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I want a playlist to refer to a relative file path, so I can copy it to my mobile phone or any future drive and it will still work.

The playlist is located in /home/gratis/Music/Hip-Hop/50 Cent/The Very Best Of 50 Cent/11 - Patiently Waiting (ft. Eminem).m3u, and its entries are:

#EXTM3U
#EXTINF:286,Eminem - Patiently Waiting (ft. 50 Cent)
/home/gratis/Music/Hip-Hop/Eminem/The EMINEM Anthology/074 - Patiently Waiting (ft. 50 Cent).opus

So, that's basically two directories up from where it's located -> Eminem -> The EMINEM Anthology -> music file.

I replaced /home/gratis with .., and tried Mark Kirby's suggestion (replacing /home/gratis with ~), but neither of those attempts worked. How can I make these paths relative and/or portable?

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  • Error for case 1: File reading failed: VLC could not open the file "/home/gratis/Music/Hip-Hop/50 Cent/The Very Best Of 50 Cent/../Music/Hip-Hop/Eminem/The EMINEM Anthology/074 - Patiently Waiting (ft. 50 Cent).opus" (No such file or directory). Your input can't be opened: VLC is unable to open the MRL 'file:///home/gratis/Music/Hip-Hop/50%20Cent/The%20Very%20Best%20Of%2050%20Cent/..%2FMusic%2FHip-Hop%2FEminem%2FThe%20EMINEM%20Anthology%2F074%20-%20Patiently%20Waiting%20%28ft.%2050%20Cent%29.opus'. Check the log for details. Error Case 2: Commented Oct 4, 2016 at 15:59
  • File reading failed: VLC could not open the file "/home/gratis/Music/Hip-Hop/50 Cent/The Very Best Of 50 Cent/~/Music/Hip-Hop/Eminem/The EMINEM Anthology/074 - Patiently Waiting (ft. 50 Cent).opus" (No such file or directory). Your input can't be opened: VLC is unable to open the MRL 'file:///home/gratis/Music/Hip-Hop/50%20Cent/The%20Very%20Best%20Of%2050%20Cent/~%2FMusic%2FHip-Hop%2FEminem%2FThe%20EMINEM%20Anthology%2F074%20-%20Patiently%20Waiting%20%28ft.%2050%20Cent%29.opus'. Check the log for details. Commented Oct 4, 2016 at 16:00
  • ~ is just a synonym for $HOME which is a variable for /home/username so a absolute path remains... this just works for other users with the same paths. Commented Oct 4, 2016 at 16:01
  • Thats what VLC does. It is "only once" in the playlist entry. I remember it was something like ../, so I'm confused that doesnt work Commented Oct 4, 2016 at 16:12

1 Answer 1

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for a relative path it is interesting where the playlist is located. --> the paths are relative... relative to what? for sure the playlist! ;-)

  • for example the easiest is, everything is located in the same folder... then just delete the complete paths except the filenames and that's it: track.flac
  • or lets assume a sampler with more than one disc in sub-folders: disc1/track.flac
  • or the other way round; the playlist is located in a sub-folder: ../track.flac --> ../ stands for one folder up.
  • and the combination; a sampler with more discs and also playlists in different sub-folders: ../disk1/track.flac

the difference for absolute or relative paths are just the leading /!


so... to combine all them together for your case, the correct relative path would be ../../Eminem/The EMINEM Anthology/074 - Patiently Waiting (ft. 50 Cent).opus (if i'm right). ;-)

--> but keep in mind changing the folder structure will in most cases also mess up relative playlists, except just renaming the playlist-folder(s).

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  • Hey, the point is to have one music file, that is playable in both Best-Of-Compilations. I tried: "Music/Hip-Hop/Eminem/The EMINEM Anthology/074 - Patiently Waiting (ft. 50 Cent).opus" in the third line of the m3u file, but that would only work, if the playlist was in /home/gratis, right? Commented Oct 4, 2016 at 16:26
  • @MarkusGratis: yes, but this 4 folders in the playlist must never be changed or even renamed to keep the playlist working! - IMHO the best for relative paths is to keep them as short as possible... (and absolute playlists are anyway useless). Commented Oct 4, 2016 at 17:09
  • Yeah, I'm aware of that. But how to do it? With the playlist in /50 Cent/The Best of 50 Cent/ that is... Commented Oct 4, 2016 at 17:11
  • @MarkusGratis: please read the complete answer careful. - i added a second part for your concrete case, so you only have to copy&paste. - if it isn't working please post, what isn't working, the error-message, etc... Commented Oct 4, 2016 at 17:18
  • I'm sorry, I only saw the second part just now. Thank you so much! That works ;) Commented Oct 4, 2016 at 17:22

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