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Subject: An iTunes question: rss

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I was thinking about this on the way in to work this morning, so haven't had time to actually play around with my iTunes to see if I can get it to work the way I want it to, and my Google Fu is failing me this morning. Here's the scenario:

Fact 1: I use my iPod in different places -- work, home, car -- to listen to music, and I've become accustomed to just shuffling the music so if I'm not in the mood for something specific, I can just listen to whatever comes up.

Fact 2: The music I listen to in my car isn't always appropriate for work.

Fact 3: My wife doesn't like the same kinds of music as I do, so roadtrips and housework usually involve a lot of skipping songs.

Fact 4: The only way to shuffle songs is to start with a playlist, and right now I just sync my iPod to a master playlist with everything in it.

So, this morning I had the bright idea that I could create separate playlists and populate them with the songs that fit the situations as required. The thing is, there would be a lot of duplication between the different playlists, since, for example, the Foo Fighters would go on the work, wife, and car playlists, while Boris would only go on the work and car playlists, and System of a Down would go onto just the car playlist.

This is all prelude to a pretty simple question: If I put a song in different playlists, will iTunes load duplicate copies of that song onto my device, or does it only load the song once, with the playlists acting as an index to requested content?
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Boo
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It only loads the song once.
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It'll only load once. I've got a similar setup, where I've got several two-hour playlists of everything, for when I'm in the car or on headphones, then a general list of all my five-star songs, then genre lists for country, hardcore & punk, and hip-hop, and lastly a cleaned-up playlist for when I'm in the car with my hip-hop-and-Beatles-hating girlfriend, and one without metal, hardcore/punk, or hip hop for when I'm at work. Some songs may be included on two or three lists, but only one copy of each song goes on the player.
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Holmes! wrote:
Beatles-hating girlfriend,



DOES NOT COMPUTE.
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Phil of Mars wrote:
Holmes! wrote:
Beatles-hating girlfriend,



DOES NOT COMPUTE.

I know, right? I give her no end of grief for continuing to pretend that she hates the Beatles. But not only does she maintain that charade, she pretends she doesn't like anything that sounds too much like the Beatles, which is pretty much, like, everything after 1964. I tried to sneak Nilsson by her, but she deemed it doubly abhorrent as it was too much like the Beatles and too much like Randy Newman... My hands are tied; I fell in love with a philistine.
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Holmes! wrote:
Phil of Mars wrote:
Holmes! wrote:
Beatles-hating girlfriend,



DOES NOT COMPUTE.

I know, right? I give her no end of grief for continuing to pretend that she hates the Beatles. But not only does she maintain that charade, she pretends she doesn't like anything that sounds too much like the Beatles, which is pretty much, like, everything after 1964. I tried to sneak Nilsson by her, but she deemed it doubly abhorrent as it was too much like the Beatles and too much like Randy Newman... My hands are tied; I fell in love with a philistine.


I have the opposite problem, where my girlfriend always wants to listen to the Beatles, The Beach Boys and Johnny Cash (stuff that's on my iPod that I like but isn't always my first choice) and gets really annoyed when I want to listen to Arcade Fire, Modest Mouse or Deerhoof.

Thanks for the ideas, though. I might have to do a girlfriend play list.
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Everyone else has already said it, but I'll say it too -- the song is only loaded on the iPod once, and the Playlist is merely a separate file that indicates what songs on your iPod should be played in a certain set. If you delete a song from your iPod, the device will also concurrently remove that song from the playlist on your iPod, though if you copied that playlist from iTunes, the iTunes copy will not be changed when you re-sync the device.
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Thanks, everyone. That's what I expected, but with 9000+ songs, I wanted to confirm that was the case before starting the sorting process.
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Another important thing to note (well, it was important to me) is that track attributes such as Play Count and Last Played belong to the single instance of the song, *not* the soft reference in the playlist.
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Verkisto wrote:
Thanks, everyone. That's what I expected, but with 9000+ songs, I wanted to confirm that was the case before starting the sorting process.


In addition to adding ratings and genres to your music:

You could create big play lists that exclude certain music if you want to keep a higher volume.

For example: My IPhone is far smaller than my IPod so I have a play list of 10 gigs for it. It's pretty simple to shift and/or control click to do it easily.

You can also add parameters to your playlists that can target other play lists. So say you make a playlist of metal you could then make another playlist of metal 5 stars or 4 stars targeting that list. Further you could make a list that targets a playlist based on time frames; so you could make a list of "5 star metal that hasn't been played in the last 30 days".
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Aside from playlists - which should work fine for your problem - you can do some tricks with smart playlists, and the tag / EXIF info on your songs.

For example, the thing I do in my iTunes is use a modified rating system. I figured, for me, songs only really have four possible start ratings.
5 - I really love this song.
4 - I love or really like this song
3 - I like this song, it's fine
2 - It came with the album, but I don't care for it that much. I don't mind if it appears in the rotation tho'.

If a song is less than two stars, why am I loading it on my iPod? So instead, I use those for special functions.
1 = don't play this song for whatever reason.

My main shuffle play smart list is set to play 2 or 3+ songs only. I have playlists for when I only want to listed to my best songs, etc.

I use one for some genres that, despite my wildly eclectic taste and willingness to deal with jarring transitions (punk to 50's vocals to modern), I don't want in the general mix (like classical, or holiday tunes, or walking tour files). I deal with those via smart playlists that key of those categories.

