Introduction to Playlists

In this topic you will learn about playlists and some of the best ways to use playlists to organize related videos in your Brightcove Beacon media library.

A playlist is a group of related videos or other assets (i.e. seasons, live events, etc).

Why do you need playlists?

Playlists are a flexible tool with multiple possible uses.

Publishing related content

In order to publish videos in a Beacon app, playlists will be created and then added to pages using the Layout module. This allows viewers to find related videos quickly and easily without having to search for the individual items themselves.

Presenting multi-part videos

If you have videos that are a part of a series, like episodes in a series or modules in an online training course, putting them all within a single playlist to play sequentially makes a lot of sense so that your viewers do not have to go hunting for parts or accidentally miss some parts in between. Also, if you have a particularly long video focusing on a wide variety of aspects (for example, a video showcasing various tourist destinations around the world), breaking it up into sub-parts per continent, giving each clear titles, and putting it into a playlist would be a good thing to do. If done this way, your viewers can pick and choose to view only the videos that interest them and opt to skip over the parts of the video that they are not particularly interested in.

Presenting newest or most popular content

You might want a page that always presents your newest videos. To do this, you can create a smart playlist that displays the newest videos. You could also create a playlist that always presents your most popular videos. In both of these cases it's a good idea to limit the size of the playlist to a reasonable number, maybe 10 videos.

Using playlists to group related videos

Your use of playlists doesn't need to involve playback at all. You can use playlists for internal organization of videos. You can do this by creating smart playlists that group videos based on tags. Note that a maximum of 1000 videos can be added to a playlist.

Folders can also be used to organize videos. There is no limit to the number of videos that can be placed in a folder. For more information, see Organizing Videos Using Folders.

Types of playlists

There are two types of playlists, Video Cloud playlists and OTT playlists.

  • Video Cloud playlists - Can only contain videos
  • OTT playlists - Can contain videos and other entities (i.e. live events, series, seasons, etc.).

The Media module can be used to create and edit both OTT and Video Cloud playlists.

Manual vs Smart playlists

Both Video Cloud and OTT playlist types offer the ability to create smart and manual playlists.

  • Manual playlists - When creating a manual playlist, you manually select a group of videos or other assets and arrange them in the desired playback order.
  • Smart playlists - When creating a smart playlist, you create rules to define which assets appear in the playlist. You can also order the assets and set the maximum number of assets to include. As assets are uploaded and created, if they match the rule, they are automatically added to the playlist.

For detailed information about creating playlists, see Creating and Managing Playlists.

Using manual playlists

Manual playlists can be used to present unrelated videos in a very specific order. For example, you may want to have a set of videos on your company website that give a lot of information about your company, its culture, corporate goals, people, career opportunities, revenue, etc. In this case, a manual playlist containing these videos in the desired order could be used. If the focus of the company at present is on the company's revenue, you could put the revenue video first in the playlist. Later, when the company focus shifts, the order of videos can be changed to place another video first in the playlist.

Using smart playlists

Smart playlists are an excellent way of presenting related videos. Consider a case where you have a collection of videos about wildlife that you want to group together. Smart playlists are best suited for this since all you need to do is assign a common tag (for example, 'wildlife') to all the wildlife related videos. Next, create a smart playlist based on the tag 'wildlife'. All your wildlife videos will be nicely presented in a single playlist this way. An added advantage of using smart playlists is that as videos are added your account, you only need to add the tag 'wildlife' to the new videos and they will automatically be added to your playlist. To remove a video from the 'wildlife' playlist, just remove the 'wildlife' tag assigned to the video and it will no longer appear in the playlist.