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The "Overture/Prologue" and "The Launching" from the musical Titanic is six tracks totaling 16 minutes. I want to make them available for inclusion in a Smart Playlist, but they need to be played as a group, and in order.

Similarly, the Canadian Brass "All You Need Is Love" has four "Intro to ..." tracks, about a minute in length, that should be played together with the song they introduce.

Is there any way in iTunes to mark multiple tracks which a Smart Playlist could pick as an ordered group?


Track   Name
  1     Song of Jasmine
  2     Intro to Kittens
  3     Song of Kittens
  4     Song of Humor
  5     Intro to Geology
  6     Song of Geology Part 1
  7     Song of Geology Part 2

Jasmine, Kittens, Humor, and Geology are not especially related and can be played separately and in any order, but it is not pleasing to hear just the Intro, or just one of the parts of Geology.

How do?

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Joining the tracks in GarageBand or Audacity would work, but isn't a convenient option to be sure. – Nathan Greenstein Jun 26 '11 at 14:00
up vote 4 down vote accepted

This is what the “Grouping” field is for. For all tracks in a group, enter the same text in the “Grouping” field. Then choose Controls → Shuffle → By Groupings — note that this setting is only in the menu bar, not in the Preferences!

With that setting, any track whose Grouping field is not empty will be played together with other tracks with the same Grouping, presumably in track number order.

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+1 Wow, I have learned something! Good trick! – kraymer Jun 28 '11 at 18:54
Will the Controls -> Shuffle -> By Groupings affect the current Smart Playlist? I ask because I want to listen to grouped tunes on an iPod Touch. – Thomas L Holaday Jun 29 '11 at 23:22
It affects how iTunes shuffles in all playlists. I do not know how it will affect an iPod Touch; I seem to recall my iPod Nano having its own shuffle-by setting. – Kevin Reid Jun 29 '11 at 23:59

The only option I know consists, as Nathan say, to join the tracks together into one track (but I suggest to keep originals tracks in case you want to play them manually).
Keep the joined track alongside the others, and make the original tracks non selectable by the smart playlist :
- by filtering on 'Grouping' field. E.g, by excluding all tracks whose 'Grouping' field is equals to string 'Yes'
- or activating the 'Skip when shuffling' bit should do the trick

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