Zero means I haven't rated them yet. Whenever I load new songs, I do a search/sort for all the zero star tunes and rate them. If I am unfamiliar with them, I just set them to three stars and rate them as I listen to them when convenient.

It takes a bit more work, but only in remembering to rate new stuff (and re-rate songs I didn't know how to rate). For me, the re-rating works well if I'm listening at least part of the time in situations where I can devote some attention to that (like on the train, etc.).

The advantage is that you don't have to take a new song and add it to several playlists - as long as they all key off this system.

So, for you, if you just like straight up non-weighted random play, you could use 5 stars for songs only you like, 4 stars for songs you and your lady like, or something similar. Might not fit the bill, but if you google iTunes smart lists, folks do some creative things with them - such has having smart playlists that use other smart playlists to achieve interesting mixes.

[Edit] Dang, beaten to the punch! I also use a playlist based on plays - my "unplayed" playlist allowed me to listen to new songs I'd added. For a while (like a year or so), while I was converting over CDs, it never ran out.
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Chanfan wrote:
Aside from playlists - which should work fine for your problem - you can do some tricks with smart playlists, and the tag / EXIF info on your songs.

Love my smart playlists, my favorite being Rating >= 4 && Genre = *Metal*. It's always a great reminder that I'm still really a headbanger at heart.
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My favorite smart playlist is "Last play is not within the past 12 months."

If I can't listen to something at least once a year, it has no business being on my iPod.
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Rishi wrote:
My favorite smart playlist is "Last play is not within the past 12 months."

If I can't listen to something at least once a year, it has no business being on my iPod.

So your favorite playlist is empty?
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Oh, boy! Smart Playlist talkin'!

I've got a system that starts out like chanfan's: begin with a broad pool of rated material. For me, it maps out to:

: Stuff I absolutely love, and want to have with me at all times. Minor Threat and the Smiths-level stuff.

: Stuff I like a whole lot, but isn't absolutely crucial.

: Baseline stuff I dig.

: I only assign two stars to something if I'm out and about, hear something that doesn't agree with me, and want to mark it as suspect.

: Stuff that I don't want showing up on playlists. Not bad, necessarily, but, like, anything over 12 minutes long (as benchmarked by Sad-Eyed Lady of the Lowlands; anything longer gets the boot), live tracks tacked on at the end of LPs, most instrumentals from non-instrumental oriented outfits.

Non-rated stuff is just the great unwashed. Stuff I've pulled down from MP3 blogs or Bandcamp pages that I just haven't invested a listen in yet.

So then I set up Smart Playlists by rating, with 0, 3, 4, and 5-star stuff separated into their own lists, chosen by random, with the size of each list and the "last played/skipped" tolerance increasing for higher-ratings. So the 0-rated stuff is only 1GB and it can't have been heard in six months, but the 5-star stuff has 2.5GB and it's got a one-month rule.

"All Star!": Here's the magic, people! This is a straight amalgam of of the rating playlists, jumbled up. It's got a nice mix of stuff--2.5GB of it is my very favorite material, another 2.5 is stuff that I like pretty well to a lot. Then there's 1GB of stuff I haven't rated sprinkled in so I can gain exposure to new material.

But that's just the base pool to draw from! I use that pool to create three 2-hour, general-purpose, non-overlapping shuffle lists. I create three of them 'cos if I'm listening to music and then listen to a podcast, and then want music again, I'll just select the next list rather than try to figure out what song I left off at in the last list.

Using this means that I don't have to have a huge amount of material on my player at once. The 5-star Essentials are always there, and they take up 7GB on their own, but each of the two-hour lists (and the no-hip hop/Beatles list for when The Girl is around) is only 150MB or so, and a little less than half of the songs on those lists are already on the Essentials list, so (as Verkisto has learned!), they don't take up more space for being on two lists. I could store a lot more on my phone, but I like to keep it small and tidy, and sync daily to keep fresh material flowing in.

Lastly, I've got "New Stuff", which I only use when I'm straightening out genres and album art for day-one material, and "Think About Deleting", which is where the two-star stuff goes. If I've rated something with two stars, I'll periodically check this filter and listen to the stuff again and decide if it should get the boot.
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Dave wrote:
Rishi wrote:
My favorite smart playlist is "Last play is not within the past 12 months."

If I can't listen to something at least once a year, it has no business being on my iPod.

So your favorite playlist is empty?


Well, the goal is to get the playlist down to zero. When that happens, I let it build up again.
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Rishi wrote:
Dave wrote:
Rishi wrote:
My favorite smart playlist is "Last play is not within the past 12 months."

If I can't listen to something at least once a year, it has no business being on my iPod.

So your favorite playlist is empty?


Well, the goal is to get the playlist down to zero. When that happens, I let it build up again.


Yeah, but shouldn't you be deleting these songs rather than listening to them? What you really need to do is set your smart playlist to 11 months, which will give you 30 days to listen to the keepers... laugh
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Coincidence. My wife wants playlists created. Mello, Loud, Louder, 11.

And our ratings are based on content as we have a nearly 9 year old so

Love the song and suitable content
Love the song and ok content
Love the song but adults only
OK Song and OK content
Crap song and crap content
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