What is an M3U Playlist and How to Open, Create, and Convert it

The advancements of technology have changed the way we consume media. The majority of television channels and providers have already recognized that and offer their services online, ready to be streamed by various devices. An M3U file has given the solution of streaming a huge number of channels by a number of different devices.

In this article, we are going to explain what an M3U playlist is and all the ways that you can handle it. This way, you will be able to spot the best M3U playlist URL that will enable you to enjoy all of your favorite programs.

M3u playlist url free
How to Create M3U Playlist

What is an M3U File

M3U, in reality, stands for MP3 URL. At first, M3U files were text files that stored information on audio file playlists. However, in recent years this file extension has evolved and now contains data on video and multimedia files.

An M3U file is a text file that contains the absolute or relative paths of the files or folders contained in the playlist. This means that an M3U playlist will not include the actual audio or video. Instead, it points to the location where it is stored.

A multimedia player, like VLC, can access this file, in order to create a queue for playback. For this, M3U playlists have become extremely popular in live-streaming. In more detail, for IPTV services, an M3U file contains data on the channels that you wish to stream.

M3U files can also be encoded in the UTF-8 format so that they include international characters. Those specific encoded files are stored in the M3U8 format.

What Kind of Online Streaming Does it Support?

As you may have already realized, an M3U playlist has great potential. With it, you can access any kind of live-streaming you want. Whether you are interested in sports, movies, series, or even kids programs, you can find the best M3U playlist URL that suits your needs. You can also look for M3U playlists from many different regions and countries.

How You Can Get M3U Playlists

What you need to do to enjoy quality live-streaming is to add channels to your streaming device through an M3U playlist. You can easily find for free the best M3U playlist URL online. Those lists with the URLs are updated daily so that you always have access. There are tones of websites that specialize in providing you with M3U playlist URLs. Spot the one with the playlists of your choice and you are ready to learn how to open it.

How to Open an M3U Playlist

At this point, you have found and downloaded the best M3U playlist URL with the channels of your choice. However, you might still wonder how you can access all those programs. The solution is easy and it only requires you to have a multimedia player, such as VLC, iTunes, Windows Media Player, and Audacious. Let’s take a closer look at how you can open the M3U playlists using the two most popular media players, VLC and iTunes.

On VLC player

The steps you need to follow in order to play an M3U playlist on VLC player are the following:

01. Download the best M3U playlist URL for your favorite programs.

02. Open the M3U playlist with Notepad, Wordpad, or any other text editor you have installed on your computer. Once the text is open, copy the URL of the program you want to stream.

03. On your VLC player click on the “Media” tab on the menu. From there, click the “Open Network Stream” option. This will open a new pop-up window where you need to click at the “Network” option and paste the URL you have copied in the previous step. Click “Play” and enjoy your M3U file.

Alternative way: You can easily access the M3U playlist by dragging the file into the VLC player. By doing this all the audio and video included in the playlist will be added to the player. However, keep in mind that you might experience some lagging this way if your Internet connection speed isn’t good.

On iTunes

In a similar way, you can access the M3U playlist on iTunes. In more detail, the steps you need to follow in this player are the following:

01. Download the best M3U playlist URL for your favorite programs.

02. Open the M3U playlist with a text editor and copy the URL you wish to add to the media player.

03. On iTunes click on the “File” tab and then click on the “Open Stream” option.

04. This will open a pop-up window, where you need to paste the copied URL.

05. You will find the audio, or multimedia files under the “Internet Songs” section of the iTunes.

Extra tips: When adding an M3U playlist to iTunes, you should always keep in mind that you might experience some lagging due to the Internet connection. Moreover, every time you want to access the files of the playlist, you will have to wait for them to begin streaming again. This means that if you are offline, you will not be able to access them. A solution to this problem is to convert the M3U playlist to MP3 files.

How to Create an M3U file on your own

If you want to create an M3U playlist of your own, you shouldn’t worry about it. All of the media players give you the ability to save your playlists in this format. Here, we are going to see the steps of saving an M3U playlist using the VLC player. However, even if you use a different one, the steps will be more or less the same.

01. On the VLC player click on the “View” tab of the menu. From the options choose “Playlist”. This will open a new window that you can browse your playlists. The shortcut for this action is CTRL+L.

02. Right-click on the window with your playlists. When you do so, you will see the options “Add files” and “Add folder”. Choose the first when you want to add particular files and the second when you need a whole folder.

03. On the VLC main screen click on the “Media” tab of the menu. Then, choose the “Playlist to File” option.

04. This option will open a pop-up window where you can specify the name of the file and the location where it will be stored. From the file extension options, select the M3U file format. Click “Save” and your playlist is created.

How to Convert an M3U file

An M3U playlist file does not contain any actual audio or video files, as it is just an index of URLs. For this reason, you will not find a program that can convert M3U playlists into MP3 or MP4. What you can do though, is use your media player to save the streaming content. The steps you need to follow in order to achieve that in VLC are the following:

01. Copy the URL you wish to convert.

02. On your VLC player click on the “Media” tab on the menu. Then, click on the “Open Network Stream” option, which will open a new pop-up window. Click on the “Network” option and paste the URL you have copied and click “Convert”.

03. This will automatically make a new window pop-up, where you can choose the settings for the conversion, as well as the destination path for the file. Some of the things that you can choose in the setting are the video and audio codecs and the subtitles. Click “Start” and wait for the process to be completed.

M3U is a file format that has evolved from its creation and it’s now used for live-streaming. Knowing how to handle such files gives you the ability to enjoy all of your favorite programs. Spotting the best M3U playlist URL guarantees your entertainment.

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