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How does importing filebased playlists work/why are there almost none of the songs in my playlist?

Sunny Bunny

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Since manually managing my playlists is becoming way too tedious I wanted to switch to filebased playlists. The folder structure on my PC and on my phone are identical. To try it I created a small playlist with 51 songs using VLC player. However, when I move the .m3u playlist to my phone the playlist contains only 5 songs. They are from 5 different albums, even from albums from which I've added multiple songs to the list. I've never really worked with filebased playlists before, so am I doing something wrong?

Edit: I've added a screenshot from VLC with the playlist opened. I just dragged all the songs into VLC player and exported the playlist.


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File-based playlists are actually handled very simply in Poweramp, so as to avoid issues with playlists copied from other devices that have wildly different directory structures - e.g. PCs where a file's absolute path might be "C:\Users\<username>\Music\Artist\Album\Song.mp3", which has no equivalent on Android.

All that Poweramp needs in order to match an entry in a .M3U file with an existing song from its internal music library database is for both the filename and the first-level folder that contains it to match. All other path, tag or keyword information is discarded. Backward and Forward slashes are used interchangeably, you don't need to edit them manually between different operating systems.

So for example if a playlist that was copied from a PC contains a line such as:

C:\Users\myname\Music\ABBA\Arrival\Dancing Queen.mp3

then Poweramp will search through its music database to find any song with a filename of Dancing Queen.mp3 that is contained inside a folder called Arrival (regardless of how deep inside the Android directory structure it is located, the upper folder levels are ignored). If a match is found, that song will be used in the resulting Playlist.

So as long as your first-level containing folders match between your PC and your phone, Poweramp should be able to find the songs.


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I already uninstalled VLC (only installed it because I didn't find the create playlist option in MPC-HC) but yeah, the playlist did have spaces as %20. I remember loading the VLC created playlist in MPC-HC and being unable to play it. And now that I think about it, the 5 songs that Poweramp was able to show all didn't have any spaces in their file path.

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Thanks for the info, that was the cause of the problem then. I can't see how to turn if off in VLC anyway, so if anyone else has the same problem we know the reason.

@maxmp While escaped characters such as %20 (or any others) within M3U files are pretty unusual, could you add a bit of code to import them correctly for any files created by VLC?


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