Many people are unaware of the different formats used to save files on the computer. Remember, you won’t be able to play your videos successfully if you’re not familiar with different types of file formats.

M3U8 is one of those formats many people do not know about. So we decided to talk about everything about M3U8 in this article. From what it is used for, which programs can support it, to how to convert it into a different format, we will discuss it all. 

So stay tuned as we take you through all aspects of the M3U8 file. 

What actually is an M3U8 file? 

Any file with an extension of M3U8 is basically a UTF-8 encoded audio playlist file. The M3U8 files can be used both by audio and video players as plain text files which can also indicate where media files are located. 

If you do not understand what we meant above, let us give you an example of how these M3U8 files are used. It may give you references to online sources for an internet radio station or an online streaming platform. Either way, the M3U8 file extension has the same effect of playing whatever the playlist might point towards. 

If you are someone who gets hooked on songs and wants to listen to them on repeat, you can create a shortcut of an M3U8 file to help you play those files in your computer’s media player. 

How does an M3U8 file do that? 

Well, after looking into it, we have realized that an M3U8 file extension uses either absolute paths, relative paths, or URLs to refer to specific media files. 

Why do you need an M3U8 link for streaming? 

M3U8 files have an essential role in streaming live. Video players use this information present in text files to identify video and audio files for streaming purposes. Another necessary part of streaming technology HLS is that an M3U8 link makes it possible to integrate your live stream with Smart TV apps and other mobile apps, such as Apple, Roku, TV, and others. 

Can you Open M3U8 on Different Systems?

As we mentioned earlier, another way to open M3U8 files is through text editors. Moreover, they can also read and edit M3U8 files. In fact, the proper function differs based on the type of text editors. 

For example, software such as Notepad allows one to read file references while you open M3U8 files. Since text editors are a little different from media management software, and media players, you will be unable to play music files. 

M3U8 players for Mac, Windows, and Linux will appear in a list for you, from which you can choose the most appropriate player to access M3U8 files 

For Windows 

  • Nullsoft Winamp 
  • Roxio Creator NXT Pro 7 
  • Apple iTunes 
  • RealNetworks RealPlayer Cloud 
  • Microsoft Windows Media Player 
  • Foobar2000 
  • Songbird 

For Mac 

  • Apple iTunes 
  • RealNetworks RealPlayer Cloud 
  • VideoLAN VLC media player 
  • CocoModX 
  • Songbird 

For Linux 

  • XMMS 
  • VideoLAN VLC media player 

A few programs that allow you to access and utilize M3U8 files are Apple iTunes, VLC, Songbird, Windows Media Players, and some others. Conversely, you can also access M3U8 files online with 

If your M3U8 file is saved on a computer or other device, this website may not work. The only circumstance in which it will work is when you have a URL to your M3U8 file, and its references can also be found online. You can also open M3U8 online is The Chrome Extension Play HLS M3U8. 

M3U8 Player

Most text editors, such as Notepad, can read and edit M3U8 files, which is excellent. But, there are shortcomings to that. Accessing M3U8 files with Notepad only gives you limited access to read-only the files' references and does not let you play any of the media present in these files. 

Moreover, if you are facing difficulty in playing your M3U8 files, there are several programs with which you can open them, and we are going to discuss each one of these shortly so you can choose the best one among them. 

HLS Player

The number one on the list is his player, which is an extremely convenient option if you want to open your M3U8 files. 

All you have to do is copy and paste the URL of the video into the URL box, and the video will start streaming once you press play. Not only M3U8 files, but with this HLS player, you can stream other formats as well, like RTMP and MP4, which definitely makes it highly functional. 

M3U8 link basis on HLS

By HLS, we mean HTTP live streaming. Apple originally made this format for streaming all kinds of videos. It is now widespread in live streaming sources, such as live TV, live sports matches, and several others from many other websites. 


This fantastic player has the ability to analyze URLs as well as play all your M3U8 formatted media. 

With a 5kplayer, you can also convert M3U8 files into MP4, FLV, MKV, WMV, etc. There is only one drawback to this player. It may take some time to download, but once the process is done, you are good to go. A chrome extension of this iconic player Is also available to use. 

m3u8 player

VLC offline M3U8 player 

VLC is definitely the most renowned M3U8 player, which can work both ways, either online or offline when downloaded on your personal computer. 

It also has a browser extension compatible with both Mac and Windows that you can use to play your M3U8 files. VLC has definitely got you covered with specific features that suit your requirements perfectly. 

m3u8 player

Play M3U8 files on VLC:

In order to play M3U8 files on VLC, you need to click on media and choose the “Open Network Stream” step. Input the playlist link for the M3U8 playlist in the box, and convert it from the drop-down menu available at the right bottom corner of the screen. 

