How to Open a Playlist in VLC

By Kevin Krause

The VLC media player allows you to create playlists from various media files, including audio and video, or a combination of both. Playlists can be created, saved, edited and opened all within VLC's playlist viewing mode, making it a powerful tool for organizing media files. While VLC does not have a main media library mode, playlists are an ideal way to play whole albums and videos divided into multiple segments seamlessly. Using playlists in VLC is as easy as opening any other sort of media file.

Things You'll Need

  • VLC player
  • Windows or Macintosh computer
  • Media files

Step 1

Open the VLC Player program. If you do not have a copy, one can be downloaded for free from the VLC website.

Step 2

Load a previously saved playlist by navigating to "Open File..." under the "File" menu. Select the M3U or PLS playlist file to open it in VLC.

Step 3

View the playlist by clicking the playlist button located next to the playback controls on the main transport interface.

Step 4

Add media items to a playlist by either using the "Open File..." dialog while the playlist viewer is open, or by using the "Manage" menu located in the playlist window.

Step 5

Use the "Sort" menu to change the order of songs based on artist, title and other criteria or to shuffle the playlist order. In Mac OS X, the files can be sorted by clicking the column headers in the playlist viewer.

Step 6

Select the playback mode using the three buttons at the top of the playlist viewer. These buttons select between random playback, playlist repeat or single item repeat. In the Mac OS X interface, playback mode is selected from a drop-down menu below the playlist.

Step 7

Save a playlist using the "Manage" menu or by selecting "Save Playlist..." under the "File" menu in Mac OS X.

Tips & Warnings

  • A playlist can be created from scratch following a similar process. Simply open VLC and launch the playlist viewer, add media files as described and save the playlist when finished.

References & Resources