Easy Playlist lets you enjoy the music you already had on your phone

Aug 24, 2016

When Apple Music first launched in 2015, it was widely panned by critics for, among other things, having a bloated interface that made it harder to access the existing music Apple users had stored on their devices. Whilst subsequent updates have improved it on many fronts, for one developer its release was the final straw.

“Every music service was telling me how great it was to discover new music,”, says Tom Berry, creator of Easy Playlist, “whilst all I wanted was to enjoy the music I already had on my phone. The update to Apple’s Music app was the clearest demonstration of this. Never before had it been so difficult to find and listen to my favorite tracks.”

Whilst services like Spotify and Apple Music have undoubtedly been a success, digital music sales have only recently overtaken physical sales, and many have an extensive catalog of music stored on their devices. It’s for that group of users that Easy Playlist was developed.

Exclusive to the iPhone (which means no iPad version just yet), Easy Playlist aims to take the hassle out of creating a playlist from the music stored on the user’s phone. The developer insists ‘ease’ is central to all decisions made during the app’s development, which means the omission of one feature that some users might have previously relied on: “Easy Playlist doesn’t let you select the individual tracks you want to listen to. I found myself doing that with Apple’s playlist maker, and it not only took forever but also relied on me knowing exactly what I wanted to listen to, which I often didn’t.”

Instead Easy Playlist takes a different approach. Go to add a new playlist and you’ll be greeted with the options “Add Artist”, “Add Album” and “Add Genre”. Within each, elements can be sorted by play count, number of tracks or a simple A-Z, making it quick to find exactly what you’re looking for. Advanced filters, such as year the track was released, when it was last played and how often, and even track length give the user even greater control. Want to find all your power ballads from the 1980s? No problem. Looking for short and sweet rock songs? You’re covered there too.

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Berry’s favorite feature comes in the form of the ‘limit playlist to…’ options – for example ‘limit playlist to just 1 track per artist’. In giving users this option, Easy Playlist overcomes a common problem with Apple’s ‘top 25 most played’ – the over-representation of just a handful of the user’s most-played albums or artists. “It keeps things varied. I love being able to add a handful of my favorite artists and limiting them all to a couple of tracks each”, says Berry.

Easy Playlist won’t do much for those users who don’t store music directly on their phones. However, those who have spent years building up their music catalogs should see it as a welcome addition to their app library. With Easy Playlist available as a free download, there’s very little reason not to give it a try.

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