How to Create Audio & Video Playlists in WordPress Without Plugins

WordPress recently made improvements in the audio and video area to include media players for each.

This improvement means you can easily serve up audios and videos hosted on your own server through your WordPress site.

In addition to single audio and video files, you can also choose to serve up a playlist of either.

Below we’ll go over how to do that, and also how to add attractive images to show up to represent them.

movie-marquee

Creating Video Playlists

This works very much the same way you would build an image gallery. We’ll go over each step below.

Click your “Add Media” button as you normally would.

add-media

When you get into the Media Library, on the left you will see an option to create a video playlist.

When you click that, all the videos in your Media Library will appear.  Select the ones you want.

create-video-playlist

Once your videos are selected, in the bottom right-hand corner click “Create a new video playlist.”

create-new-playlist

Next, in that same bottom right-hand corner, you’ll now see a button to “Insert video playlist.” Click that and your playlist will be inserted.

insert-video-playlist

Getting an Image for the Playlist

Once you insert the playlist into your post, that’s it. But there’s still an issue.

As it stands, there is no image representing the videos. Your playlist will look like this.

no-poster-image

Obviously that’s not ideal. And it would be nice if there were an easy way to fix it. That should be coming in future versions.

But there is a solution for the time being.

Go into your Media Library and hover over the video to get the “Edit” link to appear. Then click to edit the video.

On the right hand side, you will see a spot for “Featured Image,” just as you do with a post. Insert your image there.

featured-image-for-video

The image you insert for the first image is what visitors will see on the page. But the other videos will still have that unattractive stretched out video icon. When the other videos begin, that image will appear momentarily, so it’s up to you if you want to apply a featured image to all your videos or not.

Here’s what a completed playlist will look like.

video-playlist

Audio Playlists

Audio playlists work in the exact same way as video playlists. You can also assign a featured images to audio tracks as well; however, those are much smaller, and so it will probably make much less of a difference if you decide to forego the images for audio files.

audio-playlist

Photo: by Peter Kaminski

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Comments (12)

  1. Thanks Joe, some of the features I will love to see in the audio playlist is option to download ability to listen to playlist while surfing the website pages. Are there plugins for this?

  2. Hey Joe,
    this looks like a great option for what I’m trying to do, however when I follow your directions and click on “add media” there is no create video playlist. I’ve googled this in many different ways and can’t figure out what I might be doing wrong. In fact I can’t find reference to built in video playlist anywhere but here… I have the latest WP installed, 3.9. any help?

    thanks!
    Cosmo

  3. That was the ticket! ‘I guess I just gave up expecting the opportunity to be there first, before the upload. WP’s smarter than I thought! Thanks! I was about to re-upload the whole thing thinking something didn’t go right in the upgrade!

  4. Thanks Joe. This is exactly what I am looking for to serve-up some MP3s. But I can’t figure out how to get the playlist option for files that I had already uploaded to a sub-directory. I used “Insert From a URL” and it created a link to the directory with the files, but no playlist . . .
    Thanks,
    Ron

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