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THE Lowly Peon


On iTunes, Playcounts, and Strategies 
01 September 2009, 10:03pm

i just learned some startling news. i've been up since about 4am, jetlagged, playing around with my computers because i haven't been able to for so long. in organizing some of my tv shows for my upcoming two week trip (in a few hours, only about 18 hours after arriving), i noticed something horrible.

months ago, i found that my playcounts, that sacred little integer associated with every song, movie, or tv show, were zero for lots of tv shows and movies that i know i've seen, on my itunes, before. and now i know why.

when my itunes library started to grow beyond the size of my iPod, thanks to benji's mission to get nearly every movie and tv show on his hard drive, i developed a system for syncing my iPod. that system, in regards to tv shows, is simple: depending on the phase i'm going through, i have my iPod take the next ten unwatched episodes of whatever show i choose. i have a big iPod, so i usually do this for about 8 shows such that i could scratch any potential itch: house for a quality 42 minute show, arrested development for a quick laugh, which i've seen so many times before that i don't mind not paying too much attention, curb your enthusiasm for a slower, hilarious, 30 minute show, etc.

the way itunes knows if i've watched it or not is a simple boolean per track that marks it as either new or not new. if you want to change from new to not new, or vice versa, you simply select the track and open a menu to change it.

but.

marking a tv show or movie as new sets your playcount to zero!!! what the hell, apple! that makes no sense! (well i guess it sort of does, but it's really irritating, especially because i haven't noticed in for years).

so now i'll need a new system for syncing tv shows and movies. meh.

update
[02 September 2009, 12:51am]

I worked up a solution. not necessariy pretty, but I've got way more control now.

I made a smart playlist for each show I want on my iPod (currently seven), with the following criteria: video kind is tv, show is name, and last played is before the day I started this time around, ordered by the show title, which then pulls in order of season and episode.

I also have a drop box for shows that I don't watch regularly.

this way, I get the stuff updated every time I sync, so I've always got the 15 earliest that I haven't watched since I started over. to reset, I just need to change the last played date in the settings, or the show name if I want a different show.

so far so good.

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comments

Benji!

[01 September 2009]

Shit that sucks. Yeah, I had a similar reaction when I noticed that marking as new reset the play count. And then I accepted it because I had no choice. I guess it does make sense.

 

THE Lowly Peon

[02 September 2009]

bentomas: you had already noticed? iguess it makes sense, but I like the idea of playcounts being more like an odometer. impossible to reset.

 

Will

[05 September 2009]

My play counts for tv shows are already pretty messed up because unlike song I don't always make it to the end of a tv show (because of the credits).