One of the manual playlists I have is sunday morning music. Because sunday mornings are special.
posted by Skyanth at 12:12 AM on October 4, 2005

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