I want to create a Best albums smart playlist containing a somewhat reasonable number of songs :

  • the rule Album rating is greater than ★★★ result in a 221 songs playlist.
  • wheareas the rule Album rating is greater than ★★ result in a 4000+ songs playlist.

I understand why those numbers, but still I would prefer that the resulting playlist contains ~1000 songs : hence my need to have access to the smart playlist file definition so I can overwrite the ratings representation inside.

Other approach tried : activate half star ratings (to create a 'greater than 3.5 stars' rule), but if half star is activated for song rating in the main window, it is not the case for the smart playlist dialog.

  • Based on which criteria do you want to limit the number of songs down to 1000?
    – nohillside
    Aug 17, 2013 at 10:11
  • @patrix the album rating. For eg if in the underlying smart playlist xml file there is <albumRatingMin>3</albumRatingMin> I would edit it to 3.5 and see how many tracks pass that threshold, and adjust the value accordingly
    – kraymer
    Aug 17, 2013 at 10:18
  • 2
    The definition is stored in ~/Music/iTunes/iTunes Music Library.xml (big file, search for the name of the smart list). The playlist definition seems to be stored as binary data though...
    – nohillside
    Aug 17, 2013 at 11:07

1 Answer 1


In the smart playlist edit panel, just specify a max limit for the number of songs (eg: max 1,000 songs or max 4GB), and also choose that it should choose the highest rated songs to reach that limit.

  • If I do that then selected albums are deprived of their lowest rated songs. I want albums to be full. Too bad there is not a "Limit N items selected by highest album rating" option.
    – kraymer
    Aug 17, 2013 at 13:07
  • @kraymer if you're on a mac you could create an applescript or perhaps automator script to create a playlist. That would allow you to make it choose entire albums. Aug 18, 2013 at 3:37

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