Sci-Fi Hi-Fi just posted an explanation of how he keeps his iPod mini full of the good and interesting stuff, when all his stuff won’t fit. So I thought I’d talk about how I do it.

Back when my old first gen iPod filled up I had to decide what was worth having. At the time there were no ratings or smart lists in iTunes. So I ended up writing three simple scripts that I could run and they would add the current song to a particular playlist. In this case it was the 1-hot, 2-Cool, 3-Bad or Bad-Don’t play. With the advent of ratings and then smart playlists, I simplified.

Now all of my music is rated. I have a smart playlist that contains all the unrated stuff and I periodically listen to it and rate everything in it. This means all my music can be sorted by smart playlist.

I have a play list for each rating, but I also have a top rated playlist, that included 4 and 5 stars. 5 Stars are rare for me. That means I could listen to those songs over and over again. What often happens is I give a song 5 stars and burn out on it, knocking it down to 4 stars. 4 stars means I like to listen to the song, just not over and over. 3 stars means I like to listen to the song rarely. 1 star means it is in my library for non-listening reasons. Like it was in an album, or I collected if for my father-in-laws birthday CD.

My iPod has my Top Rated playlist on it.

I may move other play lists in and out of the sync depending on my mood. I have my Christ playlist which is all of my Christian music on it. I have my instrumental. Audiobooks are normally rated 1 but are added as I want to listen to them. Don’t need to be on my iPod all the time.

And of course now I have my Podcasts on. I’d like to tell iTunes only put unplayed ones on there, but it considers any amount of playing to be played, unlike the play count of a song, which means you played the whole thing. So I have to watch and uncheck Podcasts after I play them.

That’s my strategy.

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