Creating a playlist for a USB memory stick

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Creating a playlist for a USB memory stick

Post by RichardJS » Sat Jul 10, 2010 2:22 pm

I wanted to create some playlists to use with a USB memory stick in the car. It took a bit of experimenting to get it to work so I wrote down how I did it so I wouldn't forget (I'm getting old and my memory's not what it used to be!). I thought I'd make these notes a bit more understandable and share them here in case anybody finds them useful.

Before you start, you will of course need to copy the music on to the USB stick in .mp3 format. I use FreeRIP to copy and convert from my CD collection. I’ve also find it helpful to have a two level folder structure of genre (e.g. Rock) and then artist (e.g. Deep Purple). I also keep a copy of my music on my PC hard drive (in case anything happens to the USB stick) and find it’s more convenient to create and edit playlists on the hard drive. However, to do this, it’s essential that the folder structure on the hard drive is identical to that on the USB stick (it has to be identical otherwise the playlist won’t find the tracks).

So to create a playlist……….
1. Open Windows Media Player
2. Check that the library includes the folder structure where the music is: if not click on the “Library” tab at the top and then on “Add to library” in the drop down menu and then Add.
3. Click on “File” at top left and then “Create Playlist”: enter your chosen Playlist name in the pane that is opened on the right.
4. Show Library of songs by expanding “Library” on left and displaying by artist, album, etc.
5. Drag selected songs to the Playlist pane on the right, noting that the order can be rearranged (right click on song in playlist)
6. Save the playlist
7. Click on the name of the playlist at the top of the list of songs in the pane on the right; and then “Save playlist as…” in the drop down menu. Then browse to where you want to save it (suggest the top of the folder structure that will be on the USB stick) and save as file type M3U playlist. This is very important as the default is the Windows playlist format (.wpl), which the car doesn’t recognise.
8. Using Windows Explorer, navigate to the location of the M3U playlist. Right click on the file and in the drop down menu select “Open with….” and then “Notepad”. This enables you to edit the file as text. Check the file location of the songs, it should be something like:
Rock\Pink Floyd The wall\2-09 Run Like Hell.mp3
where “Rock” is the name of a folder at the top level on the USB stick.
9. If the file locations have something like C:\My music\ at the start then this needs to be edited out by clicking on “edit” and then “Replace…” on the drop down menu.
10. Then just copy the playlist to the USB stick and play it in the car by selecting “List” with the function key and selecting the playlist with the right hand knob and then clicking on the first song in the list.

It's easy when you know how!
123d M Sport 3 door in Space Grey with Xenons, cruise control, Comfort Package and Professional head-unit with USB interface

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Re: Creating a playlist for a USB memory stick

Post by frankpintosr » Sun Apr 06, 2014 10:23 am

Excellent post and very helpful, plus it worked! Just want to add a couple things I discovered.

First make sure the USB key is formatted with Fat32.

And second, when you create the .mu3 file (as detailed perfectly in the previous post) the songs path needs to be edited. To do this use the replace function in notepad. For example:

How it looks by default
#EXTINF:0,2-02 Yer Blues.mp3
C:\Users\Public\Music\The Beatles\The White Album\2-02 Yer Blues.mp3

My USB stick has all my music in a folder called Music. So I used replace to search for:
and replace field left blank

How it should look
#EXTINF:0,2-02 Yer Blues.mp3
Music\The Beatles\The White Album\2-02 Yer Blues.mp3

All my playlists show up and everything works a treat!

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