Frequently Asked Questions
What is the Playlisty Browser?
The Playlisty browser is a specialised web browser, a bit like Safari, Chrome or Edge but focused on viewing web pages that contain playlists. Like most browsers it allows you to enter URLs (using the ‘+’ button) and save them to your favourites (they are called “Playlist Sources” in Playlisty).
As above, the big difference between the Playlisty browser and other web browsers is that it includes a specialised add-in that scans web pages using advanced pattern-matching techniques and finds playlists. Think of it as a bit like an advert-blocker, except that instead of throwing away advertisements it throws away anything that isn’t a playlist.
There are a small number of exceptions to this, namely Spotify, YouTube & Setlist.fm. For these 3 services Playlisty logs on using the official APIs offered by those sites.
What does this all mean to you, the user? On the plus side, if you happen to find a web page on one of our supported websites that shows you some playlists you like, it is usually possible to add that URL as a Playlisty source within seconds using the ‘+’ button. On the minus side, if any of our supported websites radically change their web-page formats it’s possible Playlisty may need us to tweak it a bit before it can find playlists on the site again.
I’ve heard I can use Playlisty to get access to my Apple Music “Loved” tracks. How?
If you are used to Spotify you will probably be used to the functionality it offers where “Liking” a track causes it to get automatically added to a “Liked Songs” playlist.
At the time of writing, no such functionality exists on Apple Music and if you “Love” an Apple Music track and forget to also add it to a playlist or your library, there’s no easy way to find the track again. If you’ve already “Loved” hundreds of tracks before realising this it can be very frustrating.
Luckily there is a workaround. It’s easy, but it does take a bit of time while you wait for Apple to do their thing. This is how you do it:
- Log-on to https://privacy.apple.com using the Apple Id that you use for Apple Music (this is very important – if you use different Ids for Apple Music & iCloud)
- Select “Obtain a copy of your data” and then “Apple Media Services information”. Then “Continue”.
- Choose a maximum file size (the minimum of 1Gb should be fine) and then “Complete request”.
- Wait. For a day or two. Or three. Keep checking back here: https://privacy.apple.com/account to see if your file is ready for download.
- Once it is ready, download your file (it is called “Apple Media Services information.zip”) and unzip it (easiest on a Mac or PC).
- Next, find the file “Apple_Media_Services.zip”, unzip it and then open the folder “Apple Music Activity”.
- Find the file “Apple Music Likes and Dislikes.csv” and put it somewhere where Playlisty can open it e.g. on a Mac leave it in the Downloads folder; on an iPad or iPhone, put it somewhere on your iCloud or DropBox drive.
- Open Playlisty, select the “Files” tab and add the “Apple Music Likes and Dislikes.csv” file. Hit “Next…” and let Playlisty do the rest.
Sorry if that sounds complicated – it really is not, but you do have to wait a while for Apple to get your data together. Hopefully a future version of Apple Music will make this all unnecessary.
What are the pre-requisites for running Playlisty?
To install & run Playlisty you will need:
- To be running iOS 14.4 or MacOS 11.1: Unfortunately we use some of the latest Apple APIs, which weren’t available before these versions.
- An Apple Music subscription with iCloud Music Library switched-on.
Tell me about this MacOS Bug
Playlisty uses a piece of technology provided by Apple called “Catalyst”. It’s revolutionary: it lets us write a single application which we can release on iOS, iPadOS & MacOS, something that would have been nearly impossible previously. We love it, and as soon as Catalyst was ready to support Music apps (Q4 2020) we used it to release a Mac version of Playlisty.
Unfortunately at the moment there are still one or two issues with Catalyst. We’ve been working hard with Apple to sort these out but if you are running Big Sur on your Mac there’s one in particular that you might experience.
Specifically, you might see an issue where Playlisty will fail to find your Apple Music account when you try to install it, even though you are correctly logged-in. Under the covers this happens because you are logged-in to the App Store or iCloud with a different Apple ID, and your Mac is looking at that Apple ID to see if it has an Apple Music account instead of the one it should be looking at.
It’s a small bug and Apple are very much aware of it, but it has a big impact on Playlisty (Monterey already looks much better).
There are a couple of possible workarounds:
- Use the same Apple ID across Media, App Store & iCloud. We realise that for many this isn’t ideal, but it usually fixes the issue.
- Use our iPhone or iPad version! Remember, if you purchase Playlisty Pro it works across all 3 platforms so as/when Apple resolve this issue you will be able to use the Mac version for no extra charge.
What is “Sync Mode” and why do I have to enable it?
If you enable “Sync Mode” you are allowing the Music app to store your library in the cloud rather than just locally on your device. If you have multiple devices connected to the cloud they will all share the same library, so if you add a track on one device, within a few seconds all your other devices can see it too. So there’s no need to sync your devices any more – they stay up to date automatically. It’s magic.
