Here are some answers to common questions about playlists in Windows Media Player.

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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 and repeat items in the list. For more information about shuffling and repeating items, see Shuffle and repeat items in Windows Media Player.

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 Player 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 Player 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, or if you added or removed a song by that singer.

For more information about regular playlists, see Create or change a regular playlist in Windows Media Player. For more information about auto playlists, see Create or change an auto playlist in Windows Media Player.

Where are my playlist files stored on my computer?

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

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 more information about saving a playlist with a different extension, see Create or change a regular playlist in Windows Media Player.

Why are some of the items in my playlist dimmed?

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

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.