iTunes…. an exercise in frustration


I’ve got an iPod. So logically I use iTunes to manage my music. And it’s mostly pretty fine (apart from sometimes losing the star ratings or going off into its own little world for a few minutes ignoring all keyboard input, and the minimised toolbar interface isn’t very good at aligning itself next to the systray) – in fact it’s replaced WMP as my default audio player simply because it behaves so well on the whole.

Recently however I’ve wanted to have some tracks in my Party Shuffle that don’t copy to my iPod (or tracks that will copy to my iPod but don’t appear in the party shuffle). I’d also love to be able to exclude certain playlists from random play.

It’s become especially important using when using something like Pzizz… it can be a little, um, surprising when a generated nap track suddenly appears in the middle of an Elvis medley !

iTunes 5.0 brought a new version number, a slightly different interface but, at the end of the day, nothing really useful. Ah well, maybe 5.1…..

In the meantime, it’s possible to use playlists to solve the problem but it’s not an intuative or elegant solution.

What I’ve now done is this;

  • in iTunes I have a Pzizz Energizer and Pzizz Sleep playlist where the two types of Naps get moved when I generate them
  • I also have a Smart Playlist called “No Napping” which takes all songs from the library that are *not* in the Pzizz playlists
  • In Party Shuffle in iTunes I have it configured to shuffle from the “No Napping” playlist, not the library
  • On my iPod I’m careful to select the “No Napping” playlist before hitting Shuffle

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