A playlist (often playlist ) is a list of audio and video files in a specific playback order. Playlists known today primarily the compilation of digital tunes ( see also MP3) to be played on computers.

In contrast to container formats playlists only contain addresses of content which they control playback. Container formats encapsulate this content even within a stream or file.

Playlists are used for streaming services such as Icecast or Microsoft's ASX, to increase the availability to split load or assign personalized streams. Apple HTTP Live Streaming Protocol ( HLS) uses M3U playlists to segment the video output.


Originally the term was used in the radio and it describes the collection exactly certain pieces of music that are played during a broadcast. Today in many commercial radio and music TV channels, a so -called " rotation principle " used. The playlists are automatically selected from a pool of given pieces of music by random. This pool is maintained by a music department that determines which track how often shows up in the program and the individual title entries may still be provided with additional meta- information to prevent, for example, that title the same artist are played in various music projects one after the other (for example, should be for a title of Phil Collins no title played by Genesis).

Playlists are based on a transmitter program format and only consider those pieces of music that fit the format. An oldie station is therefore only record oldies in his playlists. Playlists are usually revised weekly. They contain 8 to 25 "A song", which received intense airplay because of their popularity and the other, which are usually played only once. They thus serve for execution of the sender format and as a basis for settlement with the relevant collecting society ( eg GEMA ). Also in music television channels such Playlists are used.

Music Software

All popular audio players such as Winamp for Microsoft Windows or Linux support for Amarok playlists. In these, the order is set to be played in certain titles. The playlists can be also stored here. Accessible are the file formats M3U and PLS. There are also, for example, still XSPF, which is based on XML and can also store some metadata, but is not yet very common. Microsoft provides with ASX on a SMIL -like format, which is mostly used as a streaming playlist. For Podcasts RSS is used as a playlist for audio content.

In addition to the static playlists, there are dynamic playlists (eg " Smart Playlists" in iTunes), which automatically select according to set criteria at the time of the call songs from a pool. Manually adding individual songs is undertaken. A sample playlist could be defined as follows: "Show of those songs I 've rated with five stars, the longest no longer belonged to 50 ". This is also referred to as smart playlist. If automatic update is active, a -played song in this example disappears automatically from the list (since it the criterion of " least recently played " then no longer met), and another from slipping, so the list at any time the 50 currently contains the least recently played five-star songs.

The Autoplay command ' is the activation to play from the list.


  • Music Software
  • Radio
  • Playlist