To help you get the most out of Playlisty we’ve put together this page of tips that you might find interesting & useful. We’re big users of Playlisty ourselves and some of these features were added for our own benefit, either to help us test new versions of Playlisty or because we had a one-off need for a particular feature.
- How to import playlist files from DropBox, iCloud or Google Drive
- How to import a list of albums, not tracks
- How to use Playlisty within Siri Shortcuts
We find the ability to store & read playlist files on iCloud, DropBox or Google Drive really useful for sharing playlists between our desktop computers and iOS devices. For example if there’s a one-off list of tracks that we find somewhere on a web page and that Playlisty doesn’t immediately recognise, it usually doesn’t take more than a couple of minutes in Notepad (Windows) or TextPad (MacOS) to tidy it up into “Track Name – Artist” format and save it to our Cloud drive (we usually keep these files in a playlist folder). From there it takes seconds to open the file in Playlisty on your iOS device and import as a playlist to Apple Music.
Also, you probably know that you can paste a web page URL into Playlisty and that Playlisty will read the web page and extract any playlist it finds. But did you know that you can save the URL to a file and simply open that file whenever you want Playlisty to read the playlist? That’s particularly useful if you’ve got a URL link to a page that contains a playlist which is dynamically updated, such as a “Top 100” playlist.
For example if you save the following URL to a 1-line text file on your cloud drive:
Every time you open that file in Playlisty it will automatically import “Today’s Biggest Hits” from YouTube. You can use this feature to create your own “Favourites” list of playlists that change on a regular basis.
Album list Imports
Warning: this is an advanced feature and we strongly recommend you fully back-up your library before using it!
Album mode is one of Playlisty’s most advanced features. In summary, if you give Playlisty a list of albums, it can explode the albums into individual tracks before saving them to your library. Why would you want this? Most commonly because it’s the easiest way to move your library from one Apple Music account to another, or potentially clean-up a library that’s got a bit out of control.
Suppose (like me) you have a library of your own MP3s and purchased tracks that you’ve built up over the years, and suppose that library is HUGE, and suppose that you’ve decided you want to convert that library over to pristine Apple Music tracks in the cloud. Or maybe you want to share your library with someone who has their own Apple Music account.
Well there’s a couple of ways you can do this using Playlisty. One would be to export all of your library as a playlist from iTunes (Windows) or the Music app (MacOS) as a playlist file, and then to import it into the new library using Playlisty. This would work, but there are a couple of issues. Firstly, if you have any wrong/missing tracks, those errors will get replicated to the new library. Second, even if Playlisty achieves a 95% match rate when importing to Apple Music, if your library is really huge that remaining 5% still potentially means a lot of checking you’ll need to do to make sure you get a clean import.
So the second way to do this import is to use Playlisty album mode. This kicks in automatically whenever you try to import a playlist with “.albums” in the title, so if you save an iTunes Xml playlist file as “MyLibrary.albums.Xml”, when you import it Playlisty will pick out all of the albums and ignore individual tracks. An album must have 2 or more tracks in the file to be included.
You will then find that Playlisty starts matching entire albums against the Apple Music catalog, rather than individual tracks. That means a LOT less checking do, and it means you get the full, pristine Apple Music album where before you might only have had a handful of tracks. Note: Playlisty will only explode the albums to tracks when you hit the import button, so you won’t see individual tracks until the process has finished.
But what about all those tracks you’ve got in your library which are singles? Well if Playlisty finds “.singles” in the title of the file it will ignore the Albums and only read what’s left, as individual tracks.
So for example if you want to move or clean-up a library stored under “Apple Music Account A” to a new “Apple Music Account B” you could:
- Create a playlist in Account A using the Music App on a Mac. Include all tracks in Account A’s library.
- Export it “File -> Library -> Export Library” as XML on your iCloud Drive, with the filename “MyLibrary.albums.Xml”.
- Export it again “File -> Library -> Export Library” as XML, this time with the filename “MyLibrary.singles.Xml”.
