iPod Smart Playlist, iTunes, skip count, play count, synchronization

Discussion in 'Apple' started by Amelia, Oct 13, 2006.

  1. Amelia

    Amelia Guest

    Hell o, fellow Mac lovers!

    We have two or more related questions. Experimenting with various
    Smart Playlists based on Smart Playlists discovered the "skip
    count" and related "last skipped" parameter. How do these relate
    to "play count" and "last played" song info? That is - when
    does a song feel "skipped" and when it's "played"? Second one
    is my long time head ache - synchronizing of metainformation
    between iTunes and iPod. I own two iPods, iPod Nano 4GB White and iPod
    Video 60GB. We almost never use iTunes to play songs, as it consumes
    too much processing power, usually iPod Video is placed in
    iPod Dock and controlled with a remote from iMac (ours is
    Apple Mini). But there follows a problem - the play data,
    for example, how often a song is played is not going into
    the main database on the computer (as you can imagine, there's
    no way any iPod would be able to fit all the music library,
    I own 500+ CD's and 200+ audiobooks, plus now we have podcasts,
    video et caetera). We were unable to find a program that is
    capable to synchronize the metadata, playlists in-between
    iTunes and iPod - most of them are either *incredibly* slow
    or simply don't work - create empty lists, cannot copy a
    smart list and make it be a smart list still. We tried more
    than 20 various programs off versiontracker - I give up and
    plead for help. Does anyone know a piece of software and I
    don't care how much is it that will be able to work with
    complete metainformation synchronization and do it well?

    PS, Oh, does anyone know how one is to edit the "Category"
    field of a song, as it seems to be impossible from the
    interface of iTunes 7?
    Amelia, Oct 13, 2006
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  2. Amelia

    Hans Aberg Guest

    According to my experimentation, a song adds to the play count when it
    plays to the end (not making any difference where in the track it
    Hans Aberg, Oct 13, 2006
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  3. Amelia

    Amelia Guest

    And did you manage to guess or deduce similar value for "skipping"?
    AI is actually planning to write a XML parser in PERL that will
    interface to iTunes library like to a database or maybe use
    MySQL (though it would force user to install it and PERL is
    already installed with every Mac OS X copy) and then process
    it in any way I can think of - the AppleScript based solutions
    are much more easier to implement and probably safer, but so
    incredibly slow - I was only wondering if you know any program
    that is already doing this. I'm relearning PERL just for this
    task (I'm expert at regular expressions, just need a bit of
    refreshment) - even if it might not be used. I would use Tcl/Tk
    instead but it suffers from the same illness - it has to be
    installed and configured by the user before running the script.

    Right now, when you are using combined Smart Playlist, what
    you are really doing is the same thing - one playlist is
    fetching a set of songs according to some criteria, second
    one does the same, then the combined one does intersection
    or LEFT JOIN (SQL) of the sets. The only problem is it's
    kind of slow and not very flexible - for example doesn't
    let you use regular expressions (RE or REGEX) and things
    like semantic rings - for example, I could make a gizmo
    that would let you search for songs that are related
    to word "love" by expanding the SQL query to synonyms
    (using RE and dictionary, say "love" -> "beloved" -> "sex"
    -> "shag" -> "aids" -> "red" -> "love") or using
    FULLTEXT SEARCH on the song lyrics to assess the mood
    of the song (no magic here - mark a song as "sad" and
    all the words in lyrics will get an increased value of
    sadness, then if a song is related by FULLTEXT SEARCH
    to some other song, we know it contains enough "sad"
    words, when it triggers "sadness quotient" it is
    classified as "sad" and in turn all the words in lyrics
    are gratified with more sadness. Same thing with other
    possible emotions or other entities you can think of.

    I wish iTunes 7 simply let me use regular expressions
    in the filters and SQL-like queries on the database that
    actually ALTER it. As I said - all those utilities you
    can find use AppleScript and are so slow it makes them
    unusable unless you own 4 x G5 machine or something...
    Amelia, Oct 14, 2006
  4. Amelia

    Guest Guest

    Might be barking up the wrong tree, but I am unaware of a 'category'
    field, so assume you mean the one marked 'genre'. You can't edit it in
    the main window but if you do 'get info' (command-I or get info in the
    file menu or right/alt click and select get info from the context menu)
    it gives you access to all the tags. Just select the 'info' tab; genre
    is in there and editable.

    You can select multiple tracks and edit info for all of them.

    Guest, Oct 14, 2006
  5. Amelia

    J. Stewart Guest

    "Category" isn't available via "Get info" and while most things can be
    edited in the main window "Category" isn't one of them. All is not lost

    An Applescript works -

    --> Cut <--
    set catText to "This sets the text of the Category column!"
    tell application "iTunes" to set category of selection to tuneText
    --> Cut <--

    Copy/paste it into Script Editor and run it with 1 or more track(s)
    selected. This is the method I use to change the music I have loaded on
    my iPod. It's a good way to quickly populate/depopulate a smart
    playlist based on a column's contents.

    If you aren't a scripter and need help turning it into something
    useful, feel free to contact me offlist via email.

    J. Stewart, Oct 15, 2006
  6. Amelia

    Guest Guest

    Right. Wonder what that's for?
    Guest, Oct 16, 2006
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