Here are some answers to common questions about playlists in Windows Media Player. If you don't see your question listed here, see Windows Media Player: frequently asked questions .

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What is a playlist and why would I want to use one?

In the Player, a playlist is a type of list that contains one or more digital media files. Playlists can contain any combination of songs, videos, or pictures. Playlists are a great way to group items that you like to listen to or watch frequently. For example, if you like to listen to certain songs while you relax in the evening, you can create a playlist that contains just those songs. You can also use playlists to group items that you want to burn to a CD or sync to a portable device. For example, you could create a playlist of your favorite holiday songs and then burn that playlist to an audio CD to play at a party.

By default, items in a playlist are played in the order they appear in the list. You can change the order of the items by dragging and dropping them within the list, or you can shuffle all items in the list.

What items can be added to a playlist?

Any audio, video, or picture file that the Player recognizes can be added to a playlist. Items that are not files, such as CDs or DVDs, cannot be added to a playlist.

What's the difference between a regular playlist and an auto playlist?

The contents of a regular playlist do not change unless you manually add or remove items from the playlist. When you add, remove, or change items in your library, the contents of an auto playlist change automatically according to criteria that you have specified. For example, you could create an auto playlist of all of the songs in your library by your favorite singer that you've rated four stars or higher. The contents of that auto playlist would change automatically if you ever change the rating of one of that singer's songs in your library, or if you added or removed a song by that singer.

Where are my playlist files stored on my computer?

By default, playlists are saved in the My Playlists folder, which is located in the same folder that you rip your CDs to (usually, your Music folder).

Are my playlists copied when I burn a CD or sync to a portable device?

If you burn a CD (either audio or data), the items in the playlist are burned to the CD, but the playlist file is not.

When you sync a playlist to a portable device, both the playlist file and the contents of the playlist are copied to the device.

Can I save a playlist in another format?

Yes. By default, the Player saves playlists with a .wpl extension, but you can save playlists with the .m3u or .asx extension instead. For information about saving a playlist with a different extension, see the procedure about creating a regular playlist in Create or change a regular playlist.

Why don't all of my items appear in the List pane when I drag an album or artist to it?

The Add Favorites to List When Dragging feature might be turned on. For information about how to turn off this feature, see the procedure about automatically creating a playlist of your favorite songs in Create or change a regular playlist.

Why are some of the items in my playlist dimmed?

Items in a playlist can be dimmed by skipping them during playback. For information about how items can be dimmed by skipping them, see the procedure about skipping items in a playlist in Create or change a regular playlist.

Why can't I expand a playlist?

If the playlist is located on a web server, then you can't expand it to view individual items. However, you can advance through items in the playlist by clicking the Next and Previous buttons.