Saturday, December 18, 2010

Problems with iOS 4.2.1

With iOS 4.2.1 comments are no longer visible!

So, you will not be able to search or sort by comments in SmartPlaylist, since all comments are now "missing" on the device.

I have reported this bug to Apple. (This now makes 10 open bugs I have reported to Apple. Instead of fixing them, they add more bugs ...)

Here's my balance:

Used to work with iOS 4.1, but no longer work with 4.2.1:

  • DiscNumber, DiscCount
  • Comments
  • BeatsPerMinute

Never worked:

  • UserGrouping

Doesn't work properly:

  • ReleaseDate (does not seem to work for dates before 2000)
  • Lyrics (works only if the lyrics were displayed in iPod music app before)
  • LastPlayedDate (wrong time zone when set on device, is shifted when syncing)

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

New feature in v4.8: Limit list to X minutes, hours or titles

The result list can now be cropped to just X minutes or hours, or just to X titles. But which titles should SmartPlaylist take? That's up to you: You can specify "selected by" =
"highest rating", "lowest rating",
"highest play count", "lowest play count"
"most recently played", "least recently played",
"most recently released", "least recently released",
"longest duration", "shortest duration",
"highest track #" or "lowest track #"

New feature in v4.8: Only X titles per artist or album

You can now tell SmartPlaylist to only take 2 or 3 or X titles per artist or per album from the result list. But which titles should it take? That's up to you: You can specify "selected by" =
"highest rating", "lowest rating",
"highest play count", "lowest play count"
"most recently played", "least recently played",
"most recently released", "least recently released",
"longest duration", "shortest duration",
"highest track #" or "lowest track #"

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Version 4.7 - Only maintenance

v4.7 is just a maintenance release to ensure compatibility with iOS 4.2 (due for 24. Nov.).
With iOS 4.2 you can also run SmartPlaylist v.4.7 on the iPad (as it is, no special iPad version yet).

Sunday, October 17, 2010

New feature in v4.6: Intersect new search results with existing list

You now will have 4 options to build a smart playlist:

  1. Replace the previous results with the new results
  2. Add the new results to the existing list
  3. Subtract the new results from the existing list
  4. Intersect the new results with the existing list (to get only the songs common to both result sets)

New feature in v4.6: More options for searching by "Last played" and "Released"

  • You can now search in days, weeks, months or years
  • You can now set a range from ... to (with "=")

In this example you will get all songs which were last played between 6 and 12 months ago.

The from-to range works for all numerical rules: Play Count, Last Played, Released, Duration and Track#. The operator has to be set to "=".

Saturday, October 16, 2010

New feature in v4.6: Search/sort by Released

The Release Date of a song / album can be displayed in iTunes, but it cannot be edited. You can look up the release date in SmartPlaylist with the detail view from the Now Playing / Selected screen:

Note: Not all mp3s have a release date, and not all release dates are properly synced to the iPhone or  iPod Touch. Songs without release date are ignored when you search by "Released".

You cannot search directly by release date, but rather by how long ago a song / album was released (similar to last played). So, when you have a rule like "Released < 1 year ago" you will always get the latest songs in your smart playlist. Easy.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

New feature in v4.5: Load list only for display

Before you run a query (⏎) you can now choose whether you want to load the results for playback or only for display (in this case the current playback queue will continue playing). This also applies to showing the last list (➤).

Saturday, September 18, 2010

New feature in v4.5: Replace / add to / subtract from playlist

To get the ultimate flexibility, you can now build up a playlist step by step by adding new search results to the existing list or by subtracting new search results from the existing playlist:
Before you press "⏎" (enter) to start the search, you just select "add +" or "subtract -".

New feature in v4.5: Search for exact matches (is ...)

Now you can choose between the search operator "contains ..." for partial matches and the new "is ..." for exact matches (case-sensitive!).

When you tell SmartPlaylist to get all songs with a genre containing "blues", you will get Blues, City Blues, Prewar Blues, etc.
But when you tell SmartPlaylist to get songs with the genre that is "Blues", you will only get Blues songs (no City Blues, no Prewar Blues).

New feature in v4.5: Pick items from list

When you are editing the search text you can now open the list of all available values for the respective rule, here e.g. Comments:

New feature in v4.5: Sort by comments (new rule details screen)

Using the new rule details screen you can now also sort by the comments inside your MP3s:

Friday, September 3, 2010

New feature in v4.4: Display and set time played / time to play

The time played and the time to play are now displayed to the left and right of the playbacktime slider. The time played can now be set back or forward in increments of 1 second, 5 seconds, 10 seconds or 30 seconds, according to how long you press on the rewind or fast forward button.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Problem with v4.2 - fixed with v4.3

There was a problem in v4.2: The list view crashed, when there was a song which did not have an album artwork.

