How many songs should be in a playlist?

For those who like making playlists what’s your target number of songs? Or is there no such thing as a cap?

I tend to aim towards 24 to 30 because it usually comes out to a pretty lengthy list but not too long that you couldn’t listen to the entire thing in one long listening session.

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15 or 150. Anything in between needs to get its priorities straight.


Depends on what you need a playlist for. If you are the kind of person who wants a full guided music list with a workout, time your workout and adjust your list accordingly. If you just need vibes, throw all your workout music on one list and shuffle.

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A lot of the time I aim for the length of an album. so like 12ish
I try to theme the playlist and order them so they flow well together. I still associate some songs with others just because of where I put them in playlists

Just one. Sisqo’s Thong Song.


50 songs is the sweet spot, long enough to have a progression and a finish, while staying focused on one theme

10 - 20 songs because I still treat playlists like I might be burning a CD of it to give to my friends in middle-school.


I didn’t really use playlists until I started using Spotify. At first I had a big playlist I added whatever I liked to, but it got ridiculous.
Then sort of naturally I started creating playlists at turning points in my life. New jobs. New relationships. End of relationships. Stuff like that.

My current playlist is at about 40, but I feel the change coming so in the next month or two I’ll probably create a new one.
The rest range from 20-60.

As for how many SHOULD be in a playlist.
I dunno. Whatever feels right to you. I can’t judge.

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Never in my life have I made a playlist and then actually listened to it.

I guess this is kind of embarrassing to admit, but playlists are like a major undertaking for me and I usually focus on length instead of the number of songs. I’m working on one right now that’s currently over 6 and a half hours long

Update: I think for me, constructing a playlist is often a good excuse to explore a branch of music I’d like to become more familiar with. The aforementioned playlist above has been a really good opportunity for me to get into contemporary post-punk bands, for example. Bands like Snapped Ankles, Dehd, Fat White Family, Tropical Fuck Storm, Sleaford Mods and Have A Nice Life


I don’t listen to playlists but I like making them. Try to hit a length of 40 minutes or so because I don’t want to be rude to the person that will listen to it.

Additional question, does order matter? Im personally just throwing the songs on as I find them.

Order totally matters. You gotta start with something that entices, but doesn’t overwhelm. Perhaps a song with a long-ish instrumental intro, definitely a song that feels like a thesis statement for the playlist as a whole. Then you slowly ramp it up in intensity as you get to the middle of the playlist, where the bangers lie. Then you wind down and drop a few slow jams as you close it up.

More ordering tips, never double up “joke” songs, songs from the same artist, or place two similar tempo songs right next to each other. Space these out to make the playlist have more variety.

Of course, sometimes these rules are meant to be broken, but that’s an advanced technique. When starting out creating playlists, it’s better to keep to the structure though.


I treat playlists like I do structuring an album or live set, first two songs establish tone, third and fourth demonstrate more extreme variations on tone and theme, middle songs continue supporting themes and feelings established earlier on (they likely won’t be the strongest songs on the list though). I want the third-to-last and second-to-last songs to be the emotional peak, and then the final song brings you gently back down to earth. I guess this doesn’t work for longer playlists, but again, I’m generally treating a playlist as if I’m going to be burning it to a disc later


I’m a simple person when it comes to mix tapes. Open with a banger, end with something meditative, half an hour on theme in the middle. No more than 45 minutes.

Interesting! So y’all aren’t hitting shuffle play then?

My longest playlist has 675 songs, I use it as a sort of music library for songs in english that I like, and always listen to it on shuffle. I make one for each language to separate them, because sometimes I’m only in the mood for songs in a specific language.

The idea of making short playlists with songs in a specific order has never occurred to me for some reason. The closest to that I’ve made is a “Current Favorites” playlist, but the songs would’t be in any order. I always default to shuffle.

Now I feel like I should try it out though.

It depends. If I’m making a “holiday” playlist for vibing purposes, I’m just throwing songs on there and hitting shuffle. But if I’m making a very particular time-boxed playlist for a very particular purpose, it needs to have flow and direction to it.


Because that’s how many I could fit on my 128MB mp3 player growing up and that was way more freeing than burning cd’s or making mixtapes.

When I had a working iPod with like 3000 songs on it I just hit Shuffle All on my way out of the house.