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A Python script for recursively creating audio playlists

Project description


genpl is a Python 3 script for recursively generating playlists (M3U8, PLS, etc.) for audio files.

Some music devices (e.g., the author’s OEM automotobile head unit) do not support a library of audio files, but only a simple single-folder or playlist play modes, that harken back to the early days of software audio players. Given a typical filesystem layout that places releases in independent folders beneath an artist folder, the only way to play an entire artist is to build a playlist containing all releases for the artist. genpl solves the problem by recursively building “chained” playlists containing audio files for the containing folder or below. That is, suppose the following folder structure:


Provide the path /Music to genpl, and it can create a playlist at evey level of the path. A playlist in folder ‘2112’ will contain tracks from the album 2112; a playlist in folder ‘Rush’ will contain all releases for the artist Rush; a playlist in folder ‘Releases’ will contain releases for all popular artists; a playlist in folder ‘Popular’ will contain music for all popular artists; finally, a playlist in folder ‘Music’ will contain all music.


By default, genpl needs only a root path to generate chained m3u8 playlists for all subfolders containing audio files with extensions ‘ogg’, ‘flac’, ‘mp3’, ‘aac’, ‘m4a’, ‘oga’, ‘mka’, and ‘shn’:

genpl /Music

Or on Windows:

genpl F:\Music

Other generation modes are available to create a single playlist in the root containing all music below the root, --single-playlist, or to create playlists only in folders containing audio files and excluding files from subfolders, --unchained-playlists. Playlists are named the same as the parent folder, e.g., in the example above, folder ‘2112’ would contain a playlist named ‘2112.m3u8’. Use the --parent argument to create the playlists one folder higher, instead; e.g., in the example above the folder ‘Rush’ would contain a playlist for for each release, rather than a playlist in each subfolder. A fixed playlist filename can be provided to the --filename argument; however, in --parent mode, the filename only applies to the playlist created in the root. Other playlist types than ‘m3u8’ are available through the --type argument.

By default, genpl will use the path conventions for the platform where it is run (for example ‘/’ path separators on Linux vs. ‘' path separators on Windows). In cases where the files may be moved from one platform, it may be useful to force a certain convention with --posix or --windows. Note, however, that the author’s experience suggests that POSIX contentions work with most platforms and software, including Windows; your milage may vary.

By default, genpl creates playlists using paths relative to the playlist location. For example, given the folder structure above, a playlist in the ‘Relases’ folder would have entries:

Rush/2112/01 - 2112.ogg
Rush/2112/02 - A Passage to Bangkok.ogg

In almost all use cases, this is preferred as playlists stay correct if the root is moved, say, to another device or accessed remotely from another device. For specialized cases, --absolute-paths provides an absolute path mode; --base provides a quasi-absolute mode which substitues the root path with a provided path (absolute root path on a destination device). For example, these options on a Linux system:

genpl --base "M:\Music" --windows /Music

Could create a playlist with these entries:

M:\Music\Popular\Releases\Rush\2112\01 - 2112.ogg
M:\Music\Popular\Releases\Rush\2112\02 - A Passage to Bangkok.ogg

Since absolute paths are incompatible with cross-platform support, the path convention options are not valid with --absolute-paths.



Some Linux distributions discourage installation of system-level python packages using pip or install, due to collisions with the system package manager. In those cases, dependencies should be installed through the package manager, if possible, or choose a user folder installation method.

Installing with pip

If your system has pip installed, and you have access to install software in the system packages, then kantag kan be installed as administrator from PyPI:

# pip install genpl

If you do not have access to install system packages, or do not wish to install in the system location, it can be installed in a user folder:

$ pip install --user genpl

Installing from source

Either download a release tarball from the Downloads page, and unpack:

$ tar zxvf genpl-1.1.0.tar.gz

Or get the latest source from the Mercurial repository:

$ hg clone

If you have access to install software in the system packages, then it can be installed as administrator:

# python install

If you do not have access to install system packages, or do not wish to install in the system location, it can be installed in a user folder:

$ python install --user

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