I stumbled on an idea yesterday, but I didn’t do my research, because it turns out my idea already exists!
My idea was to create a source where people could share their Smart Playlists from Apple’s iTunes. Ever since iTunes came out with the feature for Smart Playlists, I realized this would be something that could generate creativity and discussion.
What are Smart Playlists?
Smart Playlists are an incredibly useful feature for creating playlists that dynamically change according to the contents of your music library.
For example, you could create a Smart Playlist for songs that you have yet to listen to, and that have been recently added to your library. This is helpful, because sometimes your music library is so large, you don’t know which songs have yet to be heard from your iPod or through iTunes.
Let’s say a friend gives you ten new CDs. You import all the songs to your iTunes music library, so you have access to them on your iPod and through iTunes. The problem is… that’s a lot of new CDs. How do you remember which albums your friend gave you, amidst the hundreds of other albums already present?
A good Smart Playlist would help here.
Here is the Smart Playlist that I created for that, which I aptly titled, “Shrink wrapped:”
You could even go a step further, and declare that all songs that have been listened to zero times, or only ONCE, should fall under the Smart Playlist “Shrink wrapped.” The reason is (I firmly believe)… that even if you listen to a song or album ONCE, it should still be considered “Shrink wrapped,” meaning it has been hardly listened to.
Here is the modification of the Smart Playlist “Shrink wrapped:”
As you can see, I have set the criteria to include only songs that have been listened to less than 2 times. So, either 1 or 0. Also, notice the line where it says Limit to 75 songs, selected by most recently added. This is will get rid of albums that you added months or years ago. After all, for this playlist, you just want the most recently added albums, that have yet to be listened to.
For songs or albums that you added months or years ago, you can create another Smart Playlist, to handle them. This Smart Playlist I have titled, “Dust covered,” because (in the physical world again), when you don’t listen to a CD for a long time, or at all, it becomes covered with dust. But it’s not exactly NEW (or shrink wrapped).
This Smart Playlist has the similar criteria, except I want to exclude all the recently added songs. I just want songs that have been added a long time ago:
The only difference here is the “Limit to…” line, which now says, Limit to 75 songs, selected by least recently added. This changes the criteria to include songs added a while ago, and not recently.
Possibilities are endless
The possibilities for Smart Playlists are endless. There are hundreds (if not thousands) of different scenarios you can create, all based on different criteria.
This is why I thought a place for people to share their Smart Playlists would help promote creativity and inspiration.
SmartPlaylists.com is EXACTLY what I had in mind. It is a snapshot of the end product, which I was envisioning.
I even went so far as to purchase the domain name, smartplaylist.org, without even knowing SmartPlaylists.com existed.
Do research first
Since I was so excited to get started on my idea, I failed to do my research. I now have a vacant domain name (which is not a big deal), and money I put forth to purchase it. So, in this case, research could have saved me some money.
My ego aside, I’d like to talk about SmartPlaylists.com.
It is a very nice idea, and web interface. They even supply an RSS feed, for easy content syndication.
I have searched through the site, and I am happy to have found it. It has already inspired me to create new Smart Playlists, based on individual submissions at the site.
If you use iTunes and an iPod, I highly recommend checking SmartPlaylists.com out.