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Extra Tools
(2.3) The Playlist Panel
by Thomas Radeke, 2006-04-18 12:57:00

Besides the obvious functionality of playing a list of files, the XMPlay playlist has some other neat features, like the Queue and "Dragon Droppings", which will be explained later. First, let's look at the basic functionality.

XMPlay Playlist panel with descriptions

Basic navigation

Select a track by clicking on it.
Doubleclicking plays a track.
Hold Ctrl to select multiple files at once.
Hold Shift to select ranges of files, just as in Windows Explorer.
Use Ctrl+Shift to select multiple ranges of files.
You can drag files around the playlist to change their playing order.

Tip: "Dead" tracks will be marked with a double red line. Merely unplayable files will only be marked with a single red line.

Context menu

The context menu of any file will give you a list of options:

Playlist context menu
  • Play.
  • Write to disk - Write a copy to disk while playing the track (URLs only). Streamed tracks can also be written as separate files, if the stream supports it.
  • Queue - Add track to queue or remove it, if it has been queued already.
  • Skip - Toggle skipping of a track.
  • Add to library - Adds the current track to the library.
  • Track info - Shows a window with miscellaneous information. You can override (but not edit!) ID3 tags from there.
  • Plugin file info - If a plugin is needed to play the track, you can show miscellaneous information about the file here. Some plugins allow tag editing here.
  • Refresh info from file - Refresh any tags and other information, if the file has been altered.
  • Remove - Removes the file from the playlist.
  • Remove & delete file - Removes the track from the playlist and physically deletes the file.

Drag and Drop operations

Dropping files on the main window will make them replace the current playlist and begin playing immediately.
Dropping files inside the playlist will insert the files above the track that you dopped the files upon.
Dropping files on the "Add tracks" button will add the files at the bottom of the playlist.

"Dragon Droppings"

XMPlay supports the reverse of "Drag and Drop": dragging a file out of the playlist and into other applications that accept Drag and Drop actions.

To do this, select one or more tracks on the playlist, begin dragging with the left mouse button and then press the right mouse button. The cursor will now indicate valid targets for external Drag and Drop operations.

If you drop files in file managers, XMPlay will copy them there. If you drop files on other applications, e.g. for opening files, XMPlay just passes a reference to the actual file to the other application.

This works from both the playlist panel as well as the "big" Playlist.

Random play

You can enable/disable random playing here. Right-clicking gives you more options:

  • Random play order - same as simply clicking the button.
  • Shuffle - physically shuffles the list
  • Sort by title
  • Sort by filename
  • Sort by extension - same as filename sorting, but also taking extensions into account
  • Reverse - reverses the list
  • Move selected to top - easy way of pushing tracks to the top of the list

Tip: only tracks that are currently selected will be sorted.

Save playlist

Saves the playlist as Unicode .pls file.

Add files/directories

Left-clicking the plus button opens a dialog where you can select one or more files to be added to the playlist.
Right-clicking the plus button opens another dialog, where you can add whole directories and subdirectories at once.

Tip: drag'n drop files or directories here to add them to the bottom of the playlist rather than inserting them inbetween.

Remove files

Left-clicking the minus button removes the selected tracks from the list.
Right-clicking the minus button gives you these options:

  • Remove selected - same as left-click
  • Remove duplicate files - removes all duplicate entries that are effectively pointing to the same physical file, so only one instance of the file remains on the list
  • Remove duplicate titles - removes all duplicate songs if you have the same song twice on your list, only with a different filename
  • Remove dead - removes all files that couldn't be found. You can use the "recover dead tracks" feature to find moved files.
  • Remove all - clears the playlist
  • Refresh dead tracks - checks whether dead files are still dead
  • Clear queue - returns the playlist to the normal state, if you had files queued.

Tip: use "Refresh dead tracks" to revive tracks that were not found because they reside on removable media, like a USB harddrive.

Loop List

Left-clicking toggles list looping. This option does not influence the track looping option. When list looping is active, playback will begin on the first track after the last track has played.
Right-clicking the button gives you these options:

  • Loop list - same as left-clicking
  • Auto advance - If enabled, XMPlay moves from track to track while playing.
    If disabled, XMPlay will stop after playing the track.
  • Stop at dead track - stop when a dead track is encountered
  • Stop at end of queue - stop when the queue has finished playing
  • Unload final track - same as pressing "Stop" after the last track, so the file can be renamed or moved.

Track display

The small display on the bottom right can be switched between two modes:

Time mode - This shows the total playlist duration in hours, minutes and seconds. If you have tracks selected, the display will flash between the total duration and the duration of the selected tracks.

Tip: The alternating flashing between the times can be disabled by adding the line "NoFlashTotal = 1" to the xmplay.ini. See "Secret INI options" for more options.

Track count - shows the currently playing track and the total number of tracks on the playlist.

Skipping tracks

If you want the playlist to leave out a certain track while playing, you can mark the track to be skipped via the context menu item "skip" or by pressing the default shortcut "Space". Un-skipping works the same.

Queueing tracks

Playlist panel with queued files

Queueing tracks allows files to be played in a different order than the playlist dictates. Just click the tracks with the middle mouse button in the order you want them to be played. (Note: The currently playing song can't be queued.)

Alternatively, you can right-click one or more files and select "Queue".

Playlist panel, only showing queued files

If you press the "Queue" button on the upper right of the playlist panel, the playlist will show queued tracks ONLY.