Workaround: Deactivate the list view (in settings)

The fix for this problem has been published with v4.3.

Sorry for this annoyance!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

The power of SmartPlaylist rules

The rules in SmartPlaylist are really flexible and powerful. They could also be called "search criteria", "search conditions" or "filter". They tell SmartPlaylist which titles you WANT, discarding all the rest. It will give you only those songs that meet ALL the rules.

Example 1:
Let's say we want all the blues songs we have --> we will specify the rule "Genre contains 'Blues'":

Knowing that the other genres we have are 'Rumba', 'Jazz' and 'Tango', we could just say "Genre contains 'bl'", or also "Genre contains 's'" - because only 'Blues' contains 'bl' or 's' (the search is case-insensitive). It's like saying "Genre = *bl*", where * could be anything.

Example 2:
Here we have 4 rules, so only the following songs are returned:
1) artist contains 'alasd'
2) genre contains 'folk' OR 'altern'
3) the song is in a playlist containing 'new' (e.g. 'New stuff')
4) the song has 0, 3, 4, or 5 stars

 Some remarks on rule 2:

  • "contains 'altern'" is like "*altern*", so you get e.g. "Alternative"
  • here "OR" was used to get folk and alternative songs together
  • if you had used "folk AND altern", the result list would (most likely) have been empty, since no song has a genre containing both 'folk' and 'altern' at the same time (unless you have songs with genre e.g. 'Folk / Alternative')
  • the logical operators " OR " and " AND " must always be written in capital letters
  • you can also use "NOT " --> e.g. if you want all songs which are NOT blues
  • you can also use " BUT NOT " which is logically the same as " AND NOT " --> example: "Artist contains 'john BUT NOT cash'" returns all songs from artists named "John", "Johnny", etc., but not those from "Johnny Cash"

Feature reminder: Enlarge cover artwork

You can tap on the cover artwork to enlarge it to the main screen (single tap) or to full screen (with a double tap):

The artwork is synced to the iPhone / iPod Touch with only 320x320 pixels. Artwork which is not quadratic is made to fit within 320x320 pixels, adding black bands (which SmartPlaylists cuts off) - so it can look blurry when enlarging it.

UPDATE: With iOS 5 the cover artwork is synced to the device in full size. With SmartPlaylist v5.4 you can also use the pinch gesture to enlarge the artwork.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Some reviews from around the world

Best music iphone app ever!  *****
I can't understand why this isn't the most popular iphone music app ever, its absolutely awesome. Its by far the best music application I've ever used. So many of the smart playlists that you used to have to create on the computer can now be made, changed and updated whenever you want, directly on your iphone or ito. This app has allowed me to access my music collection in so many great ways!
(from the App Store Australia)

This is now my defacto Player  *****
First thing first: This is my defacto playlist creator as well as player and here is why. After trying out multiple apps to create playlists on-the-go from within iPod Touch/iPhone over many months, I think this playlist leapfrogs ahead of all, if you want to spend less time in creating playlists and more time listening to music. If you love Smart Playlists in iTunes – as opposed to static ones, this perhaps is the ONLY app that comes close to what iTunes could do. Of course, no playlist app could replicate iTunes’ playlist creating prowess because the rich track information available in iTunes is not transferred to iPhone during the sync process.
(from the App Store Canada)

Feines Programm  *****
Der Beschreibung braucht man nichts hinzuzufügen. Ohne viel Aufwand lassen sich Spiellisten in unterschiedlichsten Varianten zusammen"basteln". Zudem liefert das Programm Daten und Infos ins iPhone, die sonst allenfalls auf dem Mac zur Verfügung stehen.
(from the App Store Germany)

And now a review from somebody who was rather lost:

Mauvais (Bad) *
Ne fonctionne pas du tout (Does not work at all)
(from the App Store France)

Saturday, July 17, 2010

SmartPlaylist is and always has been stable

We have not received any crash reports or user complaints about SmartPlaylist - it is stable.

As one user has written:
"One thing that I must add here that this app has always been very stable in all versions compared to crashes that I encountered with many playlist apps."

Monday, July 12, 2010

New feature in v4.2: Refresh display of list

You can update the play count, last played and the rating (if it was changed in iPod) by tapping in the middle of the navigation bar at the top of the list.

