iTunes help – Playlists: Scientific Random

If you use the shuffle function on your iPod, you will notice that eventually, you will begin skipping songs to hear songs that you want to hear; not very random is it? This eventually ends up in switching to a known playlist and not embracing your music collection. What if I told you there was a way to make random more useful?

I’m not taking credit for this, as I read it on another site (if anyone knows where this is located, let me know and I will link to it). What it does is to create a “random” playlist based on some other playlists. Below are the properties of the random smart playlist:


So to ensure that this playlist works correctly ensure that:
1. That Match ANY of the following rules is selected
2. Limit to x items is DESELECTED
3. Match only checked items is SELECTED
4. Live updating is SELECTED

Now, to describe the playlists which are referenced by the random playlist. There are 5 playlists which come together to create the playlist.

  1. Least Recently Played

This playlist contains songs which you haven’t played in a long time. This will help bring back songs that you haven’t heard in a while, reminding you of songs that may have gotten lost in your library.


2. Least Played

This playlist contains songs that you have played the least in your library, excluding those that are in the least recently played playlist.


3. Most Recently Played

This playlist contains songs that you have recently listened to. In the instructions, it says to exclude songs from the least played and least recently played lists, but the likelihood that the same songs will appear in both is quite unlikely.


4. Most Played

This playlist contains songs that you have played the most but excludes those that you have played recently to find your all-time favourite tracks.


5. Random

This playlist contains songs that aren’t in any of those playlists which were created before. These are selected by random.


Now, the best way to hear the songs you are after is to control the weight of each list. In each of the sub lists, there is a check box that says Limit to x items… by placing a different value into each of these boxes, you can control how heavily each of the different playlists features in the random playlist.

Each time you open the playlist on your iPod, it will shuffle these songs; and you will never get the same selection of songs each time. This playlist may not be as “random” as using the in-built random function, but it will make using random much more interesting!

If you have any suggestions on how this could be made better, feel free to let me know!

Come check out the directory for the rest of my iTunes tips!


Posted by:submeg

Musician, Writer and Inspirer. I discuss the projects I am working on, the services I provide and my general thoughts.

Tell me what you think!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s