Back in 2009, I posted an article titled “Keeping your iTunes Library Fresh” that showed how to create a smart playlist that would improve over a simple shuffle of your music library. Based on your ratings, it would play the music you like more often than the music you like less.
If you have tried out the new iTunes Match service from Apple, you may be disappointed that these playlists are not synced to iCloud (you see a little cloud icon next to your playlist name with a slash through it that clicked tells you it is ineligible for iCloud):
The playlist needs to be refactored so that it doesn’t depend on other playlists.
Unfortunately iTunes does not let you construct a single playlist that matches exactly to what was created in my old post (you can’t set a “limit to” number of songs for a single matching subsection–only to entire playlists). However, as a next-best thing, you can take advantage of the “Last Skipped” clause to help minimize the occurrence of poorly-rated music. The following is a single stand-alone playlist that corresponds to the “Good Mix” playlist from the old post (hold down the Option/Alt key when clicking the “+” button to create one of the indented “All”/”Any” subsections):
Here’s another single stand-alone playlist that corresponds to the “Christmas Mix” playlist from my old post:
Adjust the time values to your preferences. The reason why the no-star ratings are given equal weight as the 5-star songs is that it is likely that it is music that you just purchased and thus want to hear it frequently until you make a decision on what other rating you want to give it or it will help encourage you to rate all of your music. If you have a ton of unrated music simply make a zero-star-rated playlist and work your way through it.