Now that my iPod is “like-new” again, I did some playlist maintenance on it. I don’t like manually selecting albums to listen to most of the time. I want it to just serve up, semi-randomly, my favorites, with some oddities mixed in here and there. And, thanks to Apple’s Smart Playlists, that is in fact possible. But only if the music collection is suitably organized.

Smart Playlists can collect songs based on almost anything, and as many different criteria as there are, well, criteria for organizing music. Genre, Artist, words in the title or album, words not in the title or album, my rating of the song, the type of file, the date it was last played, the number of times it’s been played… all that and more.

Since I prefer to listen to full CDs, in the order they were recorded (I. Hate. Shuffle.) first I set up a playlist of all my non-album songs (individual downloads from back in the day before I was so enlightened to only listen to full CDs, mostly).

Then I set up a playlist for all my 2- and 3-star rated songs, and excluded anything that was on the “non-album” playlist.

Then I set up a playlist for all my 4- and 5-star rated songs, with the same exclusion.

Finally I made a smart playlist combining the two above playlists.

Seems like a lot of work? It’s not, really. Took me about 5 minutes (since I’ve already compulsively rated and tagged all my songs — yeah, organization is a bitch, which is why it’s a good habit to have).

At any rate, here are the 5 CDs I’ve listened to so far today:

These are all great albums… and I probably wouldn’t have picked “Sea Change” or “Good News for People Who Love Bad News” on my own, so props to DeadSexy for choosing them…