Reminder: When you tapp the status bar right at the top, the list jumps to the top of the list (this is a standard behaviour of the iPhone OS, that has been there since the beginning).

New Feature in v4.1: Show all rules / Show only active rules

You can now show or hide inactive rules (empty rules that are not used in the search) by simply tapping on the middle of the toolbar at the bottom of the rules page, or by invoking the tools "Show all rules" / "Show only active rules".

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Next version: v4.0 - only for iOS 4

The next version number of SmartPlaylist will jump from v2.8 to v4.0 to make clear that it is only for iOS 4 and NOT for iPhone OS 3.x - so don't upgrade to v4.0 unless you have updated your iPhone or iPod Touch to iOS 4 (to be released on 21. June 2010).

New feature: Yet more info about songs: skipCount, disc #, track #, releaseDate, albumArtist, isCompilation and comments.

For later versions it is planned to offer searching in comments (e.g. comments contain "wild!") and filtering by release date (e.g. release date before / in / after "1974").

Monday, June 14, 2010

Quit before sync with iOS 4

As mentioned in the help section of SmartPlaylist, you should quit SmartPlaylist before syncing your device.
With the new iOS 4, "to quit" means to really shut it down, not just hide it in the background (new "multitasking" ...).
1. Press your home button to close/hide SmartPlaylist
2. Double-tapp the home button
3. Press your finger on the SmartPlaylist icon in the bottom, until the "Quit"-badge appears
4. Tapp on the "Quit"-badge
 --> Now it is really closed.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Updating Library ...

When you sync your device or when you change the language on your device (say from French to English), the iPod library gets updated and reorganized. When you open the iPod app during this time, you will see:

While the iPod library is being updated, do not use SmartPlaylist - it won't work!

Monday, April 12, 2010

Shuffle by title or shuffle by album

Some users ask for this feature (shuffle) - and it has been there from the beginning!

UPDATE: This feature is now in the Playback Control. See new-feature-in-v410-playback-control

You just have to tap on the detail-disclosure button next to "Title" or next to "Album" on the rules-screen to choose "Shuffle by Title" or "Shuffle by Album" (and don't forget to run the search again for the new setting to take effect).

Some users don't seem to be aware that you can use all the colourful buttons to set the sorting or shuffling:
Sort by "Artist A...Z" (artists in ascending order), "Artist Z...A" (in descending order),
"Title A...Z", "Title Z...A", "Shuffle by title",
"Album A...Z", "Album Z...A", "Shuffle by album",
"Composer A...Z", "Composer Z...A",
"Composer A...Z", "Composer Z...A",
"Genre A...Z", "Genre Z...A",
"Rating 0...5", "Rating 5...0",
"Play Count 0...n", "Play Count n...0",
"Last Played 0...n", "Last Played n...0",
"Duration 0...n", "Duration n...0"

Friday, April 9, 2010

New in version 2.7

To get consistent results as quickly as possible, the search methods had to be adapted. Unfortunately, it was not possible to satisfy all requirements at the same time, as there are some frustrating limitations in the iPhone OS.

Search results are now generally faster. Especially when you have just 1 rule like "Genre contains 'blue' OR 'jazz'".
Now SmartPlaylist always finds all duplicate titles (songs with the same name).

To achieve this, music videos had to be excluded. We hope this is not a problem to our users. (If it is, please write to

Other improvements:
"Play this" is now instant, i.e. there is no more foolish skipping (the solution was so simple).
There is now an option to turn off the badge on the application icon (to display the number of songs in the current smart playlist).
Another new option can be used to turn off repeated playback.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

"Year" and "Date added" as search criteria

Many users have asked to include "Year" and "Date added" as search rules.

Unfortunately, these information are not available on the iPhone/iPod Touch, they simply do not exist in the programming interface. There is no way to include them in SmartPlaylist  :-(

Workaround for "Year":  UPDATE: With v5.2 Year can be used to search and sort
Add the year in brackets to all your titles (e.g. "Hell Hound On My Trail [1937]"), then you can use it as a search rule on Title (e.g. Title contains "hell AND [1937]"). Or create a playlist in iTunes for every year ...

Workaround for "Date added": UPDATE: With v7.1 (iOS 7) you can search and sort by date added.
Create smart playlists in iTunes according to the date added, e.g. "Added last 7 days", "Added last 30 days", and so on, then you can use a search rule on Playlist containing e.g. "7".

The workarounds are a pain, of course, but there is nothing we can do about it at the moment. We have reported a feature request to Apple.