Create M3U Playlist – Step-by-Step Guide
How do I go about creating an M3U playlist? Can I create an M3U playlist to stream my favorite videos? Please provide me with detailed steps on how to create an M3U playlist.
An M3U playlist is a compilation of IPTV channels listed in an M3U file format, typically provided by an IPTV service provider. Users can utilize this playlist to stream their preferred channels online on various devices such as TVs, computers, smartphones, and tablets. The M3U file can be opened using media players like VLC player.
Within the M3U file, you will find a list of channels along with the connection details for each channel, including the channel name, channel ID, and the direct address of the channel on the server. You can play the M3U playlist using media players like VLC media player, PotPlayer, or Windows Media Player.
The media player processes the M3U file or URL and displays the channel list. You can select a channel to watch, and upon selection, the player sends a request to the server. In response, the server sends packets that are converted into images on your device, allowing you to watch the channel live.
Now, let’s discuss how to create an M3U playlist. The basic method involves creating a .txt file on your computer, which you can edit using Notepad or any preferred text editor. In this file, you will add the paths to the songs, movies, channels, or video clips you desire, one by one.
The M3U playlist is essentially a file that contains index entries for each item, but it is not an actual audio/video file. Each file path should include a two-line description that points to the online source. The source syntax should resemble the following example:
#EXTINF:-1, News 3
The number following “#EXTINF” indicates the audio length in seconds. If the audio is being streamed online and no length is specified, you will see -1. The M3U URL refers to the relative path of the M3U file.
You can easily add audio/video files to the M3U playlist by dragging and dropping them from your computer. Afterward, you can import the playlist to your preferred app or media player that supports the M3U file format.
This guide will introduce you to four different tools that can assist you in creating an M3U playlist on your computer.
How to Create an M3U Playlist on VLC?
VLC media player, a popular and versatile media player, offers a range of useful features. In addition to playing rare file formats and performing tasks like DVD conversion, video and audio merging, and media file editing, VLC also allows you to create playlists in formats such as M3U, M3U8, and XSPF. If you’re unsure about how to create an M3U playlist using VLC, follow the steps below:
Open VLC media player. If you don’t have the program installed, visit the official website and download the appropriate version for your computer.
Click on “View” in the toolbar and select “Playlist.” Alternatively, you can quickly open the playlist window by pressing Ctrl+L.
Right-click within the playlist window and choose “Add files…” or “Add folder…” to import audio files or an entire folder from your computer into VLC. Alternatively, you can drag and drop the desired files or folder into the playlist window. You can also rearrange the order of the audio files using drag and drop.
When you play the M3U file with VLC in the future, VLC will automatically queue the audio files according to your arrangement.
Select “Media” in the upper-right corner or press the keyboard shortcut Ctrl+Y. Then choose “Save Playlist to File,” specify the output path, rename the file, and save it as an M3U playlist.
Finally, click the “Save” button to create the M3U file. The process will be completed, and you can find the generated M3U files in the output folder you specified earlier.
Creating an M3U Playlist with Windows Media Player?
If you’re using Windows 7 or an older version, you can also utilize Windows Media Player to create an M3U playlist. Windows Media Player 12 allows you to save playlists in the M3U format instead of the program’s default format, WPL. To create an M3U playlist using Windows Media Player, follow these steps:
Create a new folder on your computer and place all the audio files you want to include in the playlist inside it.
Drag the folder into the “Unsaved List” section of Windows Media Player.
You can rearrange the order of the audio files by dragging them up or down within the list.
Click on the drop-down menu and select “Save list as…” to create an M3U playlist.
Rename the file and choose the output format as M3U.
Click “Save” to create the M3U file. By default, the output path is My Music > Playlist, but you can specify a different output path if desired.
Following these steps, you will have successfully created an M3U playlist using Windows Media Player. It shouldn’t take long for you to obtain your M3U playlist.
How to Create an M3U Playlist in iTunes?
iTunes serves not only as a data manager for iOS devices, allowing you to sync and play media files, but also as an M3U playlist creator, enabling easy playlist creation. Once you have accumulated audio and video files in your iTunes library, you can organize them into playlists. Whether you want to arrange videos by the date you added them to the library or create a playlist of road trip songs, you can create an M3U file, which is a text file that retains the order of your files. Follow the steps below to learn how to create an M3U playlist within iTunes on your computer:
Launch iTunes on your computer.
In the left pane of the iTunes window, click on a category such as “Music” or “TV Shows” under the “Library” section, or select a playlist under the “Playlists” option.
Click on “File” in the iTunes menu.
Select the “Library” option.
Click on the “Export Playlist” option. This will open a dialog box.
Choose a folder where you want to create the M3U file.
Click on the drop-down menu next to “Format” and select “M3U.”
Click “Save” to create the M3U file.
Creating an M3U playlist with iTunes is straightforward. Give it a try to see how easy it is.
How to Create an M3U Playlist for IPTV?
If you want to create an M3U playlist for IPTV streaming, you can use the method mentioned above to create your own M3U playlist. Alternatively, you can find pre-defined M3U playlists with TV channels and shows from various sources, such as GitHub. While most playlists are free, they may expire after some time. However, once you sync the playlist with your device, you will have permanent access to it.
To stream IPTV, you need a multimedia player that supports the M3U file format. Depending on the device you’re using, you can find dedicated apps on the Apple Store or Google Store, such as TV Streams, IPTV, or Smart IPTV. Follow the steps below to stream an M3U playlist:
Drag and drop the downloaded or self-created IPTV VLC playlist to the Media Library in the app to save it.
Click on the VLC IPTV playlist drop-down menu and choose a channel, for example, “News 12,” to start streaming.
You can not only create M3U playlists but also play the files with VLC, Windows Media Player, and iTunes. Keep in mind that if the M3U playlist points to audio files on your local device, you won’t be able to play it on other devices since the media player cannot find the file path.
However, if the M3U file points to an online stream, you can easily play and even share it when connected to a Wi-Fi or cellular network. Lastly, note that M3U files are plain text files, so it’s not possible to convert them into playable MP3 or MP4 media files. Nevertheless, you can open an M3U file with Notepad and locate the original path of the actual file.
And there are some M3u Lists that works very good. Copy the link to the player and enjoy!