But what if some of your devices don’t have enough room to save all of your tracks? Apple have thought of that: when a device downloads your library it doesn’t download any of the tracks themselves. It just downloads the “metadata” – the data about what tracks you have (including your playlists) which uses only a tiny amount of memory. You can then either choose yourself which tracks you want to download for offline access or let your device decide for itself. Either way you should not run out of memory. It’s very clever.
Downsides? Well, if all your devices have different stuff on them it is all going to get added to the cloud when you enable Sync Mode, which means that there’s sometimes a bit of sorting-out to do afterwards e.g. some duplicates. But apart from that, there really aren’t any downsides.
What does all this have to do with Playlisty?
The answer is that for a playlist to contain an Apple Music track it MUST be in the cloud. If you have a local “non-cloud” playlist you simply can’t add Apple Music tracks to it. It’s a rule.
Which means that if you want to copy any playlists to Apple Music, however you do it you are going to need “Sync Mode” switched on.
I just installed on a new device and tried to restore my purchase. It didn’t work!
Check that the Apple Id you are logged-in with is the same as (or has access to, via family sharing) the account with which you purchased Playlisty.
If it still doesn’t work, try again a bit later: we’ve noticed that this function does sometimes fail when Apple’s servers are very busy. If it still doesn’t work, please get in touch with us using the form below.
Why doesn’t Playlisty work on a child’s account & how can I work around this?
Unfortunately, Apple doesn’t allow third party apps such as Playlisty or Amazon Alexa to connect to accounts that are set up as “Child” accounts within a family sharing group.
If you want to get some playlists from a child’s Spotify account and save them to their Apple Music account, you therefore need to go through a few steps:
- Install Playlisty on an adult’s device and link it to the child’s Spotify account. If Playlisty is already installed and pointing to another Spotify account you will need to delete / re-install it.
Tip: if you have set up custom playlist sources you may want to go in to “Settings” and save them to a file before deleting.
- Import the relevant playlists to the adult’s Apple Music account.
- Share the playlists from within Apple Music (see https://support.apple.com/en-gb/guide/music/mus140a2e93/mac).
The child user can then access the shared playlists and link / copy them as required.
How do I “Share” a playlist from another app such as Safari?
Look for the share icon, and then press it
Select “Import Playlist” or “Playlisty” from the list
When the Playlisty “Share Extension” pops-up, hit “Post”, and then head over to the Playlisty App.
I can’t find how to “share” in Spotify…
Playlisty only works with playlists, not albums or individual tracks, so first of all make sure you are looking at an actual playlist on-screen and can see some of the tracks you want to export. Next, see those 3 dots in the top left corner? Tap them.
Now select “Share”…
And now “More” (we’re nearly there, honestly)
And now, finally, tap Import Playlist. Is the Icon missing? You can add it by scrolling right, selecting “More”. Find “Playlisty” on the list you see and turn it on. You might want to move it near to the top as well. See “I’ve hit the “Share” button but Playlisty isn’t there!” for what this looks like.
I posted a playlist from the “Share” button but nothing happened…
By default, when you hit the “Post” button your playlist gets saved. It will get picked-up as soon as you start the “Playlisty” app. This is the way that Apple says it’s supposed to happen.
In case you find this laborious and would prefer to go straight to Playlisty when you hit the “Post” button, there’s a switch (at the bottom, under the Post button). If you change this from “Import Playlist -> Later” to “Import Playlist -> Now” then the Playlisty app will start as soon as you hit “Post”.
I tried importing a Podcast/Web-page and it didn’t work…
There are a couple of reasons why a playlist sometimes won’t be immediately recognised:
- Sometimes there’s a playlist there but despite its advanced pattern matching technology, Playlisty just can’t find it. It’s worth cutting and pasting just the playlist text itself (without all the other text on the page) into the app – often that will work when sharing the whole page did not. If there’s a page you use a lot and it’s not working, please send it to us and we’ll try and get it working in a future release.
If all else fails, you can see the playlist but Playlisty simply won’t recognise it, try pasting it into a text file and try and clean it up a bit yourself. If you can get it in:
- Track name – Artist name
format you can be sure it will be recognised.
I’ve hit the “Share” button but Playlisty isn’t there…
Scroll to the right hand end of the list of “Share Extensions”, and select “More”.
Scroll down the list until you find “Playlisty”, and then turn it on. If you want to save a bit of time it’s worth moving it nearer the top of the list as well – this will make it quicker & easier to find.
I’ve selected the Playlisty “Share” icon but I’m not getting a playlist. I’m getting nothing/garbage instead…
If Playlisty couldn’t find a playlist at a URL you shared with it, but it did find some text, it will show you the stripped-down text that it received in the hope that you can clean it up a bit and try again. This is best done by cut/pasting it into a text editor and then pasting it back when cleaned-up. Better still, save it as a text file on your iCloud/DropBox/Google drive and open it in Playlisty from there.
