I’ve been using this scheme for my iTunes playlist for about 10 years now. It’s a good system – when it worked. Unfortunately, when I went through the process of re-organizing my playlists, the dates got all messed up. I’ve went about two years with my smart playlists pulling songs in a dumb manner (half my songs were “added” in the last 2 years).
I finally spent some time and put together a new system. Instead of basing it on when I added the song, I just based it on the year of the song*. So now, I have the following component playlists:
- Songs from before 1990
- Songs from 1990 – 1994
- Songs from 1995 – 1999
- Songs from 2000 – 2004
- Songs from 2005 – 2009
- Songs from 2010 – 2014
- Songs from 2015 – 2019
- Songs that I’ve added in the last year
- Songs rated 1 or 2 stars (above playlists are only 3 stars or higher)
- Songs that are not rated (added recently)
I have general rules on all of them where it omits songs played within the last 8-12 weeks (12 weeks for the 00s, shorter for older and newer songs) and limits to 10. From that I build a single smart playlist which should be a mix of all time periods, songs that I enjoy listening to but haven’t listened to recently, and have a stronger weighting towards new songs.
Hopefully this system will provide enough variety for another decade, at which point I think everyone will be streaming.
*I know that this is not always accurate, because greatest hits or compilations will have a year of when that CD was released, rather than each individual song