Playing Smart

02.21.08 | Comment?

I’ve used iTunes to organize my music for my iPod, and now my iPhone, for more than two years now. It has certainly been a love-hate relationship. At times, it has been pretty heavy on the hate. However, I’m forced to admit that I never tried very hard to learn much beyond the basics. For instance, I created my share of playlists but I never took the time to learn about smart playlists. Now that I’ve learned what they can do, I’ve realized that if you’re not using smart playlists then you’re not using the best part of iTunes. I have a music and podcast catalog running around 13 GB– far from the biggest out there, but too big to fit on my iPhone. Smart playlists are helping me narrow it down to something I can fit on the phone.

I’ve also recently added another little utility to my music arsenal. My close friends know that I’ve bitched about setting my iPod on shuffle and ending up with random chapters from Harry Potter audio books in the middle of my music. Sure, now that I know about smart playlists I could suffle a playlist instead of my whole music catalog. But another solution is to convert those mp3s to m4b– an audiobook format. iTunes treats those files differently than music, which means they don’t end up in the shuffle. Unfortunately, the conversion process isn’t quick. A 31 chapter Harry Potter audio book took more than 3 hours to convert. Set this one up and walk away, because it’s a resource hog.

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