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Saved Playlists unable to play some songs


Go to solution Solved by andrewilley,

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Recently, I noticed not all of the songs in my playlists were playing. I looked at the playlists and several of the songs are showing as unreadable/unplayable. They don't show album art and there is an error when I try to play them from the playlist saying that the folder doesn't exist or is unplayable. What's strange about this is that the songs in question play from the "all songs" function. They just won't play in the playlists I use from WMP (.m3u format). I've tried  reinstalling Poweramp, deleting and resaving the playlist after deleting the songs in question from the device and playlist and adding them manually again

Poweramp Build: build-939-bundle-play [939004-333c8a71]

Device Model: Google Pixel 3

Android Version: 12


As this issue concerns specific songs, let me know how to proceed with steps to reproduce. I can upload the songs and send them to someone via PM if that would help. Basically, though, to reproduce, you would add the songs to a WMP playlist and then save the playlist as an m3u playlist and then copy that playlist to mobile device and attempt to access it on Poweramp.

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Playlists only contain references to specific song filenames, and the folder that the file is contained within. If either of these things changes (maybe a file has been renamed, or moved to a new folder) the playlist will no longer be able to find that particular song and you will simply see a phantom placeholder which references the filename it wants to find. It doesn't make any difference if the song details (i.e. title, artist name, album, etc) are still in the All Songs list, playlists don't use that information, they just need to know where the file is. There is a feature in the Playlists menu called 'Rescan / Resolve Playlists' - but that is normally only needed to correct a list which was working and now isn't due to path changes; if you've already done a re-installed or a Full Rescan, there's little point in trying the Resolve feature too.

Check the M3U file in any text editor and look at the entries for the songs that are not displaying correctly. Compare those lines to the actual folders and files in your storage. Watch out especially for any file or folder names that contain special characters (international symbols, single quote mark, etc). You can ignore the root section of the path, as obviously an M3U copied from a PC will have paths starting with something like C:\Users\ , all of which is ignored by Poweramp. Concentrate on the specific filename and the first level of folder that it is contained within. 


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With special characters, try using the .M3U8 variant (Unicode / UTF-8) when you save the playlist file. Unicode is designed to handle a wider range of characters than plain ASCII. While ASCII does have an extended character set, anything beyond character 127 is not universally defined - so when you transfer stuff between different file systems, issues can occur with accented letters, etc. Unicode is much more resilient - perhaps too much so sometimes, as there can be multiple characters that look very similar but have different properties.

Single or double quote marks can be an issue for example, as they can either be simple old-fashioned keyboard ones, or left/open and right/close versions:


The top two are the most commonly used when typing plain text, and are pretty resilient to different file systems as they are both 7-bit ASCII. However the first one ( " )cannot be used in filenames anyway as it is a reserved character, so if you really want a double-quote in a filename you need to use the final two in the list. Or just use two single apostrophes ( '' ). But each version is considered a different character as far as matching entries in playlists.


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