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Reading and writing playlists

Playlists can be imported or exported in either of two widely used playlist formats described in the next section. To import a playlist select File-->import playlist. You will be prompted to select a file and a format. To export a playlist right click on a playlist and select either save full list or save search results. The latter option will only appear if there is a search string associated with the playlist.

All tracks in an imported playlist are added to the library if they are not already there. Importing a playlist with many tracks not in the library can take some time. See the section Scanning for media files to see what happens when you import a playlist.

Supported playlist disk formats
Relative and absolute playlists


Supported playlist disk formats

mdb supports the m3u and pls playlist file formats. It supports relative or absolute playlists, but does not support URLs. i. e., references to web addresses. When reading a playlist, you can select which input format to search for in the open file dialog. When you write a playlist, you must use one of the two suffixes m3u or pls. m3u is the default.


Relative and absolute playlists

The file name in a playlist can be either absolute or relative. In Unix variants, like Linux and Apple OS X, absolute paths start with '/'. On Microsoft windows, an absolute path starts with a drive letter like 'C:' or a network location starting with '\\'. Relative paths on all operating systems start with a directory name or a '.'.

Playlists with relative names are still usable even if the directory tree they refer to is copied to another location or machine. However, relative playlists have the disadvantage that one must supply the base directory they are relative to. One good technique is to store the playlist in the root directory of the tree and make the playlist relative to that directory.

You select relative or absolute playlists from the File-->set root directory for playlist files option in the main menu. This allows you to choose one of three options.

  1. File names relative to the directory that contains the playlist (this is the default)
  2. Absolute file names
  3. File names relative to a directory you specify in the window below this option.

When reading a playlist, absolute path names are treated as absolute regardless of what option was set. On Microsoft windows, if the directory specified for a relative path name is on a different machine then the file being referenced, an absolute name will be used instead of a relative one. This is done to preserve compatibility with existing software. (This issue does not arise on Linux or OS X because of their more uniform file system structure.)


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