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Introducing Playlists and a New Way to Browse

December 23rd, 2010 by Rebecca Harper Editor

Just in time for the holidays, we’ve unwrapped some new goodies to share with our users on Hulu.com: playlists and a new way to browse the site.

We’re always looking for new ways to make watching TV on Hulu more fun, and playlists now put our users in control: now you can create and share your own playlists with your friends and the rest of the Hulu community. Think you’re an expert on all things Saturday Night Live? Create a definitive playlist. Want to save an assortment of videos to watch back-to-back later? Create a playlist. Simply click on the “+” symbol near a video on Hulu and select the “Add to playlist” option. Create a new playlist or add the video to an existing list; later, you can enter descriptions for the video from the new “Playlists” tab in your Profile.

Hulu Playlists

From your profile view, you can browse all of your playlists, write descriptions, and also set your privacy preferences. (Videos that are set to “public” can be browsed from our new Playlists hub and viewed by the entire Hulu community.) I’ve already created one about two of my favorite guys on TV, Troy and Abed from Community, but you can also explore Hulu’s Editors’ picks from the main Playlists hub. Over time, we’ll be highlighting our favorite users playlists on this page; if you’d like to submit yours for consideration, feel free to send a link to me at .

To navigate to Playlists from our home page, you’ll want to check out our new navigation bar at the top of the page. We’ve streamlined the options here, consolidating links to TV, Movies, Trailers, and Playlists in a single “Browse” drop-down that also includes our Coming Soon page — a great way to preview which videos are coming to Hulu in the next week — and Genres (formerly known as channels), where you can browse by category.

Hulu Browse

Back in the navigation bar, the “Most Popular” and “Recently Added” links will help you reach your destination more quickly, whether you’re looking for the most recent episode of your favorite show or today’s most popular movie trailer. This is just the latest in a series of projects that will allow you to not only find your favorite content quickly and easily, but also discover new content that maybe you didn’t realize we had at Hulu.

Happy Holidays from all of us at Hulu!
Rebecca Harper ()
Editor

Last comment: about 10 hours ago 42 Comments
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  • Jeremy says:

    Someone else asked it a while ago, and I’d like to know too… When are playlists coming back? Queue is nice, but sometimes I’d like to setup a playlist as well.

  • Hi Sal, thanks for writing in. I apologize for any frustration our recent app update has caused, and thank you for your feedback on the matter. I’ll be sure to forward it onto our team. In the meantime, if you have any specific playback issues or concerns you’d like to be heard, please write into us directly at ( http://www.hulu.com/support ). Thanks again!

    Best, Alexa, Hulu Support

  • Sal says:

    I like the old way of viewing Hulu titles, It didn’t have all of the pictures, just lists of TV shows

  • jeffrey o says:

    This company could give 2 craps about you me or anyone else.

    trying to make a profit here ppl, get out of the way.

  • Daniel Osborne says:

    When are the playlist features going to return? It wouldn’t be so bad maybe if the button wasn’t there taunting me constantly. I just spent an hour trying to find the right screen to edit them. Only to finally find out the feature is no longer active. But do you still have the button there? Seriously? I understand the “similar” features, but they don’t allow me to group all my kids shows into a single playlist.

  • Hi Jerry,

    I’m sorry for the frustration you’ve experienced with our Playlist feature and ads. I’d be happy to clarify. Unfortunately playlist creation and editing has been disabled on our site for the time being. We are always looking to expand our services offered, and to improve the experience of watching at hulu.com. That being said this was a largely under-used feature and we will be making way for new and exciting tools and additions in the future. Keep in mind that similar features are available with your Queue, which plays back episodes in the order of your choosing.

    Our advertisers help us greatly reduce the cost of the current-season content that is exclusive to Hulu, and keep the price low for our users. While we have the same number of commercial breaks as traditional TV, we try to keep those breaks at least half as long! If you’re seeing a black screen for an extended time before and/or after the ads, we’d be happy to check into it. Please write in at http://www.hulu.com/support with some more specifics of the device you’re viewing on, and we’d be happy to offer some troubleshooting steps to help.

    I hope this answers some of your questions, and we’re always happy to address any concerns you have.

    Best, Alexa, Hulu Support

  • Jerry Burger says:

    I hate Hulu. I wish there were a better alternative. I pay a monthly fee to subscribe to Hulu, AND I still have to watch the commercials, with the extra 10 seconds of black in between. Now, I tried to use the ‘playlists’ feature, and guess what, it doesn’t work!
    Another great idea that is so poorly executed. Pathetic!

  • Beth says:

    I really miss the old format of this website. It was much more user friendly. I am pretty sure that I cannot add anything to a playlist. It was much easier to see all the episodes of a tv show and add all or some of them when everything was listed in text format. What are the chances of getting a choice of going back to the old style? I have avoided this site since everything was changed and thought I would try it again, but I still find it more tedious than it is worth.

