The Playlist Browser


Choose the Playlists browser by clicking on View -> Playlists. The usage is fairly simple - a list of songs in the right pane, and a list of playlists (with summary information) in the right.

Any file in your library can belong to any playlist or many playlists - it’s up to you how you want to organize them…

Playlist store

Playlists are stored as files on disk, typically under ~/.quodlibet/playlists, depending on your home / XDG directories.



Playlists are now stored in XSPF format.

The names are partially URL-encoded - that is, they can and should be URL-unencoded, but efforts are taken to make them human-friendly names where reasonable.

As before, these playlists are editable but it’s recommended to leave them to Quod Libet. It’s good to back them up (git etc works well here too).

Creating playlists

There are several ways to create playlists in Quod Libet. Choose whichever suits you best:

  • To create a blank playlist, select the Playlist Browser and click New.

  • To create a new playlist with songs in it, select the songs in any other browser, right click, and select Add to PlaylistNew Playlist.

  • To add songs to an existing playlist, either use Add to Playlist in the right click menu, or drag them to the playlist name on the sidebar.

  • To import playlists from pls or m3u /` m3u8` files, use the Import button. In addition to creating the playlist, any files in it will be added to your library.

Context menu support

The “songs menu”, a context menu presented when you right-click on a song (or songs), has in-built support for playlists. Just right-click on a song, and select Add to Playlist. This is a convenient way of adding a song to a playlist from almost any browser, and even better, seeing every playlist that song features in (they will be ticked).

Library Changes

The Playlists Browser, like many other browsers, listens to changes in your library. This means that any changes in tags will be reflected in the song list for each. Playlist entries are indexed by file path though, so any changes of name or directory will remove a song from its playlists (There are, however, discussions to changes this: Issue 708). Please be careful with mounted media (e.g. USB / network disks) as when the library is rescanned, these files not existing is taken as deletion, which will provoke a removal from their playlists. Please keep backups if playlists are important.

Drag and Drop

Quod Libet has extensive drag-and-drop support in the playlists browser. You can drag and drop songs from other browsers (eg the search browser) onto an existing playlist, or songs from one playlist to another. When you drop a song into the left-hand pane in the playlist browser, but not onto a playlist, a new playlist is created, named after that song.

Importing and Exporting Playlists

As outlined above, you can import playlists from pls or m3u/m3u8 files using the _Import_ button. In addition to creating the playlist, any files in it will be added to your library. You can also drag and drop an m3u playlist file from an external browser onto the left-hand pane in the playlist browser to import a playlist.

To export playlists to m3u, you first need to install the Export playlist export plugin. Once installed, you can export playlists to M3U or PLS format by right clicking on the playlist, then Plugins -> Export Playlist.

Dynamic Playlists

You may wonder whether Quod Libet doesn’t have so-called “dynamic” or “smart” playlists as you may know them from other music players, that is, playlists that automatically update themselves for example to always contain all songs from a certain artist that you have in your library.

In fact, QL does have this functionality, but it is implemented via the search functionality and hence located in the search browser, not in the playlists browser.

Creating a dynamic playlist:

  • Go to the search browser, (either using View or Music -> Browse Library).

  • Enter what you want to search for (see the section about searching for QL’s powerful search options), for example artist = radiohead. Optionally, click on search to test your search and modify it until you’re happy.

  • Click the arrow next to the search box on the right, to open the drop-down menu. You will see a history of some recent searches (if you have searched before), followed by Edit saved values… .” Clicking on this, you will be presented with a dialogue box. The Value field has been pre-filled with your current search. If you wish, enter a name in the Name field (if you leave it blank, QL will name it for you). Click Add.

You have now created a dynamic playlist, via a saved search. To play, just go to the search browser, click on the arrow to the right of the field and select your saved search from the list.

If you want to create several of such saved searches at once, you may find it more convenient to edit a text file instead of clicking through the GUI. To do so, you can edit the configuration text file ~/.quodlibet/lists/queries.saved.