maintaining a physical music playlist on a newer Android (Note 20 Ultra)

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I asked a pretty similar question in the Note 20 specific thread. I thought more people might see this one, and perhaps have an idea. I’m new here; would this be the optimal forum for the most people seeing it?

First of all, the mods did a great job of making one feel welcome and nicely attempted to answer my question. I make no pretense of being a phone expert, but if I care about something, I learn very quickly. I’ve been soaking up all of sakitech’s (and similar youtubers) videos. (And yes, I looked on youtube for a m3u solution).

Long story short; audio’s very important to me, more so than video. I belong to a niche hobby, old time radio. I’m constantly listening to dramas, comedies, etc. Thus, since many of my files are made from the original sources, they’re not going to be on any music service, so physical playlists are the only way to go. The audio apps account for about 80% of my phone usage.

I had stuck with the S5 for a VERY long time (removable battery made this possible) and it was good about maintaining a primitive, but stable, playlist, in the .pla format. The Note seems to force me to use a .m3u playlist. It doesn’t let me copy in a .pla playlist.

The problem: I daily delete shows off of the phone and add new ones to the playlist. I use Windows for my pc, and there seems to be an Android specific (bare-bones) m3u manager. I’ve found that if I make any on-the-go changes to the playlist (bringing a show up or down in the list) blanks out the playlist on the PC and makes it impossible to add new files without erasing the old playlist. I’ve tried external m3u readers; Winamp, Foobar, etc. but while they save playlists, they’re very wonky about quickly adding files.

The complicated workaround: I made an original ‘good’ playlist (which becomes increasingly irrelevant as time goes on). I’m opening it in one of the external m3u editors, saving it as a new one, like OTR Monday, OTR Tuesday, etc. Then I edit the new one via the PC. I thought of copying and pasting the saved one as well, but that seems to ‘blank’ out or garble the new one when viewed from the PC.

I even thought of using the S5 as an ipod. It does have a headphone jack and sounds great. But then what’s the use of having an expensive new phone?

I’ve thought of editing it via an app, but if there’s a way to select multiple files at once in Samsung Music (or similar, Player Pro, etc) and drag them all up at once, I don’t know how. The main playlist has grown to 400+ files, so dragging one at a time up top’s not a viable option. And the whole blanking out the m3u bug would activate..

As you probably know, .m3u is a glorified txt file. It can be edited via wordpad, but finding a specific file, copying and pasting it around isn’t really a practical solution with a huge playlist.

The .pla file (used on my old S5) used the same barebones editor (looks like a white box, the files are listed within an one can toggle one or more files up and down). However, it was much more stable. I was able to change it on the fly. It’s been the same playlist (with daily changes) for years. I *think* this editor is contained on Android phones. If I click on an m3u file on the PC, said box does not come up.

Fewer and fewer people use physical playlists anymore, just as I virtually never see anyone with a belt clip case. (Actually, I can’t recall seeing anyone with one over the last 5 years). The belt clip is great for listening and saves the headphone cord from being damaged if one puts the phone in the pocket. It’s just faster too; popping out the phone from a clip, opposed to digging it out of the pocket.

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