Convert M3U8 to MP4 with VLC:

A few steps are required to convert an M3U8 file to an MP4 file in a VLC player. Here is a summary of those steps: 

  • Install VLC Media Player on your computer first 
  • Give permission to Convert/Save option 
  • Add M3U8 files for the conversion process 
  • The outfit profile should be set to MP4 
  • Once the conversion process is done, check the output video. 

Castr Live streaming player 

If you are looking for an M3U8 player that is relatively easy to use and provides you with top-notch quality, then this suggestion is perfect for your needs. With castr live streaming player, all you need to do is fill the URL of the file and get it streamed directly. Isn’t it amazing? Moreover, this player's other services include rewinding live streams and cloud recording videos. 

Web IPTV Channel Player 

It is definitely the easiest and simplest channel player. It lets you stream your videos in various formats, including M3U8U, MP4, RTMP, TS, etc making it a versatile option to have on your personal computer. 

There is just one drawback linked with this channel player that may put off some of you; that is why it is our responsibility to let you know. The web IPTV Channel player cannot stream large M3U8 playlists in a single go. So you may definitely go for this one if you're not looking for streaming hefty amounts of episodes or extensive music playlists. 

m3u8 player

What if you still can not open the M3U8 file?

If the methods listed above are not working out for you, it is possible that your file is not in playlist file format. There are file types that use a file extension that looks a lot like it can read M3U8, so it is always an excellent decision to double-check the extension for your file. 

Another example is MU3 which is used explicitly for Myriad Packed Musical Score files. An additional file that you need to download is Myriad’s Harmony Assistant or Melody Assistant to access it. 

How do you make an M3U8 file? 

The process of making an empty file is pretty simple, but for that, you may have to use different sorts of converters. 

The M3U8 players that we mentioned above can also be used to create an M3U8 file. Taking VLC media player as an example, if you want to have a playlist of your own in an M3U8 format, you just have to navigate through media, then save the playlist to file and make sure to keep it as an M3U8 file. 

How to extract M3U8 links from source code? 

If you want to extract M3U8 links from a website, you can use this tool. This tool collects all sorts of M3U8 links from a specified URL. 

How to Convert an M3U8 File?

To convert an M3U8 file to an MP3 or MP4, or a different media format, you need to understand that this format only consists of plain text and nothing else. This means that it only has text and nothing else that can be played, like an MP3 or MP4 file, played in a media player. 

What you are probably looking for is a good converter that can help you convert your audio and video files that M3U8 refers to from and to other video and audio file formats. This can include formats such as MP4 to AVI converters or WAV to MP3 converters. Any different variations of this kind of file may also be converted. 

However, there is a downside to that. Sometimes M3U8 files refer to media files that exist in several locations at one time. 

This can also include several folders on one or more than one internal hard drive, external drives, or flash drives. 

Well, if you find yourself in this situation, what’s recommended is not to manually search through all of them to find your required files. You can download a free program called M3UExportTool instead. 

What it does is that it uses a playlist file to locate the source for all media files while copying them to one single location. 

After this, you can easily convert them with the help of video or audio converting software. Moreover, M3U8 is pretty similar to M3UExportTool. Also, you will need a RAR opener such as 7-Zip to access this. 

Other than MusConv’s M3U8 to M3U converter, we currently do not have any download links to specific playlist converting software, but some programs have been mentioned earlier, such as VLC. These can re-save an already open M3U8 playlist to other formats such as M3U, HTML, XSPF, which is pretty similar to conversion. 

How to convert M3U8 files to MP4?

To convert M3U8 files to mp4 files online, all you need to do is follow a few simple friends. 

First, select the “choose file” button to choose your desired M3U8 file on your computer. This file can be as large as 100 MBs. 

Click on the “convert” button to convert from M3U8 to MP4. 

Install your MP4 file. Your conversion will be started after you click “Convert,” and you will be able to download the MP4 file after the conversion is done. 

How to convert M3U8 to MP3? 

To convert M3U8 to MP3 requires a few extra steps. For this, you need to add M3U8 files to VLC. Run VLC Media Player on your computer. Click on Media and then Convert and Save to your computer. 

You can also select MP3 from VLC’s drop-down of Profile and click on the start button for the conversion to start. 


Coming to the end of this article, we hope that you have gained enough information regarding the particular format that we have talked about i-e M3U8. 

We have described various aspects including extraction of M3U8 files, their conversion and different players which support these files. After going through this article, you will easily be able to deal with this format to be specific.