Back in 2018, I wrote a post that asked why Bandcamp — far and away my favorite music-related service — doesn’t have playlists:
[T]here have been many times when I’m writing a post about several musicians, and I’d much rather embed a single player containing a playlist of their songs rather than a player for each one of them. If nothing else, this would make for a more seamless listening experience for my readers, and it’d probably also decrease the amount of time it takes for the post in question to load.
That changed earlier this month, when Bandcamp released an update for their mobile app that includes some basic playlist functionality. If you have the Bandcamp app installed, here’s how playlists work:
- Select an album in your collection.
- Find a song you’d like to add and tap the “ellipsis” icon next to it.
- Tap “Add track to playlist.”
- Choose whether to create a new playlist with the song or add it to an existing playlist.
- If you’re creating a new playlist, you can also give it a name.
However, when I say the functionality is “basic,” I mean basic. Bandcamp playlists have the following limitations:
- Playlists can only be seen, played, and managed from within the Bandcamp app. They don’t appear anywhere, as far as I can see, on the Bandcamp website.
- Playlists are private and can’t be shared or embedded.
- Playlists can’t have custom artwork.
- Playlists can only consist of songs that are in your collection, i.e., songs that you’ve purchased.
As such, Bandcamp playlists, in their current form, don’t address my specific use case: creating playlists that can be embedded in blog posts à la Spotify and Soundcloud. To be fair, though, Bandcamp’s own announcement admits that this is “just the start” and that “more playlist features are in the works.” Lest any of my comments come across as nitpicky, I’m glad to see Bandcamp exploring this functionality, and I hope that they expand it in the near future to include embeddable playlists.