By cleaned-up we mean as close a possible to a list of lines, each containing “Track name – Artist name” (or the other way around – it doesn’t matter).
If you want to know more take a look at the “I tried importing a Podcast/Web-page and it didn’t work…” section.
Lots of my tracks are failing to match
The most likely reason is that you are importing classical music. Unfortunately there are so many additional factors involved in getting a perfect match (Orchestra, Conductor etc) that partial matches are as good as you can hope for on most classical tracks.
The other common reason why you might not get a match is that the track simply isn’t available in Apple Music yet.
If you think Playlisty has missed a simple match with a track you know is there in Apple Music, please send us details using the form below, and we will try to fix it!
You say you support YouTube. I just tried it on my YouTube Music account and lots is missing!
Unfortunately YouTube & YouTube Music are not the same thing, although currently Google do not provide a way to access YouTube Music data except though YouTube (or more specifically the “YouTube Data API”).
What does this all mean?
It means that sometimes you won’t be able to see some of your YouTube Music playlists in Playlisty. And sometimes you will be able to see them but they take hours or days to appear after you create them.
It also means that very frequently when you try to import a YouTube Music playlist in Playlisty it will not be able to match some or many of the tracks.
This is because much of the data about your tracks (e.g. the artist) gets stripped off as it goes through YouTube because, for example, “artist” is not a data field for YouTube videos.
We really hope that Google fix this soon.
Playlisty says it has finished but my playlist is missing (or partially missing)!
This is because when Playlisty creates your playlist(s) it creates them in the cloud and (usually) it takes a little while to sync back to your device. There’s nothing you or we can do to speed this up – be patient and your playlists should be there in a few minutes.
You can check they made it to the cloud by looking at the Apple Music web site, here: https://music.apple.com
How does the Sync function work?
Say there’s a playlist that gets regularly updated on an external service such as SoundCloud or Spotify. The Spotify “Discover Weekly” playlist is a good example.
Suppose you want a playlist in Apple Music that gets updated with any new tracks that appear in your Spotify “Discover Weekly”.
That’s what the Sync function is useful for: each time you import “Discover Weekly” with Sync mode switched-on, instead of simply creating a new playlist (e.g. “Discover Weekly (2)”) Playlisty will compare the Spotify version of “Discover Weekly” with the version in your Apple Music library and it will add any new tracks to the end.
Maybe “Add mode” would be a better name for it than “Sync mode”?
Also, if you don’t want to have to remember to do the sync every week you can setup a Siri Shortcut to do this for you, using the “Add to Siri” button on the final “Save” screen, and then creating an “Automation” in the Apple shortcuts app. For more details on how to use Playlisty within Siri Shortcuts, click here.
What’s the difference between “Save to library” and “Save to playlist”?
“Save to playlist” does what it says: it saves the tracks you’ve selected to a playlist.
“Save to library” will not save the selected tracks to a playlist. Instead it will save them to your cloud library and you’ll be able to see them by looking in Library -> Songs. Note that there is no specific order for “Songs” – you can sort them into whatever order you want.
Generally if you are not sure which you want, choose the Playlist option. If you later decide that you want to add them to your library this is easy to do after the event using the Music app itself.
What’s the difference between “Save to new playlists” and “Save to your library ‘as is’”?
“Save to new playlists” will save whatever playlists you’ve selected to new playlists, including your “Liked Songs” and “Liked Albums”. Or in other words:
- Playlists -> Playlists (with same names)
- “Liked Songs” -> a “Liked Songs” Playlist
- “Liked Albums” -> a “Liked Albums” Playlist
If you are not 100% familiar with Apple Music then choose this option – it is simplest to understand, and if you want to move the tracks in a playlist to your library at a later time it’s easy to do in the Music app.
“Save to your library ‘as is’” will save Playlists as Playlists but will transfer Liked Songs & Albums (if selected) direct to your library. Or in other words:
- Playlists -> Playlists (with same names)
- “Liked Songs” -> the “Songs” section of your library
- “Liked Albums” -> the “Albums” section of your library
This will copy your Spotify library (for example) over to Apple Music in the way which is closest to how you see things in Spotify.
Why would I use a cloud drive to store playlists?
Click here to see how to import playlist files from DropBox, iCloud or Google Drive in Playlisty.
Can I import entire albums?
Click here to see how to import a list of albums, not tracks, in Playlisty.
How do I use Playlisty with Siri Shortcuts?
Click here to see how to use Playlisty within Siri Shortcuts.
If your issue isn’t covered by our FAQ, please don’t hesitate to contact us.
Also, if there’s a web page, app or podcast you’d like us to support in Playlisty please get in touch using the form below and send us the details (including URL if possible). We’ll do our best to add it to an upcoming release