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Playlists

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Playlists allow you to create collections of files or types of files that you want to use for a specific purpose. Internet stream addresses, videos and audiobooks can all appear in playlists, as well as music files. MusicBee offers three types of playlists:

These can be organised into playlist folders, which can be nested.

Playlists add a lot of versatility to your playback options. The three primary types are described below.

Types of Playlists Edit

Static PlaylistsEdit

The content of static playlists is determined entirely by the user, who must add and remove tracks manually. If tracks are dragged onto a playlist or sent to a playlist, they will appear at the bottom of the list. Play order is an important aspect of static playlists, and shuffling the list or sorting tracks by a certain tag will not change the Play order number (#), unless you choose to update the play order (Right-Click > List > Update Play Order), whereby the tracks will be renumbered sequentially in their position.

Instead of a delete option in the Right-Click menu, tracks in a playlist offer Remove, which can also be accessed by pressing delete on the keyboard. You will be asked if you wish to remove the track from the playlist or delete the file itself. A playlist can be deleted with the option of deleting all files in it too. This gives playlists a useful "Recycle Bin"-like function, if needed.

Playlists will display a default set of fields (columns), unless you specify otherwise. "Right-Click > Edit Playlist" enables you to choose to display "custom fields for this playlist only", so you can add or remove columns to customize the playlist. The dialogue box with these options also provides the option of choosing a view (Artwork, Album and Tracks or Track Detail) which will be specific to that playlist, or to display as the "Configure Layout" button (left of the search box) is set. When an option other than "default" is chosen, the view options under "Configure Layout" are frozen. Lastly, the "description" text box alters the tooltip that appears when hovering over the playlist.

Static Playlist Options

Auto-PlaylistsEdit

Auto-Playlists use rules to populate a list. Tracks cannot be dragged to form a new play order, and even after shuffling or sorting by tags, this order cannot be saved like static playlists can. However, auto-playlists can be saved in their present order as a static playlist, enabling preservation of a certain play order (Right-Click > List > Save as Library Playlist).

Follow these steps to create a new Auto-Playlist. Position your mouse cursor in the left sidebar of MusicBee, in the section Playlists. Then press the right mouse button to open the context menu and click on 'New Auto-Playlist'. Then the following dialog box is presented to you:

Default Auto-Playlist Opttions

Naming the playlist is not possible at this point, but can be done once all of the rules are saved. The "music track source" is self explanatory, but observe that playlist folders can be selected under playlist and network shares can be used under folders. "Display using view" and "description" work identically to their function in the options for static playlists (explained above).

filter out duplicates when the same track is repeated on multiple albums

(Default: unticked) If you tick the option for "filter out duplicates..." in the auto-playlist dialogue, the playlist chooses, by default, the best quality file of duplicates. It chooses lossless over lossy, then m4a, and if the rest are of the same format then the highest bitrate file.

The option to shuffle the playlist means it will shuffle the play order every time it is played, regardless of whether you have shuffle on in the player control panel. When set to "do not shuffle", enabling shuffle in the player will override this.

RulesEdit

The most important piece of an auto-playlist is the rules which define it.

Defining Criteria

Any number of rules can be used, and further conditions for each rule can result in very complex, customised algorithms.

The first drop-down box contains all tags, including custom tags and virtual tags.

The second drop-down box contains operators such as "is not" and "contains", as appropriate for each tag. If you're not happy with the automatically generated options, you can make these rules as complex as you need using "match RegEx" and "match RegEx/i" (the latter is case-insensitive) operators.

The third drop-down box contains a value that you define (either free text or from a list, depending on the tag), [playing track] or a regular expression. (If you need some help with regular expressions, or regex, try this page.) Items in lists (such as for matching the "is any of" or "is not any of" rules) should be separated with a semicolon (or you can click "..." and make a list in the box that pops up).

AND conditions can be added for each rule via the [.] button. This allows you to get around the main match any/match all settings by creating groupings of rules.

If no level of rule complexity is enough to remove or add certain files, you can also add and remove files manually, the same way you would add or remove files in a static playlist. If you later change your mind about files you added or removed, edit the playlist and click "Add Files" or "Remove Files" as appropriate. All you need to do is delete the line for the file you want to restore to its normal state.

Here are some guides for creating specific auto-playlists:

Playlist MixersEdit

Playlist Mixers produce a shuffled list of tracks, similar to Auto DJ, but allow you to use rules to constrain the randomness. They also allow you to weight the rules.

Playlist Mixer Example

New track selection criteria are added either using the + buttons or the "Add Criteria" button. The + buttons will insert criteria below the row whose + you clicked. The - button deletes that criterion. Instructions for creating rules are given above in the section on auto-playlists. Like auto-playlists, conditions can be added to refine rules.

The number of tracks in each cycle of the playlist will be the total of the number in the "track count" column, so the number assigned to each row can be seen more like a proportion than an exact number (because Playlist Mixers are designed to be listened to for as many cycles as you like). In the above example, "The Beatles" will make up 1/7th of the tracks I will listen to during my experience of this Mixer. I will hear 3 times the number of classical tracks to Beatles tracks.

The "gap before same artist can repeat" box doesn't apply across cycles, so you may still hear the same artist consecutively sometimes.

At the end of the cycle, MB automatically generates x new tracks (where "x" is the total of the "track count" column) again. These appear in the Now Playing list, and can be rearranged or deleted from there.

Creating Playlists Edit

There are several ways to create a new playlist:

  • Right click anywhere in the Playlists node in the Navigation Panel
  • Use the File Menu > New commands
  • Select any number of tracks in the main panel, right click, and choose Send To > Playlist > <New Playlist> to create a new static playlist
  • You can save the entire Now Playing List as a static playlist by right clicking and choosing List > Save as Library Playlist.

Playlist Folders Edit

To create folders for organizing your playlists, use either of the first two playlist creation methods listed above.

Playlists Context Menu Edit

Library Management

Playlists · Filters · Highlighting · Searching · A-Z Jump Bar · Column Browser · Thumbnail Browser · Library Explorer · Hotkeys · Toolbar Buttons · Multiple Libraries

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