[HowTo] Create Playlists (Updated for new UI)


#1

I have answered several questions regarding how to create playlists in Plex. While doing so, I discovered that there is no page in the Help system (at least that I could find) documenting the Playlist features. So I have taken it upon myself to write the following guide.

Creating Playlists

This article refers to Music playlists, but the instructions apply to Movie libraries as well. Photo playlists may be created as well, but some of the Selection processes are not yet implemented in Photo libraries.

Plex offers two kinds of playlists - standard and “smart.”

Standard Playlists

Standard playlists are created by simply selecting the albums, artists, and/or tracks you want, then clicking ‘Add to Playlist.’

Selecting Multiple Items

Manually selecting items is easy. Whether your library is displaying Artists, Albums, or Tracks, when you hover over an item, you’ll see a small circle in the upper left corner of the poster (near the right end, if in List mode). Once you click on this circle, you are in multi-select mode. Just click on other items you want to select, or use Shift-Click to select another item and every item between them.

Once you have made your selections, click the ‘Add to Playlist’ button. This will open a dialog showing existing standard playlists, if any. (Note: If you are in a Music library, only Music playlists will appear. You cannot mix media types in a playlist). You may add your selections to an existing Playlist, or create a new one by entering a Playlist name where it says “New Playlist…”

If you have two or more Libraries of the same type (Music, for example), you may add items from multiple libraries to a standard Playlist.

You may delete or rearrange the items in a Standard Playlist. When you move your mouse over an item in the Playlist, the drag tool appears to the left of the item, and a Delete icon (red ‘x’) appears to the right of it. Grab the drag tool and move the item up or down the list. When it appear where you want it, release the drag tool and the item will be moved to that position. Click the Delete tool to remove the item from the Playlist (this only removes the item from the Playlist. The file is not deleted from the Library or storage drive.) Be aware that Plex does not ask for confirmation when deleting items from a Playlist.

Smart Playlists

Smart playlists are created from your filter and sorting selections. Use the Filter tool to narrow down your selections, set the sort order if desired, then click the ‘Add to Playlist’ button. Give your Smart Playlist a name and click the ‘ADD’ button. Whenever you add new music or movies that fit the filters you used, they will automatically be added to the Smart Playlist.

You may skip the Selection process if you want to create a Smart Playlist containing every item in the Library. Simply click the ‘Add to playlist’ button without making any selections. The Add Playlist dialog will appear with the Library name as the default Playlist name. Rename it if you wish, or leave it alone and click the ‘ADD’ button.

Smart Playlists are populated solely on the basis of your Filter/Sort selections. You cannot manually add, delete, or rearrange items in a Smart Playlist. Because Plex’s Filtering functions only work within a library, it is not possible to add items from multiple libraries to a Smart Playlist.

On the Playlists page, Smart Playlists are identified by a gear icon overlaying the Playlist thumbnail.


#2

Thank you!


#3

Excellent post. Thanks.
I have one question. The Photos playlists are in newest first down to oldest. So for example a playlist for photos taken in 2015 will show December down to January.
Is there any way I can change this to reverse the order to oldest first down to newest. such as January down to December?


#4

There’s no sorting a playlist once it is created. However, the playlist will be created according to how you have your photos sorted when you create the playlist.

So if you set the sort order before you select your filter, the playlist will be sorted the way you selected.


#5

Thanks for the info. backfield.
I’m testing out playlists for photos.
It seems that the “Select” button only appears on the first screen -

At this point selecting something doesn’t work - possibly because there are too many photos?
So continuing through the screens the “Select” button doesn’t reappear -



It’s only when you get to screen 4 above that, although the “Select” button still doesn’t appear, it seems possible to add a photo to a playlist.

Have I understood this correctly?
Is there a way to add more than one photo at a time?


#6

Ah, don't know what I was thinking. Everything I said before applies to Playlists for movies and music. Playlists for photos is incompletely implemented at this time. You can add either one image at a time, or one folder at a time (but not recursively). In other words, adding a gallery of photos to a playlist only works one level deep.

You found how to add photos one at a time, so I won't go into that.

In your first screenshot, you were able to select what appears to be a photo gallery, but when you added it to a playlist, it was empty. I suspect that the gallery you selected actually contains more galleries (subfolders), and no actual images in the next level. If you open the '2016' gallery, and select a sub-gallery (sub-folder, whatever you want to call it), if that folder has images, they will be added to the playlist. I hope that makes sense. :)


#7

Thanks again backfield. Your reply explains everything and you're right the gallery selected in the first screen shot does contain more subfolders which you have to go through.
Thanks and may I make a suggestion for when the Photos Playlist feature is implemented?
At the moment Photo Playlists appear in the Playlist section together with Music Playlists. I like the idea of being able to have a Photo Playlist playing, like a slideshow, with a Music Playlist playing at the same time.
However to do that the Music Playlists and Photo Playlists would have to be in different sections so that they could be chosen separately. It also , in my opinion, makes it easier to find the type you want if they're not mixed together.
Is there any work being done on Photos Playlists at the moment, or has everyone got enough on their plates?


#8

You're welcome. I don't work for Plex, though, so making a suggestion to me doesn't get very far. :) That also means I don't know what they might be working on.

I would suggest starting a new thread, in the General Discussions (Public) forum, describing your suggestion. It is more likely to get attention from Plex folks there.

I can't swear to it, but I thought we used to be able to have a music and photo playlist running simultaneously. I know you can in the Roku app. Either my memory is faulty (entirely possible, since I don't use the web app to play music very often), or this is a downside of the new photo player.

As a workaround, you could open the Plex Web app in two browser tabs. Run the music playlist in one tab, and the photo playlist in the other.


#9

I've posted in the General Discussions (Public) forum so hopefully we will have some comments back.
I hadn't thought of opening the Plex Web app in two browser tabs so I'll give that a go.


#10

thank you this was really helpful :)


#11

The latest update has separated Music, Photos and Movies in Playlists which is great. Thanks.
On my iMac/Samsung Tv I can't play Photos at the same time as either Music or a Music Playlist though,
would be a nice feature to be able to watch Photos while playing music.
Any chance this could be looked at?
"backfield" (see above) thought the feature was available previously and is still on Roku.


#12

This might help some people viewing this post...
I can create a playlist from a folder in just 1 click and so can you!


#13

Forgive me for seeming dim but where exactly is the playlist selection process taking place? I have Plex on my Synology NAS (the Server presumably) and the client(s) are my Samsung Smart TV (sloooowww) and my PS4 but none support a mouse so click to select is a problem even were I to be able to see the select icons on the client app. Do I need to rune server on a Mac or PC and create the playlists there? Seems a bit limiting if thats true.
Thanks


#14

As far as I know, Playlists can only be created via the Plex Web app. I've never run an NAS, so I don't know if that's a different environment. Can you log into https://app.plex.tv/web/app via a web browser and manage your server? If so, that's where you need to be. If not, you may want to ask your question in the NAS forum.


#15

Creating playlists is not the point of the thread.
The point is that Plex should suggest and curate Plex Mix stations automatically in the dashboard.


#16

@beckfield said:
You're welcome. I don't work for Plex, though, so making a suggestion to me doesn't get very far. :) That also means I don't know what they might be working on.

I would suggest starting a new thread, in the General Discussions (Public) forum, describing your suggestion. It is more likely to get attention from Plex folks there.

I can't swear to it, but I thought we used to be able to have a music and photo playlist running simultaneously. I know you can in the Roku app. Either my memory is faulty (entirely possible, since I don't use the web app to play music very often), or this is a downside of the new photo player.

As a workaround, you could open the Plex Web app in two browser tabs. Run the music playlist in one tab, and the photo playlist in the other.

This functionality has been addressed in the 3.17 web branch available only on app.plex.com at the moment.

The packaged web client sits at 3.14, so I assume this minor update will be pushed soon to all packages. I'm very happy they've finally added this to web.


#17

@wwwizzarrdry said:
Creating playlists is not the point of the thread.
The point is that Plex should suggest and curate Plex Mix stations automatically in the dashboard.

Which thread are you talking about? This thread, started by me, is only about creating playlists manually, not about curated Plex Mix stations.


#18

@wwwizzarrdry said:

This functionality has been addressed in the 3.17 web branch available only on app.plex.com at the moment.

The packaged web client sits at 3.14, so I assume this minor update will be pushed soon to all packages. I'm very happy they've finally added this to web.

Agreed. The packaged version will be updated with the next Server upgrade.


#19

So I am setting up a projector for halloween with an Amazon Fire Stick, and I have about 30 (30-45 second) videos in a playlist. I can certainly have them shuffle, which is great! Is there a way to have to have it automatically cycle through the playlist again without having to manually telling it to play again each time it comes to the end? Something similar to iTunes with shuffle and repeat.


#20

Hi guys,

First post in the forums and a newbie to Plex generally speaking.

Im using a windows PC and referring to the home server in my internet browser when I ask this question.

My question:

Is it possible to have one movie in MULTIPLE playlists? On my Plex home server page I have created several playlists such as action, comedy etc... and some movies lend themselves to 1 or more of these categories.

Do I have to actually copy and paste the same movie from it's original file location into the second file location for this to happen or can I just click the movie title and bring up some other options I'm not aware of to add it to the second play list?

For example. Let's say I've downloaded the movie "The Night Before" and I originally downloaded it into a folder onto my PC called "Comedy." I then go onto Plex and create a playlist called Comedy which points to any and all movies in this folder on my pc.

Now if I want that same movie under another playlist called "Christmas movies" can it be done using the 1 file or do I have to duplicate the same 7GB file from my Comedy folder to my Christmas folder for this to happen? Im hoping this isn't the case as it would easily eat up valuable space on my external drive.

Any and all help would be greatly appreciated!