iTunes and nested conditionals

iTunes 9 introduced 'nested conditionals' in smart playlists. I sense I've already lost some readers, so let me clarify. If you know this, please bear with me. In iTunes you can create a playlist based on rules. I.e. Show me all songs with 'Bowie' in the artist, released before 1984, that haven't been listened to in the last 2 weeks. This is useful as it allows iPods to have ever changing playlists.

in iTunes 9, you could have 'nested conditionals'. This means you could do complex things like:

  • Released before 1985
  • AND
    • Artist=Bowie
    • OR
    • Artist=Rolling Stones

In iTunes 10, the button to nest rules together seemed to disappear. This caused me annoyance, but I found out where it went, and thought I'd tell record this information (on the principle that if it's been annoying me, chanced are I'm not alone).

It has been merged with the 'new rule' button, I think this is a retrograde step in the user interface personally, it should be an option, off by default as it's not easily discoverable.

So, to create a smart playlist, type spag, option, N. Alternatively, use the drop down menu. Once you have your smart playlist make your rules. When you want a new rule, click the little 'plus' button. If you want to nest rules, hold the option button, the 'plus' changes to '...'.

Job done. What you do with your rules is down to your ingenuity. Don't forget to rename your playlist to something sensible, and when you sync, tell iTunes that you want this new playlist to be copied to your iPod.

Smart Playlist with Conditional Rules in iTunes