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I go down with one helluva bang.

20 June 2009 21:50

Right now I have a lot of music, and I primarily interact with it via playlists.

I have a cronjob that generates, and populates, ~/Playlists/ every night. I generate playlists on multiple criterion:

  • ~/Playlists/Artist/
  • ~/Playlists/Albums/
  • ~/Playlists/Titles/
  • ~/Playlists/Keywords/

Playlists for specific artists & albums are probably self-explanatory, but the others might be interesting.

For every unique songtitle I have a playlist. In most cases that means there is a playlist called "Song Title" having one entry. But, as an explicit example, I have a playlist called "Under The Bridge" with two entries:

All Saints/Under The Bridge.mp3
Red Hot Chili Peppers/Under The Bridge.mp3

Similarly I break each song title into words, and generate one playlist for each distinct word discovered.

As a matter of randomness I have:


(e.g. Songs containing "girl" in their title: "Madonna:Material Girl", "Amy Whitehouse:Hey Little Rich Girl", "Garbage:Stupid Girl"..)

There are times when I want something specific and my playlist approach doesn't work. For example "All songs which are 2 minutes long, and happy". I guess the problem is working out which meta-data is worth searching/storing, and then working out how to jump from that data to a playlist.

Today, whilst walking into town to buy some new pies, I wondered "How many songs do I have that end in a chuckle, or laughter?"

If I wanted an "ends in laughter" playlist right now I'm screwed. Yet no system I've ever seen allows you to add that level of detail. (To be honest I'd probably give up even entering it.)

In conclusion, my music collection is vast and various, and dealing with it is sometimes harder than I'd like.

How do you handle the music on your computer(s)? (When it comes to mobile-music I just use an ipod telling it to play all, randomly. If a song comes on I don't like I just skip it.)

ObFilm: Lolita



Comments on this entry

icon foo at 15:00 on 20 June 2009
rhythmbox gives me search by artist/album/title/keywords. Mostly I just play stuff randomly, but I also have manually filled playlists.
icon Steve Kemp at 15:05 on 20 June 2009

Thats good to know, foo.

When you say you can search - does that mean you can "Search for word: blah", save that as a playlist? Or just play from the resullts?

icon W at 15:57 on 20 June 2009
does your script work with id3 tags to generate artist/title playlists or dir/filenames?
if id3, are your scripts public somewhere? ;)
icon Chris B at 16:09 on 20 June 2009
It's easy to create a playlist from Rhythmbox's search results by selecting the songs in the results and dragging and dropping them to a playlist.
Rhythmbox also has an "Automatic Playlist" feature (like "smart playlists" in iTunes and others), which allows you to create automatically-updated playlists based on search criteria.

icon Matt Sayler at 18:10 on 20 June 2009
I have to say, I really like the smart playlists in iTunes. (Maybe someone can tell me of comparable free software?) My biggest categorizer is rating (0-5/.5). Songs with more than 3 stars make it onto my phone (ordered by least recently played). I periodically check to see the tracks I've skipped recently (another statistic iTunes maintains) and dock them a half- or whole-star.
Also their "Genius" playlists are great for rediscovering bands I've forgotten about (I have subscribed to eMusic for years)
icon Steve Kemp at 18:19 on 20 June 2009

The code that I have uses both ID3 and OGG tag data read from the files to generate the playlists. Any file which has no data is just not indexed/included.

You can grab a copy from here:

I've never used iTunes, even though I have an ipod. Still I've heard good things about its smart playlists :)

icon Casper Gielen at 13:05 on 22 June 2009

I've rated my music on a 1-5 star scale. For me the rating represents how often I want to hear a song.

5 stars equals "play once a month"
4 stars equals "play once every three months"
1 star equals "never play unless manually scheduled"

I created a number of playlists, one for each rating, that says "all music of ... stars that has not been played for ... months". All these playlists are mixed into one big playlist, and sorted by album.

This way my music is played proportional to how much I like it. Secondly it keeps the songs of an album more or less toghere. I prefer to hear all songs of an album in order once every while, but I don't want to hear the boring filler material that is on so many albums too often either.