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i’ve been using this guy’s smart playlist theories for about two weeks now, and i think it’s made all the difference. you see, when you have 15 gigs of music at your fingertips, it’s like being at woodman’s trying to find the right orange juice; there are too many choices.
so, to summarize (he gets into a lot of detail), you spend a couple days making sure the cddb got their data right the first time by being pretty deliberate about your music’s genre. of course, this is only necessary for specific collections.. say you dig on the techno, well iTunes files everything under electronica/dance by default. and anyone who’s anyone knows there’s more to it than that (this goes for country, classical, folk, etc). after you’ve scrutinized your albums, you make several smart playlists (details available at first link above), and a final “uberplaylist” which you combine with your genres, resulting in several smart playlists by genre; allowing you to listen to a smattering of reggae that you just added to the library in addition to ones you haven’t listened to in 6 months. it opens up the experience of listening to music that you thought worthy of loading onto your computer in the first place, but may have forgotten about.
it’s just short of saying outloud, “i feel like some drum n bass but i don’t remember which artists or albums i have, will you play whatever, iPod?” i<3 it.