Accessible playlists
February 25, 2009 12:46 PM   Subscribe

How would one go about creating a playlist akin to a mixtape (ie with specifically ordered songs), to share with a friend via thumb drive/zip file?

I know this is possible using iTunes, but what if the recipient doesn't use iTunes?

I want to make a universally accessible playlist, which can be 'zipped' together with notes and images...Is there a software program that will do this for me? Some way I can attach data or formatting to a list of individual files?
posted by miss_scarlett to Computers & Internet (3 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: A standard .m3u or .pls file referencing MP3/FLAC/AAC etc. audio files would work. I don't know much about the .pls innards but it's fairly easy to write an .m3u playlist with software or by hand in a text editor and have it contain extended info about each track. On Windows, and probably by now on Linux and OS X, a number of software players will display as cover art anything named "folder.jpg" when it is in the same directory as the currently playing audio file. A lot of players (foobar2000, Winamp)can also read audio and metadata from inside RAR or ZIP archives.

My preferred "one file" solution would be to embed a cuesheet and a cover image inside a single FLAC file, but this might be more of a pain in the ass then you're looking for. In that case, a ZIP archive with files, cover art, and playlist file might me the way to go.
posted by Inspector.Gadget at 12:49 PM on February 25, 2009

Best answer: Nearly universally accepted: playlists in M3U and PLS format. Here's the formatting if you're interested.

You can toss anything you like into a zip file, but the display of that will vary depending on how the package is opened (operating system, programs installed, etc).

Can you provide more details about what you want to do?
posted by filthy light thief at 1:14 PM on February 25, 2009

Best answer: I agree with the advice above. A few extra things you can do:

Add track numbers to the beginning of each file name (as in "01 - The Intros - Awesome Intro Song.mp3"). That will help if they don't know or care about playlists.

Edit the tags of the file in a program like Mp3Tag so that they are all part of the same album/compilation and have the correct track numbers. That way, if the person adds the songs to an iPod or similar device they will show up together and in the right order.
posted by burnmp3s at 5:55 PM on February 25, 2009 [1 favorite]

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