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4.2. Playlist

The Playlist normally receives its contents from the Music Store. However, you can put any file in the Playlist regardless of the contents of your Music Store, using the Add files button at the bottom of the window. Adding a directory or a URL are also supported, by right-clicking on the button and selecting the appropriate menu item, Add directory or Add URL.

The Add URL menu item can be used to listen to Internet radio stations streaming Ogg Vorbis or MP3. You will be shown a dialog with an entry, in which you should enter the URL of the stream. Pressing OK will add it to the Playlist. After you start playing the stream, the Playlist entry changes to the name of the radio station, with the description provided by the station in brackets.

The other two buttons (Select all, Remove selected) function as you would expect them when clicked with the left mouse button. Clicking with the right mouse button brings up popup menus that contain further options as seen with the Add files button.

There is a statusbar under the list showing the total time of the Playlist and the duration of the selected tracks, as well as the size of the songs (if enabled).

The Playlist can not only maintain a linear list of songs, but is also capable of keeping the tracks of albums together. This is done when a Store, Artist or Record has been added to the Playlist using the so-called Album mode, available from the popup menu in Music Store. If you tend to use it extensively, there is an option on the Settings / Playlist page to make it default, so drag & drop and adding via keyboard shortcut will use this mode automatically.

Aqualung supports playlist tabs, which allow you to have multiple playlists for your music at the same time, very similarly to multiple tabbed browsing in Firefox. Creating new tabs is possible via CTRL+T in the Playlist window, double-clicking on the tab bar, or using the right-click context menu of the tab labels. This context menu can also be used to rename tabs, close other tabs, or undo closing. Another trick is that middle clicking on an item in the Music Store adds the content to a new playlist tab, which will be named after the middle-clicked element by default. Closing a tab has several ways: clicking the close button located on each tab, middle-clicking on a tab, using the tab context menu, or by pressing CTRL+W in the Playlist window. Undo close tab is possible until you quit Aqualung. Tabs can be reordered via drag & drop.

The contents of the Playlist can be saved and restored automatically when the program exits and starts up, and/or periodically with adjustable interval. (Whether this should be done is a configuration option, covered later.) In addition to this, you can save the Playlist manually at any time, or load a previously saved playlist file. To do this, right-click in the Playlist area, which will bring up a popup menu with these features.

The Playlist is saved as an XML file, unless you specify a filename ending in .m3u, in which case it is saved in M3U format (one filename per line). When saving an XML playlist, you should normally end your filename with .xml – however, this is only good practice and not necessary. If you choose Save all playlists, the XML will be a multi-tabbed playlist, containing all tabs, while Save playlist saves the current playlist only. When saving all playlists, it will always use the XML format, as the M3U file format does not support multiple playlists. Note that the XML playlist file format is not compatible with Winamp/XMMS .m3u files. However, Aqualung will open playlists in M3U and PLS formats whenever possible.

When opening a multi-tabbed playlist, all opened tabs will be appended after the present ones, and the existing tabs will be remained intact, regardless of whether you chose loading (which normally clears the current playlist before adding) or enqueueing (which appends songs to the playlist). Opening any other playlist type (single XML playlist created by Save playlist, M3U or PLS playlists) will behave according to the option you chose (`Load in new tab', `Load' or `Enqueue').

The usual cut, copy and paste functions are accessible via keyboard shortcuts, and work across playlist tabs as well. Rearranging tracks by drag & dropping items is also supported. You can even drag a track from a playlist into another, by dragging on the tab first in order to switch to the target playlist. The only restriction is that album nodes cannot be pasted or dropped inside another album node.

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