I am using this page to share any new updates related to my music shortcuts. The entire core system is at the bottom of the page. If you are stumbling across this page without reading THIS I suggest you go there and then come back. Or go there and don’t come back if you think this is nuts.
Create Best Of List
Since music publications will often create an Apple Music Playlist of songs from their best of lists, I thought it would be helpful to make a shortcut that turns those playlists of single songs representing entire albums into a list of albums.
I decided to start big and use Pitchfork’s Top 200 Albums of The 2010s as my test case.
Here is the concept I came up with: Add the Pitchfork playlist into my playlists. Ask Shortcuts to grab the album name of each song. For each album result, search for the name of the album using the Find Music action. If the album is in my library, compile the text. If the album in not in my library, do an iTunes search. I then have to pick the album from the iTunes results. Once I do that it will compile the text. Finish it off by compiling both test lists and saving the list in my lists folder using the name I give it.
It took about ten minutes to go through (via the shortcut) each of the 200 songs and add albums that weren’t already in my library. Most best of lists aren’t so gigantic. Some of the albums I actually did have in my library but because it was perhaps a Deluxe or Remastered version I had to add it again. Whatever album the song pulls is what the list will generate and thus need to play from the list.
If this were a normal top ten or top twenty list I would just use it as a typical list and pick from all the albums. But with 200 I may also create a shortcut that picks a random ten or fifteen to choose from.
Some pictures below followed by the Shortcut. (Again, you will have to conform the text file to your own set-up.)
Here's a shortcut that sums up the combined number of plays for each of your albums and then sorts them from high to low in a text file. You'll just need to update where you want the file to be saved within the sanboxed Shortcuts folder in iCloud.
The results can be interesting. My number one album was actually: Fantastic Mr. Fox (Additional Music from the Original Score) [The Abbey Road Mixes] by Alexandre Desplat I like to play this when I write so this makes sense.
Sometimes you'll see an album get a ton of plays because of one song. This might make you check out the rest of the ablum again and discover that A)You should've given the other tracks more attention or B)You should just go ahead and delete the rest of the album. B seems kind of cruel for some reason so I don't always have the heart to do it.
I wanted to create a shortcut that resurfaced a list of albums that I (at least at one point) liked but haven’t listened to in a while. I came up with two ways to determine if I had enjoyed it: I could either look at the number of times I listened to all of the tracks combined. Or, I could look at the number of rating stars the album received combined. Once the album is deemed worthy based on either of these metrics, then it’s just a matter of picking a last played date and only pulling up results that came before that date.
The shortcut below is based on star rating. Again, this could easily be converted to play count. Since I only give out five stars, I decided that any album with fifteen or more combined stars (so, three or more liked songs) makes the cut. I ask it to initially pull up track three somewhat arbitrarily, but it does avoid perhaps a two-song non-album. Not that that would be terrible. Maybe I’ll change it to track one.
Links To The Entire Interlocking Mess Of Shortcuts
Last Update: 10/9/19
The problem sharing this set-up is that the shortcuts are so interdependent. They also require text files to be set-up under my exact same naming system.
However, some can be used outside of the context of this entire system. I could see someone just maintaining the Rotation group. The Add To Library could be simplified. Some could just give you ideas.
Do with them what you wish. They are organized roughly by containers followed by containees.
Warning: I'm sure many of these will look messy and inefficiant to a trained eye. I am not a trained eye. I remember watching Halt and Catch Fire and having no idea what people meant when they referred to how beautiful Cam's coding was. Now I know because I have an example of what ugly (faux) coding looks like. Cam would mock me.
Mixes - Smart - Favorites (Mix - Smart - Favorites - Artists, Mix - Smart - Favorites - All, Mix - Smart - Favorites - Recent, Mix - Smart - Favorites - Resurface, Mix - Smart - Favorites - This Year)