March 11, 2013
Smart playlists (indicated by a gear icon in your list of playlists) maintain themselves according to the rules they're programmed with. Several examples come built into iTunes like Top Rated, Recently Added, and Top 25 Most Played, and you can create additional ones yourself. To look at how they work, select Top 25 Most Played, click the gear icon on the bottom left of the window and choose Edit Smart Playlist. As you'll see in the panel that appears, you can have different rules and use the checkbox and menu at the top to choose whether to match all or any of them, and you can use the area below the list of rules to control the size and selection criteria and turn live updating on and off. The plus and minus buttons to the right of each rule let you add and subtract rules, and clicking the rule menus will show you all the words you can use to create them -- Album Rating, Date Added, begins with, is not, and many more. A rule like "Genre is not Holiday" or "Genre is not Audiobook" for instance can keep tracks out of a smart playlist that you really didn't want in there.