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Playlist or tracklist

What’s the difference, or why you probably use the wrong word

Rekordbox 5. Example of a software that lets you create playlists.

Quite often I see DJs posting their mixes with a list of played tracks, and they call those lists a “playlist”. Well, that’s wrong. A proper word for this is a “tracklist”, or “tracklisting” if you will.

Here is what the difference between these two.

playlist is a list of audio or video content that can be organised and played back in any order. The point is you as a user have a control over the playback of individual items. You can playback it sequential or you can shuffle it, or you can add more items — like adding songs to a playlist on iTunes or adding videos to a playlist on YouTube.

tracklisting, on a contrast, is a list of tracks appearing in a particular given order. In case of DJ mixes, it’s set in stone, you cannot change it.

So, when a DJ plays a set he may have tracks organised in playlists, but once he recorded his set, the list of the tracks he played become a tracklist.

Perhaps, I sound like a nerd (and I probably am, indeed) but I hope it’ll help to make things clear.

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Nov 12   Music industry
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