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Chapter 18. Creating, Configuring, and U... > Becoming a Musical Genius with Smart...

Becoming a Musical Genius with Smart Playlists

The basic purpose of a smart playlist is the same as a standard playlist—that is, to contain a collection of songs to which you can listen, put on a CD, and so on. However, the path smart playlists take to this end is completely different from standard playlists. Rather than choosing specific songs as you do in a standard playlist, you tell iTunes the kind of songs you want in your smart playlist and it picks out the songs for you and places them in the playlist. For example, suppose you want to create a playlist that contains all your classical music. Rather than picking out all the songs in your Library that have the Classical genre (as you would do to create a standard playlist), you can use a smart playlist to tell iTunes to select all the classical music for you. The application then gathers all the music with the Classical genre and places that music in a smart playlist.

Understanding Why Smart Playlists Are Called Smart

You create a smart playlist by defining a set of criteria based on any number of tags. After you have created these criteria, iTunes chooses songs that match those tags and places them in the playlist. Another example should help clarify this. Suppose you are a big-time Elvis fan and regularly add Elvis music to your Library. You could create a playlist and manually drag your new Elvis tunes to that playlist. But by using a smart playlist instead, you could define the playlist to include all your Elvis music. Anytime you add more Elvis music to your Library, that music would be added to the playlist automatically so it always contains all the Elvis music in your Library.


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