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Plex Smart Playlists

Apple Music screenshot

People seemed to appreciate some guidance I gave on smart playlists, so I thought I would post this here for anyone looking for this info.

It began because Plex’s smart shuffle is terrible, and I didn’t know it was a feature you can turn off. But let’s start earlier.

I stopped using iTunes (Apple Music) a while ago and moved my music library over to Plex. Well, that’s a bit of a lie. I do still use Music to import CDs and use it for its file sorting features. I buy a new album (digital or physical), put it into Apple Music, then Resilio Sync syncs my ~/Music folder to my Plex server (and my offsite backup server).

So it starts here:

Apple Music screenshot

Then it ends up here:

Screenshot of Finder showing ~/Music folder.

That syncs to the server via Resilio. And it’s indexed in Plex.

Screenshot of recently added music in Plexamp.

From there I can play my music anywhere. Handy dandy.

I have a playlist of “Wonderful Songs” which is just a smart playlist of any song that is 3 stars or more. This used to exist in iTunes for me. It is the default playlist I use. Unfortunately with Plex’s smart shuffle it was showing me the same songs every single time. It was really frustrating.

Turns out you can turn off Smart Shuffle by going into the Plex app (not PlexAmp), going to settings. Go to Library, show advanced, and there’s a checkbox there.

Screenshot of Plex

Boom. But I liked the workaround I was doing and I’m going to keep it, as well.

With Smart Playlists, you can choose to omit items that have been played in the last x days/weeks/months. So for my Wonderful Songs playlists, it looks like this:

Plex screenshot where Track Rating is greater than 3 stars and track last played is not the last 6 months.

And that’s not all, you can apply this same logic to video playlists:

Plex screenshot of a smart playlist logic. Show title contains "3rd Rock" or "Good Place" or "Bob's Burgers" or "Central Park" or "Taskmaster" or "No More" and Episode last played is not in the last 3 months.

Ta da!

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