Tips for creating the perfect holiday playlist

There is no better way to give voice to your love for the holidays than to create a custom playlist. On the technical side, putting a playlist together on your computer and then copying it to a smartphone, an MP3 player, a tablet or even a CD is easy enough; it's picking the right songs and putting them in the right order that turn a playlist from good to perfect.

Know your audience

The first step in creating the perfect holiday playlist is to know your audience because even holiday music comes in all genres. There's Holiday Jazz, Holiday Indie Folk, Holiday R&B—each with its own festive vibe.

If your audience is so large that making everybody happy is almost impossible, you'll have to make an educated guess. Find out what kind of music is popular with your overall audience and go with that. If your playlist is just for one person, choose based on what you know about him or her.

Set the tone

Maybe you make a holiday party playlist with upbeat songs so your guests can dance the night away. Or maybe you make a holiday playlist that helps you wind down after a hectic day. Whatever vibe you’re going for, there are plenty of songs, carols and remixes to choose from.

Get the length right

If you're creating a playlist for a specific holiday party, length is as important as content. You likely have an end time in mind, but you should expect that the party will last longer than you anticipated. Put less popular songs near the tail end of the playlist when the audience won't really notice.

Don't hit shuffle

A perfect playlist is not just a bunch of songs randomly thrown together. Rather, it's a list of songs that, when played in a specific order, work well together and flow one after another in a consistent, pleasant and coherent manner. When deciding the order for songs in your playlist, keep in mind everything you know about its audience and when it will be played. For example, if you're putting together music for a party, don't throw in dance hits immediately—rather, start with a few fun, but slower songs to give guests the time to arrive and mingle. Even when the dancing starts, consider including a few slower tracks every now and then to give people a chance to take a breath and relax.

Photo Credits: Demand Media/studioD

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