Create Automatic iTunes Playlists with the Filter

Martin Brinkmann
Oct 30, 2006
Updated • May 14, 2013
Music and Video

One of the blogs that I'm regularly visiting is Connected Internet created by my friend Everton Blair. He writes mainly about the same topics that I write about (with a slight British touch) and once in a while I find a interesting story that I would like to publish on Ghacks as well. He discovered an automatic playlist generator for iTunes called The Filter.

Let me explain how this works. Once installed, you either choose to register an account or connect anonymously. I've selected the second option. The filter starts up iTunes and all you need to do is select a few songs that you like at the moment. Once you have selected a few you click on the F in the filter toolbar and the plugin seeks for additional songs that fit the selected ones.

It took only some seconds to create a playlist searching through my 700 mp3 files. If you have podcasts and videos on iTunes you should configure the filter to not include them when searching for similar files. The default amount of songs is 15 but you are free to change that amount as well as the title format and prefix of the created playlist.

The idea of the filter is really nice. I think it works best on very large mp3 collections (Everton was stating that he had 16000 files which is a lot, wonder how long it took to create a new playlist).

Update: The Filter is no longer available for iTunes, the web page the project was hosted on returns an error, and the front page displays unrelated items.

Apple in the meantime has added the Smart Playlist feature to iTunes which you can make use of to create automatic playlists based on criteria that you specify. You can for instance create a playlist with songs that have at least a four star rating, or only songs by a particular artist or genre. It is furthermore possible to mix different criteria.

To use the feature do the following:

  1. Open File > New Smart Playlist.
  2. Select Match the following rule and select rules from pop-up menus, e.g. only songs with four stars or more.
  3. You can limit the playlist to a specific duration or size and only include songs that are checked.
  4. The iTunes software can modify the playlist dynamically. If you want that, select live updating.
  5. Click ok and select a name for the playlist. It is then created under playlists in the sidebar.

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  1. innocent said on October 30, 2006 at 10:14 am

    If you do register then I have noticed that you’re playlists suddenly start improving in about a week – as it gets to know you’re taste.

  2. Everton said on October 30, 2006 at 1:23 am

    It only took a fraction of a second to create a playlist. This product is truly amazing

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