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"

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