Setting priority in an iTunes playlist
August 14, 2006 9:54 PM   Subscribe

How do I set priority in an iTunes playlist?

I have a 4GB iPod mini. I'd like to auto-sync it with my iTunes, using the following progressive logic:

* First, copy over all my podcasts
* Then copy over all songs from a 'Current albums' list
* Then copy over all songs from a 'Current songs' list
* Fill the rest of the space with songs from a 'Top rated' smartlist

iTunes doesn't seem to support this kind of logic. The "Limit to" option in the Smart Playlist creation box will only allow me to sort by song metadata and not by, say, order of playlist. I've looked around for Applescripts, but to no avail. Any tips?
posted by sandor to Computers & Internet (6 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: Yeah, this is going to require a script. What you want to do is make the "Top Rated" smart playlist longer than it ever needs to be, then have a script that copies tracks from that to another (dumb) playlist up to the limit of the free space available on the iPod after taking the other three playlists into account, or deletes them if there's not enough room. Then sync the dumb playlist rather than the smart one. Of course you will have to run the script before you sync each time.
posted by kindall at 10:43 PM on August 14, 2006

As far as I know, it'll synch playlists in the order they appear in your preferences.

So, try making numbered playlists (1, 2, etc). In the first one, tell it to sync all podcasts (or synch your podcast playlist), in the second, tell it to link your current albums list, etc.
posted by dobbs at 10:45 PM on August 14, 2006

I think you can simply set up a smart playlist with a limit of the amount of space it takes up (I've a 2GB nano, so this is what I do). As others have said you can't I wonder if I'm reading the question wrong.

I have three smart playlists and a final playlist that is "Nano." The first playlist is for podcasts, which I limit to 1GB, then top rated and a "productivity" (music that I find keeps me working) list both limited to half that. I then pull each of them into the smart nano list which is limited to 2GB.
posted by bohdel at 3:45 AM on August 15, 2006

Response by poster: bohdel, the problem is that when I limit the list to 4GB, I need to chose what those 4GB of songs are selected by. The choices I get are random, genre, album, artists, genre, etc. Nothing that says "selected by the order of playlists in the playlist pane", which is what I'd want.

dobbs, I'll look into that. Thanks.

kindall, I like that idea, but I doubt I'm capable enough to write that script. Supposing I was -- is there anyway to automate the script so it runs every, say, 4 hours or so?
posted by sandor at 6:06 AM on August 15, 2006

This is an interesting idea, and I agree that it would probably need to be run through a script. If you've never seen "Doug's Applescripts", check it out. I didn't see anything there quite like this, but hey, he might like a challenge.

Automating a script to run every N units of time is easy, and there are numerous ways to do it. You could trigger it through iCal. You could set up a crontab. I think you could do it through Quicksilver.
posted by adamrice at 6:53 AM on August 15, 2006

You might put in a request to Those people know their way around an iPod.
posted by feaverish at 3:47 PM on August 15, 2006

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