During the past week I’ve taken breaks from the nog and noshing to pack my 5G iPod with videos ripped from DVD with
HandBrake. Realizing that you can get too much of a good thing (read: get too enthusiastic about transferring videos to your iPod and you discover that you have little room for anything else), I vowed to make some adjustments to my playlists to more easily manage the videos that inhabited my iPod.
Step 1 was to make my movies bookmarkable so that when I played them I could take up where I last left off. To do so, I selected the Videos entry in iTunes’ Source list, selected the first video, pressed Command-I on my Mac (Control-I on a Windows PC), clicked the Options tab in the resulting Info window, and enabled the Remember Playback Position option. I then clicked Next to move to the next movie and repeated my actions until every movie was bookmarked.
Step 2 was to concoct a scheme for automatically removing movies from the playlist after I’d watched them. I did this with the help of a smart playlist that reads:
Match All of the Following Rules:
Kind Contains Video
Play Count is 0
Live Updating enabled.
With such a smart playlist, only those videos that have not played to completion one time are included in the playlist. Once the playhead reaches the end of a movie, its play count increases by one and it’s tossed out of the smart playlist—immediately in iTunes and from an iPod when you next sync the iPod.
To complete the picture I highlighted the iPod in iTunes’ Source list, clicked the iPod icon at the bottom right corner of the window to bring up the iPod Preferences window, clicked the Videos tab, enabled the Automatically Update Selected Playlists Only, and chose the Unplayed Videos smart playlist I’d just created. This ensured that the iPod downloaded only those videos that remained in the smart playlist (meaning that it kicked out those videos that had played at least once).
Should you wish to keep some videos on your iPod for more than one play—music videos you particularly like, for example—and delete others, you can assign a unique tag to those videos you want to delete after playing. Using a Comment condition instead of Kind you can easily separate the keepers from the one-timers with a playlist like this: