Use Playlists in Windows Media Player

How playlists in Windows Media Player can be a powerful tool

Woman listening to music lying on grass
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Just like other popular software media players (iTunes, Winamp, VLC, etc.), you can do a whole lot more than just using Microsoft's popular jukebox software to play your entire music library from start to finish. Even if you are well versed in creating standard playlists in Windows Media Player for listening to music, did you know that you can use playlists for other tasks too? For instance, if the contents of your library constantly ​change, then you can create Auto Playlists that update themselves! For some other great uses of playlists, read on to find out more.

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Make Your Own Mixtapes

Playlists are very similar to making mixtapes — if you are old enough, you may remember when analog cassette tapes were all the rage. Creating your own custom music compilations using playlists can be fun as well as ​making your music library more user-friendly to use.

You can customize the way your music collection is enjoyed too. For example, you can populate a playlist that suits a particular mood or one that contains only songs from a certain artist or genre. The possibilities are almost endless. For more information on how to create your own mixtapes, our playlist creation tutorial will show you how.

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Auto Playlists: Intelligent Self-updating Compilations

Standard playlists are great if you want a list of songs that remains static and never changes — like an album playlist. However, if you want to create a playlist that contains all the songs in your library by a particular artist, then you will need to either manually update this list by hand or use Auto Playlists.

Auto Playlists are intelligent playlists that dynamically change when you update your WMP library — this can save heaps of time when you have multiple playlists that you want to keep up-to-date. If you need to keep the contents of your MP3 player up-to-date too, then Auto Playlists are very useful to keep everything in sync. Creating Auto Playlists are therefore a smart option if you update your library on a regular basis. To start creating Auto Playlists in Windows Media Player, follow our short guide.

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Quickly Sync Multiple Songs to Your Portable

Syncing playlists between Windows Media Player and your MP3 player can save a huge amount of time when compared to transferring songs one at a time or searching through your library and dragging and dropping. Compiling playlists using the contents of your music library is also an intelligent way of organizing your song collection. To find out how to do this, or to refresh your memory, follow our tutorial on syncing music to your portable.

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Listen to Free Internet Radio

Hiding under Window Media Player's jukebox interface is a doorway to thousands of free internet radio stations that broadcast live over the web. It's not always easy to find this facility, but clicking on the Media Guide link will suddenly display a whole new world of web radio. With all this abundant streaming music, you can bookmark your favorite stations in a playlist to make it easier to find them next time.

Our WMP 11 tutorial on listening to web radio will show you how easy it is to make a playlist of your favorite stations. You can also do this for WMP 12, although the method of creating a playlist of radio stations is different.