Most people like to carry around and play their favorite music regardless of their location or the activity they're engaged into. The devices used for hosting the audio files are varied and include MP3 players, CD players, mobile phones etc. Many of them have playlist-related functions that will enable you to arrange the items in the desired order for playback, but this can be a time consuming operation especially if compared with the same activity accomplished on a computer. Therefore, it's advisable to first create the listing on your PC and then transfer it into your player of choice.
Since the technology is continuously evolving, you can now not only listen but also view music clips, so you'll want your playlists to contain both video and audio files. This shouldn't be a problem because the most common formats, like M3U and PLS, can accommodate that and are compatible with the vast majority of hardware and software tools. The next step is quite obvious: get a program that can build this kind of lists with the least complication. Such a utility is Playlist Creator
, a very easy-to-use application that comes completely free of cost.
The user interface is friendly and well-organized, instead of being shiny and glitzy, oriented towards functionality but without being too dull, maybe thanks to the nice icon set used. If you keep your media files well organized, the entire operation of creating a playlist from scratch will take no more than four or five clicks. This goes to show just how simple things can be if you use the right instruments for the job. However, do not think that this is all there is to be found here: load an entire folder or a selection of songs or videos, input a location and a name for the list, click the magical button, the end. There is more than a handful of customization settings available for you to choose from.
In the main tab of the software, you can find some useful commands for managing the loaded items, namely moving them up or down, to the beginning or right to the end of the playlist. You can select and remove unneeded entries one at a time, several at once or simply empty the listing with one click. This application handles both the above mentioned formats so you can save, load and even combine PLS and M3U files in a heartbeat.
The ''Settings'' menu of Playlist Creator hosts many options that will let you refine the process of building a personal selection. Leaving aside the general configurations like those for language or updates, you can activate some helpful functions. One of them refers to the way in which the items are displayed in the main window by means of a color code. To be more specific, you can define and use colors and gridlines for distinctly separating the files. Also, you will be able to pick a color that is assigned to entries that no longer exist in the original location.
Another section in the Settings area is dedicated to the set up of playlist details, such as adding and saving the items. Thus, you can specify where exactly the new files will be inserted: at the beginning or the end of the list, before or after the first selected entry. You should keep in mind that if you add the items using the drag and drop operation, this setting will not be applied. When it comes to saving the playlist entries, you have a choice between relative and absolute paths. If you don't know what exactly these types of paths are, note that the absolute one includes the entire directory hierarchy to locate the external reference and it may or may not include the drive letter, while the relative one is a partly nominated folder location that assumes the current drive letter or the host directory.
With this utility, you can easily have the extended information processed according to the configurations you opt for. In case you activate this feature, you will have the opportunity to create dynamic titles if you just check the box that enables the software to read out data from tags. This can be done only when working with types of files that support metadata, like MP3, WMA or OGG. For the title formats, things couldn't be simpler because in that tab of the application you have a table with the ready-to-use variables, and example and also a preview field.
If you were wondering about what types of files you can load into your selection, rest assured that they are supported. I say this because Playlist Creator currently supports over 50, so it's a pretty sure thing that your preferred kind is in there. And if you can't find it in the list, well, add it yourself. This is a rather unique and very handy feature of this tool that will give you the possibility to create new types on the spot. Just as useful is the separation in active and inactive file formats that allows you to pick out the ones that are eligible to make your list. As a little extra for you, in the Donations tab, right at the bottom, you can view the statistics of your using the software: how many playlists you created and the total number of songs in them. The Good
There are many qualities to be found in this application such as ease of use, extensive number of supported video and audio file types, dependable help file. Also, it’s worth mentioning here the very good processing speed and low system resource usage. The Bad
In the case of this particular utility, finding negative spots means to be really picky because at first, second and third glance, there is hardly a thing in sight. Some would certainly prefer a more eye-candy interface and it could support a few additional, even though more specialized, playlist formats. The Truth
There is no doubt that this is one of the top-quality tools for building multimedia playlists, perhaps it's even the best out there, given its capabilities and not forgetting that you don't have to pay a cent for it. Get it and try it, you'll probably love it! Here are some snapshots of the application in action: