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View Full Version : How to sort music genre in a specific order using shuffle - confusing, I know.




ddd269
Oct 1, 2009, 12:52 PM
I'm trying to figure out how to sort in a genre specific order and fill music randomly within that structured genre list. For example, I would like to keep the genre order: Rock, Pop, Vocal, Blues and repeat the same order filling in with random song of the corresponding genre.

If there was a way to do this I would imagine it can be done with any playlist variables such as artist, album, year etc. For example, David Bowie, Scorpion, Def Leppard, etc, and keep plugging in songs randomly of the exact artist order.

Any ideas?

Thanks guys.



dXTC
Oct 1, 2009, 01:43 PM
This would be a rather complex bit of iteration (looping) and database manipulation, and significantly beyond the simple select query allowed in "Smart" playlists. I suspect you'd have to code it outside of the iTunes framework somehow.

One possible approximation, however, is the following multi-playlist setup.

1. Set up a series of Smart Playlists for each genre with the following details:


Match all
Genre is (genre)
Limit to (desired number) songs, sorted by random
(this step evens out the number of songs per genre; make sure you pick a number that allows all desired genres to be represented evenly without running out of storage, or limit by number of MB to be sure)


Call each of them Shuffle(Genre).

2. Set up one Smart Playlist to combine them:

Match any
Playlist is Shuffle(Genre1)
Playlist is Shuffle(Genre2)
...
...
No limiting or sorting


Call it MyShuffleList (or whatever you like).

Then, on the shuffle, sync MyShuffleList, and play it on shuffle. The result obviously won't guarantee the exact order of genre during playback, but it'll help keep the genre mix more evenly balanced than would a single playlist.

To keep the mix fresh, you can occasionally re-randomize one or more of the first set of Smart Playlists: Edit Playlist, change the Sorted By field to anything else, click OK, then Edit again, changing the Sorted By field back to Random. (I honestly wish there were a Re-Randomize Now function in Smart Playlists.)

ddd269
Oct 1, 2009, 02:07 PM
Thanks for your help.

You're correct, it does a better job of randomizing than a single smart playlist, but it's still not quite what I need.

The problem is that the order has to be followed exactly. I'm compounding the problem with the standard method, because a genre has to repeat after a different one (rock, pop, rock, vocal, for example). I've tried doubling the number of songs on the repeating genre, but still shuffles "too" random.

Thanks for the advise, though.

btw, coding is way out of my league. =-(

dXTC
Oct 2, 2009, 08:00 AM
Coding on that level is out of my league, too. :(
I wish you luck with finding the solution you require...

By the way, if you don't mind explaining, why must you have that exact genre sequence?

ddd269
Oct 3, 2009, 01:39 PM
Coding on that level is out of my league, too. :(
I wish you luck with finding the solution you require...

By the way, if you don't mind explaining, why must you have that exact genre sequence?


My father-in-law has a small dance hall for older folks and they must have a structured music sequence. He asked me to do this, so I spent the last 2 weeks ripping his commercial license audio DVDs to put on an ipod. I guess he wants to "catch up" with technology. The only way to do it now is to manually sort and wanted a more random way so the music doesn't sound repetitive.

:)

I figured someone had tried this before... It would seem like a common issue/method for DJs/Clubs. Wonder how they do it, other than the manual method.