Plex Randomized Playlists

So I had this idea for a while.  It was sort of the first step to a bigger idea for Plex.  But this first step was pretty simple.  I wanted an option for playlists to always play randomly.  It could be a checkbox in the playlist options to always play in random order.  i didn’t think it would be too difficult to implement for the devs, since the playlist items get copied to a play queue table before starting and it should just be adding a randomizer in there to insert the items in the queue randomly.

So I went to Plex’s forum and started to write a a feature request.  Turns out it had been asked before, and that request was closed without being implemented.  In the original request, someone had put a tip for how to create a randomized playlist.  The steps were to basically create a smart playlist using a Filter, then change the sort order to an undocumented option, "random" before saving the filter as a smart playlist.

Ok, so that works, I suppose.  The only problem is the criteria for building a smart playlist is pretty limited.  It would be nice if there were options like "tracks in playlist X", but no.  The only real field that’s at the track level to freely use is "track mood", which is a collection of tags.  So I guess that’s what I have to work with.

To support this, I’m creating moods essentially mimicking playlist names.  Giving each a common prefix, I have "PL-70’s Rock", "PL-80’s Rock", "PL-80’s Pop", etc.  The downside, which is painful as fuck, is that I have to basically rebuild every playlist from scratch, or go through every track in my collection and tag each file with the appropriate mood.  So far, I’ve put in 3 hours and made it to the "D" artists.  There’s 2300+ albums to go through.  Granted a lot of them won’t even be touched, like classical and compilations, but it’s still a massive undertaking.

I’m just looking forward to when it’s complete and I only have to tag songs as I add new CDs to the collection.  This weekend is going to be crappy weather, so I’ll have plenty of inside time to work on this.

Comments are closed.