Difference Between Album and Playlist

Back in the day, people would prefer Albums to store or capture their memories in a plastic container sheet where photos are stuck.

Then, after the evolution of the digital world, Albums became a collection of pictures, pieces of music, videos, etc, that are either recorded in a digital format or book.

Wherein, Playlist is a list, a user list-out his/her favorite pieces of art such as music or videos which can be played either in a chronological or shuffled manner on their gadgets.

Album vs Playlist

The main difference between Album and Playlist is that an album is a collection of printed audio, video, and pictures either in a book format or digital files of a particular artist. But, in the case of a playlist, it is a collection of an individual’s favorite audios and videos that can be played in a shuffle or sequence manner, irrespective of their subject matter.

Album vs Playlist

An album is a collection of recordings on a Compact disc or pictures in book formats. Albums consist of a specific artist’s career, where the artist can store their songs alone and sell them in the stores for their fans.

Usually, albums come in a Compact Disc (CD), vinyl, audiotape, and miniDisc.

On the other hand, in the case of Playlist, it is just a personal album created by an individual to pass their time.

To put it in simple words, a playlist is a collection of video or audio files given that individual’s interest, which can be played on a multimedia player. 

Comparison Table Between Album and Playlist (With Table)

Parameters of ComparisonAlbumPlaylist
MeaningA collection of recordings on a Compact disc of a specific musician.A personalized list of audio/video files that can be played randomly or sequentially.
Etymology Album is from the Latin word ‘albus’ which means ‘white book’ used to record verses, autographs. Apple introduced iPods, and iTunes in the early 2000s, to store songs in a folder called- playlists.
TypesThere are four types of albums, where the person can store their collection. Numerous playlists cover various genres such as sad, happy playlist, workout, Mood Booster playlist, etc.
SupportsCompact Disc (CD), vinyl, audiotape, and miniDisc. And also supported in a water-resistant book.Supported on various gadgets such as Android, Laptops, Television, Radio, iPhone, etc. 
Storage On a standard compact disc, an album takes up about 700 MB.  A playlist doesn’t take any storage but playing songs will be saved in the cache memory.

What is Album?

The collection of a specific artist’s recordings issued on a compact disc (CD), vinyl, audiotape is termed Album. Also, in general, an album represents a collection of recorded sound, an event’s photograph as a whole.

It is usually made by musicians and is kept for sale to their fans. 

In 1979, Claudio Arrau recorded Chopin Waltzes as the first-ever compact disc, and thereby it is claimed as the first album made.

Subsequently, from recording on CDs to storing recordings in smartphones for any time use, the concept of the album has evolved very much. There are two types of albums, namely, Studio and Live. 

Initially, albums are recorded at studios, but now, live albums are more popular where anyone can preserve, provided an artist and a digital device to record the scene on spot.

Over and above, compilation, tribute, solo, and debut albums are other types of albums in the music industry.

The word album is from the Latin word Albus, meaning a whiteboard, which is used for writing verses, autographs, sketches, photographs. 

An album is full of tracks, each song representing one track. Moreover, albums are pretty important for an artist, since they help musicians to create definitive, long-lasting artistic statements in ways that singles possibly can’t.

Normally, an album can have at least six tracks or longer than twenty-five minutes.

What is Playlist?

On the other hand, a playlist is just a personalized album created by an individual for fun. As of a survey taken by experts, over 94% of smartphone users are creating playlists for themselves.

By way of explanation, a playlist is a package of video or audio files as per the individual’s interest, which can be played over on a multimedia player randomly or sequentially.

Apple was given the patent for making the first playlist for its users. Especially after the establishment of the iPod and an iTunes (or a file-sharing program) in the early 2000s, playlists have become everyone’s thing.

Starting from owning a personal disc jockey, to rearranging downloaded songs, matching whatever theme fits their fancy, playlists are near at hand.

The content of a playlist is regardless of its artists, unless and until listeners find it fun and pleasant to listen to.

Playlists have an option named ‘shuffle’, where one can tap on it and the order of the playlist changes instantly, eventually, refreshing into a new mood. 

Besides, in the realms of television broadcasting, radio broadcasting, and personal computers, the meaning of a playlist is quite the same. For instance, in all, the playlist is typically a spot that consists of pre-recorded stuff. 

Main Differences Between Album and Playlist

  1. An album is a collection of customized digital files of a specific artist or an event. Whereas, a playlist is an order you list out your favorite audios and videos that can be played in a shuffle or sequence manner.
  2. Albums were invented during the medieval as a white book, where people used to record or collect autographs, manuscripts, verses and later used to store music, videos and pictures in the late 20th century. On the other hand, a playlist is introduced by Apple Incorporation in their models- iPod and iTunes, where users can list out their songs in the playlist and name them according to the genre. 
  3. Albums are in the form of CD, DVD, MiniDisc, Audio Tape, and Vinyl. Nevertheless, a playlist can be created on various media such as Television, Laptops, Radios, Smartphones, etc. 
  4. Speaking of collections, Albums are produced usually in the studio and stored in a book format. But, in the case of a playlist, already recorded audios or videos are created and put together in a folder.
  5. There are four types of albums; the studio, live, solo, and cover album; where audios or videos are recorded. Nevertheless, a playlist can be named according to the user for instance-  Harry styles Playlist, where his songs are collected and stored in the playlist.
Difference Between Album and Playlist


In order to store your favorite audios, videos, and pictures, an album and playlist are introduced. An album can store audio files on a CD, DVD, and Audio Tape, as well as pictures in water-resistant book format.

Basically, albums are created in the studio and released from those recorded audios or videos for a price. 

A user can create a playlist on their smartphone by listing out their favorite songs and videos.

A playlist is a collection of recorded songs that have already been released, and users organize them according to genres, artists, and movies on their gadgets.   


  1. https://books.google.com/books?hl=en&lr=&id=0uxmDwAAQBAJ&oi=fnd&pg=PA223&dq=album+&ots=ST590IC9P3&sig=qMP6ir85imuKzI7kjX85ErDb9VI
  2. https://biblio.ugent.be/publication/8577104

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