I don't mean reordering songs within a playlist, I mean the actual playlists - they show up on the sidebar in the order they were added in, but is there any way to change that order?

  • I can't find anything that would stop you from reordering the songs in the playlist.... And I don't see why you would need to reorder the actual list of playlist? I do see where they stay in order of last created. – WU-TANG Nov 20 '20 at 2:47
  • Ah, you're right, you can manually order songs within a playlist, just can't sort them by columns. Edited. And I need to be able to reorder the list of playlists because I have 50+ of them and I want the most used ones to be on top - wanting to organize stuff seems pretty common... – weronika Nov 20 '20 at 3:29
  • Apparently the developers thought alphabetical order was organized enough... If it's that deep why don't you just rank them in the name... – WU-TANG Nov 20 '20 at 5:30
  • they're not in alphabetical order though, they're in creation order, and if I rename them they don't move around. Alphabetical order would be fine! – weronika Nov 20 '20 at 13:04
  • Aha, apparently they move to alphabetical order after Rhythmbox is restarted, someone answered and told me that. That works. I thought they were stuck in creation order forever. – weronika Nov 20 '20 at 13:16

I currently have Rhythmbox installed on my system but not set up (default state). So I created three new playlists and renamed them:


After closing and reopening Rhythmbox I noticed, that all playlists are now in alphabetical order (that is what you are experiencing):


Then I located the playlists.xml under /home/USERNAME/.local/share/rhythmbox/playlists.xml which looks like this (in my case):

As per suggestion by WU-TANG in the comments below: At this point it is a (very) good idea to make a back up copy of your original playlists.xml, before making any edit/changes, that might break, delete or alter your currently working playlist setup in any unwanted way, in order to be able to restore it afterwards!

  <playlist name="ply_c" show-browser="true" browser-position="190" search-type="search-match" type="static"/>
  <playlist name="ply_a" show-browser="true" browser-position="190" search-type="search-match" type="static"/>
  <playlist name="ply_b" show-browser="true" browser-position="190" search-type="search-match" type="static"/>
  <playlist name="Play Queue" show-browser="false" browser-position="180" search-type="search-match" type="queue"/>

Noticeable is, that all custom playlists are set up, to type="static", which restores them in my case to the default alphabetical order in Rhythmbox itself. However I can't figure out how to make them stick in "non-static" state. Hope that helps.

  • Aha, thank you! I tried renaming them to see if they're alphabetical but I didn't try restarting Rhythmbox afterward. Yeah, that works. – weronika Nov 20 '20 at 13:06
  • Excellent! Glad it worked. How did you then manage the last step I struggled with figuring out, in keeping the new customized, non-alphabetical playlist order? Maybe you might want to add it to my answer or make a new one. – v2r Nov 20 '20 at 13:40
  • I didn't manage keeping it non-alphabetical, I just consider alphabetical order close enough, since I can reorder them by renaming them. When I originally wrote my question I thought I couldn't do that and was stuck with creation order forever. – weronika Nov 20 '20 at 15:03
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    I didn't provide this as an answer because I'd be very careful with this to the point of not recommending it. Not wihout a BACKUP. I'm not saying it doesn't work. I ranked my names 1-HIP HOP 2-DANCEHALL 3-RB etc. Works great! But when I edited the file wrong and messed up the format, it doesnt load into rhythmbox. So you have no playlist at all. Then (it seemed) like when you touched almost anything on the GUI, it writes out a new file, blanking your ENTIRE xml. And if I exited traditionally, it wrote a new xml. So you will lose everything! Backups or some kind of XML editor/checker is a MUST – WU-TANG Nov 20 '20 at 15:57
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    You should probably put that in your answer, some kind of exercise with caution statement... you don't just lose the one playlist it blows away ALL of them if you aren't careful... also one thing I was doing to be safe was launch it from a terminal and pass the playlists-file=copyofmyplaylist.xml parameter... then whatever it messed up, it wrote it to that playlist instead of my original. I'm not sure if you load the playlist from the GUI if it makes changes to the one loaded? seems like it should, but i didnt check... – WU-TANG Nov 20 '20 at 16:44

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