Non random randomness.
April 7, 2007 10:50 PM   Subscribe

How can I configure a Smart Playlist in iTunes to play songs randomly but, should it randomly select one particular album comprised of three songs, that it plays that one album in the order intended?

I just downloaded an EP by Australian 'supergroup' The Wrights, which features their cover of what is arguably one of the greatest rock songs ever made, Evie. For those who don't know the song, Evie is actually comprised of three separate songs that must be played in order for the narrative to make sense.

My problem is as follows.

I recently created an 'Ultimate' MP3 playlist for my iPod in the style described here. So far it has worked perfectly for me when I'm out and about, with my iPod randomly picking nothing but excellent songs from a larger selection of over 1000 MP3s.

I want to configure a smart playlist that will be selected randomly by my iPod but, on those occasions when it does select to play the album, I want it to play the tracks of the album in the order originally intended.

In other words, how can I configure a Smart Playlist to do this;

iPod plays Random songs --> iPod randomly selects this EP and plays songs in exact order of track 1, 2, 3 --> iPod goes back to playing random songs once EP is done.
posted by Second Account For Making Jokey Comments to Media & Arts (7 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I hack those playlists around quite a bit, and I don't think what you're asking is possible.

My solution would be to splice those three mp3s into one long track - problem solved.
posted by chrisamiller at 11:09 PM on April 7, 2007

I'm not exactly sure if this is what you're asking, but you can set the iPod to shuffle albums instead of songs. Look under the Settings menu. I believe that causes the iPod to select an album at random from the playlist and play the tracks in that album in order.
posted by roomwithaview at 11:54 PM on April 7, 2007

I'm pretty sure you can do this in iTunes on the computer (preferences, playback, there are choices for how you want songs to shuffle--by song, album or group. Try grouping those songs together and leave the group field blank for every other MP3, then choose shuffle by group. I tried this and it seemed to work in my limited experiment.) but it doesn't look like it works on the iPod because the shuffle by group choice doesn't exist.
posted by tula at 12:06 AM on April 8, 2007

It sounds like you want to rip all three tracks as a single file. When you put the CD in the drive, select the three tracks and choose "Join CD Tracks" from the "Advanced" menu.

You can also keep around separate rips of the three parts, set to "Skip when shuffling", if you sometimes want to hear just the middle part for some reason.
posted by aneel at 1:10 AM on April 8, 2007

I'm just guessing, but I think you can do it like this:

- create a playlist of the songs you want to play randomly (which you've already done).
- create a playlist of the songs you want played in order.
- create a playlist that plays tracks in order from those two playlists.

If that doesn't work then I don't think it's possible. In my opinion: Smart Playlists aren't smart. They're made for stupid people and to frustrate anyone with a brain who wants to build anything complex.
posted by dobbs at 5:39 AM on April 8, 2007

I second the combine-the-three-tracks suggestions. That seems like a quick and simple solution.
posted by buriedpaul at 10:31 AM on April 8, 2007

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