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Plex – How To Create Smart Playlists and Collections

I love my Plex server. I stream movies, tv shows, music, and other videos regularly. I was having troubles for the longest creating some smart collections inside other videos. I download backups of youtube creators, and wanted a way to easily pull up all their content in one area, on PLEX.  Took me a while to figure out how to create collections that automatically update based on certain parameters.

Personally, I use a native music client to play my music. Has a subsonic backend basically. I run navidrome, and use Sonixd, to stream from. Plex has an awesome iOS app everyone that pays for premium boasts about. 'Plex AMP' It's pretty close to 'substreamer' though, and much prefer substreamer as I have quite a few smart playlist built into navidrome already. Substreamer has a bunch of custom 'smart playlist' that will generate based on parameters. Sonixd is able to do the same.

With how great Plex is, I figured the same functionality had to be possible. I knew I could simply add songs to a playlist manually, but that seemed so tiresome. I’d rather let the software do it for me. Once I figured it out, I thought I’d make the steps clear for everyone else.

Counter-intuitively, the place to start is not in the “Playlists” (or collections area) option on the Plex dashboard, but in the Music panel.

[Image: Plex1.png]
Click on the Music pane, not the Playlists pane. (or movies, tv shows, or other videos)

You’d think that you would create Playlists in the Playlists area, but you don’t. You create all the Playlists in the Music area.
Once you’re viewing your music, you need to look for a drop-down menu. It’s all the way to the left and says “All” with a little arrow next to it.

[Image: Plex2.png]

Click on the little arrow next to “All” to drop down the menu.
What you want to do is click on “Custom Filter.” That will open this option:

[Image: Plex3-1024x173.png]

Here’s where you create custom filters.

Using that filter option, you can search for, say, all the music in the Genre “Alternative” or “Classic Rock.” Once you’ve entered your search criteria, click the 
“APPLY” button on the far right and it will apply your search criteria to your music:
[Image: Plex4.png]

Once you apply the search criteria, Plex will show you the music that fits the criteria.

Now, creating a “Smart Playlist” is just one more step. Look to the right of the window for an icon with four little lines and a plus sign. That is the icon for creating a playlist:
[Image: Plex5.png]

This is the icon you want for creating a playlist.

Clicking that button will open a prompt for you to name the new playlist. I typically name mine based on the search criteria, but you can call them whatever you want:
[Image: Plex6.png]

Now, with your Smart Playlist created, you’ll be able to see it in the Playlist area. Click on “Playlists” in the left menu and, assuming you’ve done everything correctly, you’ll see your newly created playlist there:

[Image: Plex7.png]

All of your playlists are in the Playlists area.

The little gear icon that appears in the top left corner of the playlist indicates that it is a “smart playlist” that will automatically update if you add new music to your library that meet your search criteria. Playing the playlist is as easy as hovering over it and then clicking on the play arrow that appears:

[Image: Plex8.png]

Hover over the playlist, then click on the play arrow to play it.
This method use to work for me:

But now has become obsolete it seems, at least for me. Hope this helps others!
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