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Definition: playlist

(1) See video playlist.

(2) A file that contains an index to a selected group of music files on the computer. Using media player software such as iTunes and Winamp, playlists are created by the user by dragging and dropping titles from a master index. The software may be able to create a playlist automatically. For example, iTunes has a Smart Playlist feature that will automatically create a playlist with a selected maximum number of titles based on any number of criteria such as genre, artist and year.

There are several file formats used for playlists. For example, iTunes defines playlists in its XML-based library file, which also holds song information. Some formats are simple text files with a song on each line; for example, M3U files (MP3 playlists) contain a list of URLs or local file names, while RAM files contain a list of URLs to RealAudio files. The PLS playlist defines its song titles as key-value pairs in the Windows INI format (see INI file). Windows Media provides several playlist formats (see Windows Media formats). See media player and MPV.