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How to Make a iTunes Playlist

The way we listen to music has changed over the years. Growing up, my mother kept all her vinyl albums in crates stored in a closet. Then came the cassette tape and eventually the CD. These days, music, like everything else, is digital. iTunes is the music player of choice, if you don’t have it, click here to download it from apple.


Organize your music

So, you already have iTunes. Your downloading and playing music, but your library is a mess. Song titles are missing, artists are unknown, multiple genres, and no type of organization. In order to have a complete playlist, you must first label all of your music.


Music Genre's

First, we need to gather all of your hip-hop music into one genre. Most times people have multiple genres for hip hop, everything from hip-hop, rap, gangsta rap, etc. First, highlight all of your hip hop music, right click and select “Get Info.” Under Genre, type hip-hop. Now all of those songs should all be under the same genre, “hip-hop.”




Albums & Artists

Next, we need to make sure all of your songs are under the proper album and artist name. Again, highlight the songs and select get info. Under “Album” type in the name of the album, you can even add an image of the album cover under “Artwork.” Under “Artist” insert the name of the artist. If a song is featuring a guest, I’ve found it works best to put this in with the song name.


Unknown Music

Some of your tracks may have the infamous titles “Track 01, 02, 03, etc.” Apple has a feature that can help fix this. Under the advanced menu, select “Get CD Track Names.” Apple automatically searches the song and inputs the song title, if possible. If this doesn’t work,  you will have to do this manually. You can also get album covers with “Get Album Artwork.”


Year & Rating

For people who really want to get advanced, you can also include the Year and Rate each song. It’s done the same way as the other categories, but can really come in useful. Go through your library and rate each song. My ratings criteria is normally 5 stars for my all-time favorite songs, 4 Stars for radio/club hits, 3 stars for good songs, and 2 & below for bad songs, skits, intros, etc.

Making a Playlist

Now that we have organized our itunes library, we can make some playlists. First, on the left column, make a new playlist. Then drag over the songs you want from your library to your new playlist.


Smart Playlists

Now the organization comes into play. Smart playlists are organized by any parameters you want to put on it. Let’ make a hip-hop playlist.

First, select “New Smart Playlist” and call it Hip Hop. Now we need to apply rules. The first rule will be “Genre is hip-hop.” This will bring in all of the music under the genre hip-hop.

Next, we need to specify the years, we don’t want Digable Planets getting mixed in with Lil Wayne. The second rule will be “Year is greater than 1999.” This will give all hip hop music from 2000 to now.

Lastly, we want to make sure we have only the best hip hop songs in our playlist. This is where Ratings comes into play. Our last rule is “Rating is greater than 2 stars.” This will ensure that our playlist has only the best hip hop songs.

We now have a Hip Hop Playlist ready to go with the latest and best hip hop music. You can use the same techniques above to make more playlists! Here’s my list of Hip Hop Top 10 Playlists, all created in itunes:

 - Top 10 Hip Hop
 - Top 10 R&B



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