Create Manual, Genius, or Smart iTunes '11 Playlists on a Mac
iTunes '11 playlists let you easily play a select set of tunes. iTunes '11 supports manually created playlists, Genius playlists, and Smart Playlists. With the right playlist, you can play a collection of songs matched to the occasion, such as a dinner party, child's birthday party, or special holiday event.
Create a manual iTunes playlist on your Mac
The simplest way to create a new playlist in iTunes '11 is to first click the Playlists tab, then click the + button in the lower-left corner of the iTunes window, and finally click New Playlist from the menu that appears. You can also choose File→New Playlist or press the keyboard tandem Cmd+N.
A new playlist panel appears along the right side of the iTunes window. Type a name for the playlist, and then drag songs or albums to the panel to add them to your playlist. Apple displays the number of songs in the playlist and how long it will take to listen to the whole bunch. Drag songs within the playlist to control the order in which songs are played.
If a song you are adding to a playlist is stored in iCloud, a copy will automatically be downloaded to your computer. Also, you can add a song to multiple playlists if you want, and remove songs from playlists without actually deleting the tune.
Create an iTunes Smart Playlist on your Mac
With a Smart Playlist, you can have iTunes select songs for you, based on specific conditions you establish up front: how fast a song is (based on BPM, or beats per minute), the type of music, a song's rating, and so on. You can also limit the playlist to a specific length, in terms of minutes or number of songs.
Click the + on the Playlists tab and choose New Smart Playlist. Select the parameters that define the playlist. Click + or − to add or remove a rule. You can indicate that all the criteria you list must be met or just selected criteria. If you want iTunes to alter the smart playlist as songs are added or removed, select the Live Updating check box.
Click OK to create the playlist. A Smart Playlist is identified in the source list by a gear icon to the left of its name.
Create an iTunes Genius Playlist on your Mac
A Genius playlists creates an instant playlist of songs from your library that (in theory) mesh well with a given song you are listening to. Turn Genius on by choosing Store→Turn On Genius. Then click the Genius button when listening to that track to generate a Genius playlist.
You can save a Genius playlist and instantly refresh it if you don't like the results. And you can limit the collection to 25, 50, 75, or 100 songs by clicking the arrow next to the number of songs that are in the current list. (Look for the arrow under the Based On heading in the upper-left corner of the playlist window.)
Create iTunes Genius Mixes on your Mac
Sometimes you want the Genius inside iTunes to continuously play songs in your library that go great together, as if you were listening to commercial-free radio. That's what the concept of a Genius Mix is. iTunes segregates songs into Genius Mix categories, putting, say, a Classical Mix together or a British Invasion or Soundtracks Mix. It's based, of course, on the music that is already in your library.
To get started with Genius Mixes, select Music from the iTunes Library pop-up menu and click Playlists. Click Genius Mix in the list of Playlists, and click the Genius Mix you want to start playing.