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Making a QuickTime Playlist in Windows

written by: Tony J Palazzo•edited by: Lamar Stonecypher•updated: 11/5/2012

Playlist editing is one of the most essential functions of a media player. Yet Apple QuickTime for Windows apparently wasn't designed with this concept in mind. Currently, the options for making playlists in QuickTime are extremely limited, but the possibilities are discussed and explained here.

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    Quirky QuickTime

    If you want to watch multiple QuickTime files, in succession, on your Windows desktop, you have two options; you can launch each file individually, or you can create a playlist. To put it bluntly, If you plan on playing more than two files, you’re better off launching them individually, or using a player other than QuickTime. Software that will allow for the creation of QuickTime playlists does exist, but is exclusively for Mac OS. For Windows systems, there simply are no other options.

    Regardless, if you’re curious as to how to generate this playlist, or why it’s limited to only two items, the explanation is covered here as it applies to both QuickTime Player (the free version) and QuickTime Pro (the commercial version.)

    Editor's Note: As pointed out by a reader, this works for src and qtnext only. If you have other ideas on making this work, please include them in the comments.

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    Making a Playlist in QuickTime Pro

    quicktime playlist Use QuickTime to open any movie on your PC. Then, from the player’s file menu, select “Export." A window will appear with several drop-down lists. From the Export list, select “Movie to QuickTime Media Link." Then click the “Options" button to the right of the list. This will launch the “QuickTime Media Link Settings" window. Several text fields and checkboxes appear in this window, but the ones you need to be concerned with are the “Movie URL" field, the “autoplay" checkbox, and, toward the bottom of the window, the “QT Next URL" field.

    quicktime playlist 

    The Movie URL field should already be populated with the directory path to the movie you loaded. If the movie is stored on your C drive, the URL will begin with file://localhost/C:/. That’s your playlist’s first item. To add the second item, you need to add the path to the second movie file to the “QT Next URL" text field. If the second movie is located in the same folder, it will be easier to copy and paste the text from the “Movie URL" field (with the exception of the original movie’s filename) and just enter the second movie’s filename and extension.

    Once you’ve done this, Make sure the autoplay checkbox is checked and then click OK to return to the Save window. To make a playlist QuickTime can use, its filename must use the .QTL extension. After you’ve named the file, click save. Now you can open the file and watch the two movies on your list; just don’t expect a flowing continuity from the first file to the second.

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    Quicktime Player Playlist

    For the free version, You’ll need to create the QTL file manually with a text editor such as notepad. Copy the following text into notepad:

    <?xml version="1.0"?>

    <?quicktime type="application/x-quicktime-media-link"?>






    This example assumes both movies are located at the root of your C: drive. Make the necessary adjustments keeping in mind that the second movie on the list appears above the first. Then, in notepad, go to the file menu, select save as, name your file including the .qtl extension, and be sure to select “All Files (*.*)" from the “Save as Type" dropdown menu. The resulting file should appear with the QuickTime icon instead of the Notepad icon.

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    An Alternate Solution

    If ease and flexibility in making playlists is of greater importance to you than using QuickTime as your player, then it would be advisable to use an alternate player that supports QuickTime media. Please see my article “Alternatives to QuickTime," for some options that include reasonable playlist support.

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