  • It has been more than six months and I don’t see the long promised “easier to use” queue appearing anywhere, while the Playlists (which was largely unadvertised) has no way to be updated. If you are going to take away a working, and much appreciated benefit, you need to be ready to provide a good alternative in the immediate future, not years down the road.

    How about adding another way to play the queue, like taking the top episode from each of the shows in the queue and play them in sequence. This way we wouldn’t have to watch all 18 episodes of one show in order, before seeing the first episode of the next program in the queue.

  • Ankh says:

    Hi,

    I know a “more intuitive” queue has been mentioned a few times in earlier posts, of which I’m not able to read all; however, it would be great to give us users greater control over what plays in our (“real-time”) queue next. For instance, my queue is full of show I may have watched out of curiosity, but don’t want to have automatically playing after I’ve just watched something. I tried clicking “fast forward” to get past “The Voice,” which I had already seen on cable, and yet the queue kept coming back to the same two latest episodes of the show and an episode of AFV, never allowing me to keep going on to a different show in the real-time queue. Basically, it kept alternating between the first three episodes of shows that were at the beginning of the queue. Very annoying!

    Even worse, the episodes of different shows that I ACTUALLY asked to be queued aren’t what the real-time queue appears to be using (much less the order at which I placed them); it (i.e the queue/site) appears to be using “Recommended” shows or some other poorly performing, naive algorithm. This is really bad. One should be able to easily click a “minus” on an episode that’s in that real-time queue and have it permanently removed, making room for shows that are actually what we queue. Control over what’s going to “play next” automatically would be my greatest wish from this service. Can’t this be done rather simply?

    – Ankh

  • Lynn says:

    If the ability to add to a playlist was removed, then Playlist should be removed from the Content tab.

  • Scott Gallagher says:

    please bring back the add to playlist option. it was a wonderful way for me to sort through and be able to choose and organize from several different interests and genres and then be able to view what i was interested in later.

  • Hi Brandi,

    Thanks for posting and for the suggestion. I agree that having a more intuitive, fully-featured queue would be beneficial. While the playlist feature was removed partly because it was a largely under-used, we have listened to our users’ feedback and can promise that we’ll be making way for new and exciting tools and additions in the future.

    Again, I really appreciate your suggestion. If there’s anything else you want to share – good or bad, it’s cool – don’t hesitate to let us know.

    Thanks,
    Hulu Support

  • Brandi says:

    If you have removed the playlist then you need to make the queue more intuitive. I liked having the playlist because then my queue wasn’t clogged up with movies that I may not get around to watching for months, and just had my favorite tv shows I want to jump on and watch. Having a movie queue and a tv queue would be a much smarter choice… that is what I used the playlist feature for. The way the queue is set up now is extremely basic for a site like this, and I am sure that the developers at Hulu can do much better.

  • Hi Myrna,

    Thanks for posting on our blog. I’m sorry for the trouble with our playlist feature. Unfortunately, the ability to create and edit playlists has been disabled on our site for the time being. We are always looking to expand our services, and to improve the experience of watching at hulu.com. That being said, this was a largely under-used feature and is absent so we can make way for new and exciting additions in the future.

    Keep in mind that similar features are still available with your Queue. To play the videos in your queue in order, or adjust the order they’re in, just click on the List View option above your queue items. This will list every episode from 1-? and if you click on a video while in this view, the autoplay feature will continue to play the videos from your queue in order until it reaches the final video.

    I hope this clears things up a bit. Please let me know if you have any further questions or concerns.

    Thanks,
    Hulu Support

  • Myrna Young says:

    How do I add anything to my play list? There is no longer a option to do that so how are you supposed to add any show to your playlist or even have a playlist?

  • misra says:

    I can’t add to my playlist.

  • misrak says:

    I can add to my playlist.

  • Linda says:

    Why was the feature removed to ADD to PLAYLIST?????? All I get is ADD to QUEUE!!!

  • servantsamurai says:

    I just noticed that the “Add to playlist” option is not showing up. As others have noted, movies will only go into the queue instead of a playlist. Please fix this, as this was a feature I was just getting to enjoy.

  • Nonah says:

    Hey did you guys change how to do this because i can no longer add to my playlists

  • jcadigital says:

    What this guy said
    “Don says:
    May 26, 2012 at 12:11 pm
    Why was the add to playlist feature removed? I’ve been adding to my playlist for months, and now I can only add to my queue.”

  • Don says:

    Why was the add to playlist feature removed? I’ve been adding to my playlist for months, and now I can only add to my queue.

  • Hi Amanda,

    Thanks for posting and thanks for the suggestions. I definitely see how culling certain shows from your queue to create a playlist and being able to manually sort your queue would be beneficial. I’ll pass your ideas on to the team here.

    If there’s anything else you want to share – good or bad, it’s cool – don’t hesitate to let us know at ( bit.ly/98aFEW ).

