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There are more than one billion public playlists available on Spotify. But as far as I can tell, the only way to search for them is to enter a word in the universal search field (I mostly use the desktop client for Mac), scroll down in the instant results and click the "Playlists" category.

At that point you can scroll through a variety of resulting public playlists that include the search term in the title of the playlist. But you cannot search for song or artist or album in a playlist. And there appears to be no order to the search results (maybe it's alphabetical, but this isn't useful). Some playlists are just a single album. Others are an artist's entire body of work. You wouldn't know what is what without clicking into each and every playlist.

Is there any way to sort playlists by followers, filter by date last updated, or otherwise search all public playlists to return more relevant results?

(There are a few relevant questions at Stack Overflow re: this request, but I haven't yet found a service that actually implements any of these searching/sorting functionalities.)

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Playlists.net seems to have a pretty good search. I tried for example searching "Light through the veins" and found a bunch of playlists with that song inside of it. Of note, the quotes helped focus it down to that exact song, instead of songs with those words.

Unfortunately there doesn't seem to be any sorting options in the search results. Just same type of browse features that the Spotify app has.

  • Not bad. But only 170k playlists? Does it only index playlists for users who have Playlists.net accounts? I imagine so. I thought it used to be possible to similarly search for playlists via last.fm (which I'd think has many more users than playlists.net), but I can no longer figure out how to do this. – samthebrand Sep 10 '15 at 22:41
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Music services don't want you to do this. It's a very obvious idea to anyone who spends 2 seconds thinking of ways to optimize music discovery. If you do some investigating, the idea has been very popular since at least 2012, much more popular than the "recently implemented" ideas in Spotify. Even Google, the search giant, doesn't let you search user-generated playlists for ones that contain a specific song(s). My guess is these services want to push certain stuff, and are literally terrified of you finding music you genuinely like because for one reason or another it would result in them getting less money. Truly sad.

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