Managing Playlists

September 14 2016 - 10:26 am

UPDATED: Loved Playlists v1.2

Loved Playlists will enable you to view the Love/Dislike status for "loveable" iTunes playlists and batch-edit these settings for one or more playlists at a time.

Apple has not provided a means to see what playlists have been Loved/Disliked; you'd have to click the ellipsis menu ("...") or contextual menu (right-click anywhere in the playlist header) to see if Love is checkmarked or Dislike has a minus sign.

This latest version allows the Love/Dislike status of Playlist Folders to be changed. Pre-12.5.1 versions of iTunes had a bug that prevented this with AppleScript.

August 16 2016 - 8:48 am

NEW: Loved Playlists v1.0

The only time you can see if a Playlist has been Loved is to view it in Playlist View, whereby a heart icon will appear in the upper right corner of the browser window. So here's an applet, Loved Playlists, that will list all the "loveable" playlists (plain, Smart and Folder) and display the appropriate icon (it will also accommodate the Dislike feature available in iTunes 12.5, currently in beta.):

As you probably have noticed, there is also an option to batch-edit these settings for one or more selected playlists.

Loved Playlists is free to download, with a donation requested. It is for OS X 10.10 (Yosemite) and later only.

February 17 2016 - 7:24 am

Name New Playlist From Selection

(This a repost from October 25, 2011. The previous post reminded me of it.)

I use the iTunes File > New > Playlist from Selection command a lot to create temporary playlists. Actually, I use the Shift-Command-N shortcut more often than clicking the command in the File menu. But I'm irritated at all the dancing I have to do to name the new "untitled playlist". It takes my attention away from what I was intending to do with the tracks. So, I rigged the script below to the keyboard shortcut Shift-Command-N—and, luckily, it works. Sometimes assigning a shortcut that iTunes is already using doesn't override the original command. The script does exactly what "Playlist from Selection" does except now I can enter the name for the playlist before it's created.

Here's the script:

tell application id ""


set sel to selection

set theSource to container of view of front browser window

if sel is {} then error

set opt to (display dialog ¬

"Make new playlist from selected tracks named:" default answer ¬

"" with title "Name New Playlist From Selection" with icon 1)

set newName to (text returned of opt)

if newName is "" then error

on error


end try

set newPlaylist to (make new playlist at theSource with properties {name:newName})

repeat with t in sel


duplicate t to newPlaylist

end try

end repeat

reveal newPlaylist

end tell

I named it "Name New Playlist from Selection", saved it to ~/Library/iTunes/Scripts/ and gave it the shortcut using these instructions.

February 10 2016 - 7:21 am

NEW: New Playlist from Selection to Folder

New Playlist from Selection to Folder will create a new playlist with the selected tracks in a chosen Playlist Folder—rather than at the top level where you'd otherwise have to locate it and drag it to a Playlist Folder.

Just select some tracks and then launch the script (you could assign the script a keyboard shortcut).

Enter a name to use for the new playlist and click "Continue...". A second panel listing the current Playlist Folders in iTunes will appear:

Select a Playlist Folder from the list and click "OK". The new playlist containing copies of the selected tracks will be created in the Playlist Folder.

More info and download is on this page.

February 4 2016 - 1:39 pm

UPDATED: Show In Playlists v1.4

Show In Playlists is a stay-open applet that monitors iTunes and detects when library tracks have been selected and then displays a heirarchical list of the playlists containing the selected track(s) (emulating iTunes' "Show In Playlist").

Show In Playlists

It can also be set to monitor only playing tracks (excepting "For You" and "New" Apple Music, alas). Clicking a playlist in the list chooses it in iTunes, and if a single track had been selected then it will be selected in the chosen playlist. Additionally, the monitoring routine can be toggled off temporarily so that the current list of playlists remains fixed yet still selectable.

This latest version fixes a problem resolving old and new-style iTunes Library.xml data which may have caused playlists to display erroneously.

Show In Playlists is free to use for ten days and $1.99 thereafter. This is a free update for registered users. More information and download is on this page.

January 11 2016 - 6:15 am

Playlist Time to Playlist Name

Here's a simple script that was inspired by a question Kirk got asked in his Ask the Tunes Guy column in Macworld last week. A user lamented that the playlist length (that is, its total time) is not available in the Music app on iOS. Kirk recommended adding this information to the playlist name in iTunes and then re-syncing. A good solution but kind of a chore. This script will do the renaming part for you.