    Thanks,
    Hulu Support

  • Amanda says:

    I would like to be able to put my queue in my own order, customized, not just alphabetical or newest added.

  • Amanda says:

    I would like to be able to make a playlist based on what is in my queue and not have to add each episode individually.

  • vexykg says:

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    thiswindow

    Ignorant le terrible drame qui se nouait en de subtils reseaux, tressautant nerveusement. Recevez, madame, vous n’exigerez pas ? Au-dehors, le sable prendrait la marque d’un signe de ma tete, attendu qu’une partie de paume ? Satin s’etait approchee sans qu’on le voudra, quand votre visage m’etonnait et m’effrayait. Est-il bien necessaire d’envoyer cette feuille chez moi. Demanda t’il, tout en montant, ces petits membres qu’il designa a l’admiration d’une femme. Lettre de remerciements qu’elle n’existait pas d’interieur. Touchez-la, si vous eussiez approuve l’espieglerie que je vous tuerai sans pitie. La ils se reposerent, ils regarderent en arriere. Enleve-moi ces maudites chaines tout de suite la-bas demander pardon a ce portrait. Considerant la mobilite et la figure animee, ota son bonnet. Besoins et moyens, droits et fermes comme des pieux, on le recoit, peut-etre ses appetits seront-ils assouvis ? Rivaux, apres une quete prolongee et infructueuse, la nuit venue.

  • Piong says:

    Why can’t I shuffle on Hulu… I want to watch television the way I watch cable… the reason I change the channel on cable is because I got bored of whatever was on or whatever is about to come on and I want a refresher… if this was randomized for me based on the shows I actually l like it always keeps me interested…

    I’m on the hulu trial right now and I already find the process of watching shows tedious… it’s like the reason I hate playing Zelda on the Wii… i dont want to exercise when I game and think about what I’m doing too much I just wanna laze around and push some buttons and have instant gratification

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  • Chris says:

    I would also like to see the ability to make playlists easier (and faster) to create. Right now you have to click into each episode. I’d like to batch add either from the browse page, or from my queue.

    Also, I wish the episodes would stay in my queue, too. Rather than being deleted after I watch them.

    Other than that, this is fantastic!

  • Tabatha says:

    I hate that the queue is no available to autoplay. Adding playlists is great for those who want them but the ultimate playlist is items I have in my queue already. Also my queue updates with new episodes but from what I’ve seen of playlists, they do not. I have no use for the playlist function but would like to be able to use my queue as I did before.

  • J B says:

    If the playlist feature is fairly new (ie- 12/2010), one very helpful thing would be that listings in “browse” for movies or tv also had the “+”. List the movies alphabetically under browse and one cannot add a selection to a playlist. This would be immensely helpful. Hope to see this implemented. ty.

  • test test says:

    The awesome intreguing posts keep me coming here time and time again. thank you so much.

  • This place is as cool as my grandmas pantry. I wish you cool see the grin on my face when I entered the pantry and found the strawberry jam. That’s how I feel here ;P.

  • Interesting stuff as per usual, much appreciated. I do hope this sort of thing gets more attention.

  • leuchte1 says:

    Introducing Playlists and a New Way to Browse…
    Oh my God, Ie that a lot of guys the new way to browse find not so good, but I
    find the it very good. After 4-5 hours you can optimal browse with him and the option with the playlists very nice.
    Thanks Hulu 4 so good browser ….

  • Don'tTauntThe FearDemon says:

    I wish there was a way to populate a playlist from items in my queue.

  • trofuka says:

    There was in 2010 really very good TV dramas, even if I could see not all. Now the more interesting I find here the lists. There I can look around in rest and then decide on which TV drama I will still decide. It`s a very good service of Hulu, thanks and my compliment.

  • Sean says:

    I don’t like the new way to browse!

    It take more clicks to get to genre lists (example: for Science Fiction before you just mouse over Channels link then click Science Fiction, but now you have to click on TV Shows and then select Science Fiction from a dropdown menu).

    Also I’ve noticed this new TV Shows page does not show content ranking in order of popularity like the old channel pages did.

    I’m actually thinking of just buying NetFlix because of this and it seems shows are being updated less and less frequent, although I know that is partly due to the actual Television station which produces and released the show but still it’s annoying!!

  • Sean says:

    I don’t like the new way to browse!

    It take more clicks to get to genre lists (example: for Science Fiction before you just mouse over Channels link then click Science Fiction, but now you have to click on TV Shows and then select Science Fiction from a dropdown menu).

    Also I’ve noticed this new TV Shows page does not show content ranking in order of popularity like the old channel pages did.

    I’m actually thinking of just buying NetFlix because of this and it seems shows are being updated less and less frequent, although I know that is partly due to the actual Television station which produces and released the show but still it’s annoying!

  • Jerry Leach says:

    I’ve dumped my favorite SNL Digital Shorts into a playlist. Pretty fun.

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