So the Old Paradigm was all about cutting down the size of the library, and now we're looking at an efficient way of giving new stuff the attention it deserves so it can get a write up over there in the Reviews section of these pages.

The cutting down operation ended up relying on the Smart Playlist side of iTunes, and worked on number-oriented playlists that the reader might care to consider if you need to sort out large quantities of digital music. For a start you need a way to separate your latest acquisitions from all the other stuff in the library. You could do that through an Unheard list (Smart Playlist Plays is 0) or a Recently Added list (Smart Playlist Date added in the last (say) six months Plays is less than 7, or whatever figure you specify). I like to have both, because Recently Added gives you a way to get to those recent additions after you've heard them once.

From there, I have a number of numerical Smart Playlists (named, predictably, OneTwo and so on) (Smart Playlist Plays is whatever number you're looking at).

That's handy when you've been doing what I've been doing and adding the contents of all those CDs that come on the front of magazines like Mojo to the library. 

Unless you're in a position to give that Unheard playlist your undivided attention there's every chance things you don't really need to keep are going to slip by unnoticed. The numbered filters make it increasingly likely you'll catch the little devils, particularly if you've checked the Controls: Shuffle By Albums option). Not sure about the contents of the Tom Waits-selected CD that came with the Mojo before last (Step Right Up!, it's called)? Well, here you go. William S. Burroughs doing a number called Ich Bin Von Kopf Bis Fuss Auf Liebe Eingestellt (Falling In Love Again) slipped past once, but I suspect its days are numbered.

For that sort of reason, I try to keep the lower-numbered playlists as small as possible. 

Looking at the current Unheard list there's a self-titled album by a Canterbury band called National Health (the less-than-well-known spinoff from the less-than-well-known but quite wonderful Hatfield & The North) and a bunch of downloaded Radio NZ broadcasts about the Canterbury scene, which explains why the National Health is there).


B© Ian Hughes 2012