Just select a playlist in iTunes and launch the script. It will display a confirmation dialog and then rename the playlist by appending the time length to its current name:

tell application "iTunes"


set thisPlaylist to view of front browser window

if special kind of thisPlaylist is none then

set newName to (my fixName(thisPlaylist's name) & " | " & thisPlaylist's time) as text

-- confirm


display dialog "Rename selected playlist to:" & return & return & newName

on error


end try

tell thisPlaylist to set name to newName



end if

on error m number n


display dialog "Can't change the selected playlist's name." buttons {"OK"}

end try


end try

end tell

to fixName(n)

if n does not contain "|" then return n

return text 1 thru ((offset of "|" in n) - 2) of n

end fixName

Couple of things to note: only user-created scripts (plain and Smart) can be affected. Also the script uses the "pipe" character to separate the actual name with the appended data. When you run the script again on a playlist that has previously been affected by the script, it uses the "|" as a marker to erase the appended text; thus, the playlist name can be updated if the contents changes at a later date. So, if you happen to already use "|" in your playlist names you may have a problem. You can edit the script in Script Editor to change each of the occurrences of "|" to some other text character that you aren't likely to use.

August 27 2015 - 2:12 pm

UPDATED: Assimilate View Options v4.0 (and Some Gripes)

Assimilate View Options takes advantage of the iTunes behavior whereby a newly created playlist has the same visible columns as the Music library playlist. Select a playlist in iTunes and launch the script. That playlist will be re-created with the same columns available in its Songs View as are available in the Music library playlist.

This latest version will only work with iTunes 12.2 or later on OS X 10.10 or later. Because Things Are Different Now. An older version from 2012 is still available that will probably still work with pre-Yosemite/pre-iTunes12.2 versions.

Working on this script exposed me to some funny quirks with the latest version of iTunes. First, programmatically speaking, there is no way to tell the difference between a Genius and Smart playlist. In fact, (programmatically speaking) they appear as identical types. They both have a smart property set to true. Their playlist properties in the XML file both have Smart Info and Smart Criteria; and if this data for a Genius playlist is exported and re-imported, it does not produce a Genius playlist of tracks but just an empty Genius playlist. Buh?

Next, there is likewise no way to tell that a playlist downloaded from Apple Music (which will appear under a "Apple Music Playlists" header in—what used to be known as—the Source List) is such a thing. And if you duplicate it, the copy will appear with your regular playlists. Don't use Assimilate View Options with these playlists.

And while I'm sort of griping here, must new playlists default to Playlist View as the initial view? I really like Playlist Views as an option and I'm all for cutting down on Preference Pane Clutter, too, but a popup with my favored initial view couldn't take up that much space, could it?

Oh, and Santa? 'Scriptable playlist description?

June 16 2015 - 6:33 am

Script of the Day: Dumb Down Genius Mix Playlist

Dumb Down Genius Mix Playlist will copy the tracks of a playing Genius Mix playlist to a new "dumb" (regular) playlist. You can subsequently copy the contents of additional Genius Mix playlists to the new playlist, refill it, or create more. (Each Genius Mix playlist only contains about 70 tracks maximum, which is why you may have several, say, "Rock Mix" playlists.)

More information and download is on this page.

Previous Scripts of the Day. Subscribe to my RSS feed or follow @dougscripts on Twitter to get daily "Script of the Day" notifications.

June 10 2015 - 6:21 am

UPDATED: Random Full Albums to Playlist v1.2

If you're like me, you may occasionally prefer to listen to full albums back-to-back. Back in the day, this device assisted with doing that:

turntable changer with stack

I haven't got one of those anymore (I got rid of the five-disc CD changer, too). But I've got this script that sorta works the same way. Without having to get up to flip the stack...or even pick the records.

Random Full Albums to Playlist v1.2 will assemble a user-set number of randomly selected full albums to a playlist. And by "full album", I mean a set of music tracks with the same album name, track count, and disc number, where the number of tracks from each album is equal to the common track count.

Random Full Albums to Playlist

This latest version is a maintenance update and I added an option to run it again without re-launching if you don't like the selection. Of course, the whole point is that it's a random selection of albums, so you're kind of cheating by running it again like that.

More information and download is on this page.

June 3 2015 - 6:04 am

Script of the Day: Merge-Delete Playlists

Merge-Delete Playlists will allow you to merge the track contents of two or more playlists or delete any number of playlists at once, including Smart, Genius, and Playlist Folder playlists.

Merge-Delete Playlists

The merge feature will prevent the same tracks that may appear in different source playlists from being duplicated and has an option to delete original playlists. The delete feature only deletes the playlist; tracks, of course, remain in the library.

More info and download is on this page.

Previous Scripts of the Day. Subscribe to my RSS feed or follow @dougscripts on Twitter to get daily "Script of the Day" notifications.

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