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How to make music playlists on Linux

Are you new to Linux? Do you have a lot of music files, and are you looking to make a music playlist? Unsure about what apps to do it with or how to do it? We can help! Follow along as we show you how to make music playlists in Linux!

Option 1 – Making music playlists in Rhythmbox

The best music player on Linux to create music playlists in is Rhythmbox. Why? It’s installed by default on almost every modern Linux distribution. It has an easy to understand UI, and it supports a multitude of audio formats out of the box.

To create music playlists on Rhythmbox, you will need to have music added to the library. The reason for this is that Rhythmbox is the type of music player that needs to have files imported to its library before it can manage it. To add music to Rhythmbox on your Linux PC, please follow this guide.

Note: this guide requires the installation of Rhythmbox. On most modern Linux operating systems, the app should already be installed. If you do not have it installed, head over to Pkgs.org, click on your distribution, locate the “rhythmbox” package, and click on it to get instructions on how to get it working.

Once you’ve added your favorite songs to your Rhythmbox music library, it is time to go over how to create music playlists with the app. Follow the step-by-step instructions below.

Step 1: Launch the Rhythmbox app on the Linux desktop. You can launch Rhythmbox by searching for it in the music section of your app menu, or by pressing Alt + F2 and writing “rhythmbox” in the launch box.

Step 2: With Rhythmbox open, find the “Music” tab on the left under “Library” and click on it. Selecting “Music” will take you to your Rhythmbox music collection.

Step 3: Locate the “Artist” column in the “Music” area of Rhythmbox. From there, select the “All X Artists” option. This option will give you a single list of every artist in your Rhythmbox library, which makes it easier to sort through for the playlist.

Note: “All X Artists” is an example. On your system, the X will be replaced with the actual amount of artists in your library.

Step 4: Sort through the long list of artists and look for the first song you wish to add to the playlist. Then, right-click on it with the mouse, and select “Add to playlist,” followed by “Add to new playlist.”

Step 5: After adding the first song, you will see your new playlist pop up under “Playlists” with a blank name. Double-click on it to give your playlist a name.

Step 6: Go back to “Music” under “Library” and once again select “All X Artists.” While holding down the Ctrl button, select the rest of the songs you would like to add to your new playlist. Do not let go of Ctrl!

Step 7: While still holding on to the Ctrl button, right-click, and select “Add to playlist.” Then inside of the “Add to playlist” menu, select the playlist you created to add the rest of the songs to the new playlist.

Once all songs are added to the playlist in Rhythmbox, find “Playlists,” and select your new playlist to access it.

Option 2 – Making music playlists in VLC

Making music playlists in Rhythmbox is a great idea if you’re an avid music fan with a ton of files to sort through. However, if you don’t listen to music much but want to know how to make a music playlist on Linux, VLC is a great choice.

Why VLC? Well, despite the fact that it’s primarily a video player, it also plays music files. It also has a robust playlist interface. To learn how to create music playlists in VLC, follow the step-by-step instructions below.

Note: this guide assumes you already have VLC installed for Linux. If you do not, head over to Pkgs.org, click on your distribution and select VLC. It will help you get the app working.

Step 1: Launch VLC on your Linux desktop by searching for it in the app menu.

Step 2: Locate the playlist button, and click on it to access VLC’s playlist area. It is next to the repeat button.

Step 3: In the VLC playlist area, you will see “Playlist is currently empty. Drop a file here or select a media source from the left.”

Find the “Media” menu and click on it. Then, select “Open file” to bring up the open-file dialog. Then, use the open-file dialog to browse for music files on your Linux PC. Keep in mind that you will need to click on “Open file” multiple times to add all of the different music files to the playlist.

Step 4: Click on the “Media” menu a second time. This time, select the “Save Playlist to File” button to save your playlist to a file.

Be sure the playlist is saved like the example below:


When you want to enjoy your music playlist in VLC, select “Media,” “Open file” and select the playlist.

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