Tag Archives: itunes

iTunes and nested conditionals

iTunes 9 introduced ‘nested conditionals’ in smart playlists. I sense I’ve already lost some readers, so let me clarify. If you know this, please bear with me.

In iTunes you can create a playlist based on rules. I.e. Show me all songs with ‘Bowie’ in the artist, released before 1984, that haven’t been listened to in the last 2 weeks. This is useful as it allows iPods to have ever changing playlists.

in iTunes 9, you could have ‘nested conditionals’. This means you could do complex things like:

  • Released before 1985
  • AND
    • Artist=Bowie
    • OR
    • Artist=Rolling Stones

In iTunes 10, the button to nest rules together seemed to disappear. This caused me annoyance, but I found out where it went, and thought I’d tell record this information (on the principle that if it’s been annoying me, chanced are I’m not alone).

It has been merged with the ‘new rule’ button, I think this is a retrograde step in the user interface personally, it should be an option, off by default as it’s not easily discoverable.

So, to create a smart playlist, type spag, option, N. Alternatively, use the drop down menu. Once you have your smart playlist make your rules. When you want a new rule, click the little ‘plus’ button. If you want to nest rules, hold the option button, the ‘plus’ changes to ‘…’.

Job done. What you do with your rules is down to your ingenuity. Don’t forget to rename your playlist to something sensible, and when you sync, tell iTunes that you want this new playlist to be copied to your iPod.

Smart Playlist with Conditional Rules in iTunes

Pic A Day – March 25th 2009

iPod Shuffle


I bought an iPod Shuffle today. 4 gigs. This thing is TINY. It’s a stick of gum sized.

I had some trouble enabling VoiceOver, this was using itunes on WinXP. I would tick the box for VoiceOver and it’d look like it installed and then the box would go unticked. At no point could I choose the language.

There was a long call to apple tech support. I reset the player, retried, all sorts of things. They were not able to help, and eventually said to ‘restore original settings’. I was to ring back if that didn’t work.

It didn’t.

I found the solution myself.

The solution was as I’d installed iTunes on D: not C: so when the VoiceOver software was downloaded it went to the wrong place.

The solution was to manually copy C:\Program Files\iTunes\iPodVoiceOver.dll to D:\Program Files\iTunes\iPodVoiceOver.dll. It then worked like a dream. The box was enabled and VoiceOver worked as advertised.

I’ve set things up on itunes with smart playlists. One playlist chooses a random set of music to the capacity of the player and I have secondary playlists which allow me to choose just a particular subset of music. The secondary playlists have rules like ‘Music is on main playlist and genre is ‘Rock’.

It’s all good – though I can see that not everyone will ‘get’ smart playlists from the documentation supplied. Other than these hiccoughs, now sorted, it is very good. Though I’m scared of losing the thing! It’s tiny!

This is my picture for the 25th March, 2009