Media Center saves statistics about the number of times files have been played or skipped in special Library Fields called [Number Plays] and [Skip Count]. It also stores a record of the last time each file was played or skipped in corresponding [Last Played] and [Last Skipped] fields.
Once you start playback of any file, Media Center will increment either [Number Plays] or [Skip Count] depending on the position of the playhead when playback of the file is stopped by any means (whether you advance to the next track, return to a previous track, stop playback, or exit the application). The logic used to determine if a file was Played or Skipped is relatively simple:
- [Number Plays] is incremented if: the playhead is positioned at the 50% mark or more for audio files, and for video files at the 90% mark or within 5 minutes of the end of the file (but never less than 50%).
- [Skip Count] is incremented if: playback is stopped before the [Number Plays] rule above would have been triggered.
Whenever either [Number Plays] or [Skip Count] is incremented, the current date and time is stored in the [Last Played] or [Last Skipped] fields respectively. Whenever Playback is started for a particular file, it will always count as either a Play or a Skip (and never both). Both [Number Plays] and [Last Played] are used to determine the results of the Watched() Expression, which is used in Theater View.
- Tip: You don't have to actually play through the files to see this effect. You can manually drag the playhead and watch the [Number Plays] and [Skip Count] fields change after playback is stopped, depending on where the playhead was when you stopped.