- Fire up Playlisty connected to Account B (or Account A, if you’ve cleared out Account A).
- Import the first file from iCloud using Playlisty. It will pull out all the albums and import them cleanly.
- Import the second file. It will pull out any tracks which weren’t covered by the first import.
That’s it – you’re done!
Note: this approach will NOT copy attributes such as play-counts, ratings or metadata.
If you allow Siri Suggestions on your iOS device (Settings -> Siri & Search -> SIRI SUGGESTIONS) you will start to see suggested playlist imports appear in a list under Playlisty in the Shortcuts app. These will be based on any playlist imports that you’ve performed using URLs, so will include Spotify, YouTube, BBC Sounds or Setlist.fm imports.
If you add one of these suggestions to a shortcut and then “run” the shortcut, it will repeat the import it describes automatically.
However by tweaking some of the shortcut parameters for Playlisty you can also use Playlisty in more advanced Shortcuts. Playlisty supports 6 parameters, as follows:
- URL or Playlist Text: A URL can be something like https://music.youtube.com/playlist?list=RDCLAK5uy_l2zLaMIWOqWSePvTSmt49GcuR8460ZR10 or https://open.spotify.com/playlist/37i9dQZF1DXdPec7aLTmlC?si=eTlo8kQFR2Wn3SJmdHH7sA.
However you can also grab text yourself (e.g. using the “Get Contents of Web Page” Web Request) and pass this in to Playlisty as raw text. Playlisty will then use advanced pattern-matching techniques to try and find a playlist within the text you passed-in.
- Playlist Name: You can force Playlisty to store the playlist with a specific name by filling in this field. Otherwise the default name for the playlist will be used. If an existing playlist is found with the name you specify, Playlisty will add a number in brackets to the end of the playlist name e.g. “My Playlist” becomes “My Playlist (1)”.
- Run in background: Normally Playlisty guides you through the process of importing a playlist. However with this option checked Playlisty will attempt to import your playlist completely in the background, fully automatically. In order to do this you need to supply a few additional parameters, as follows…
- Min Tracks: This is a number. If Playlisty fails to find at least this number of tracks at the URL you specify (e.g. because the playlist is no longer there) it will stop the import and let you know. For example if a playlist is usually about 100 tracks long you might set this value to around 90.
- Min Match Rate %: This is a number between 1 and 100. If Playlisty fails to find a match for at least this %age of the tracks at the URL you specify (e.g. because the page is corrupt in some way) it will stop the import and let you know. Normally this will be set to around 75% or 80%, but if it’s a classical music playlist you might want to choose a lower number.
- Playlist description: This field allows you to specify the description that Apple Music will display below the playlist title.
Once Playlisty has finished importing the playlist it will output the name that it used to save it, so that you can use this in subsequent steps in your shortcut e.g. to start playing the list. Note that the name used may not be the name you specified as a parameter as Playlisty will generate a new name if it finds that the specified name already exists.
Important information to Shortcut users migrating from Playlisty version 1.11 or earlier:
- Auto Save has become Run in Background. Playlisty will attempt to migrate your existing Auto Save shortcuts to be Run in Background shortcuts, but beware: where you could see Playlisty working previously it now functions quietly in the background instead. This is a lot slicker and you have more control over how it operates, but it might be a shock first time you use it!
- Your specified Playlist Name can change. With previous versions of Playlisty it was easy to create multiple playlists with exactly the same name, which could be extremely confusing and Shortcuts could become very complex to avoid this. The latest version will always ensure your playlists get saved with a unique name, and Playlisty will let you know the name used as an output. This makes life MUCH simpler in complex scripts.
- When Playlisty finishes, it’s really finished. Previously when you called Playlisty within a shortcut your import got added to a queue and it was quite complicated to work out when the import had actually finished. In the latest version that’s all been simplified: when a Playlisty call has now completed you can be sure that the playlist it imported is ready and waiting for you in your library. Again this makes life much simpler in complex scripts.