What is M3U8 and how to open it on all devices [Windows/Mac/Mobile]

M3U8, the media playlist file format, is frequently used to create a single-entry playlist file that points to an online streaming or streaming service. You may see M3U8 file extension in online streaming media files but find that your built-in player fails to open such local file. Therefore, you should not miss the following content, which will give you an explanation of what M3U8 is as well as a detailed guide on how to open M3U8 files on each device.

List of guides:

Part 1: What is MU38

Part 2: How to Open M3U8 File

Part 3: M3U8 File FAQs

Part 1: What is MU38

An M3U8 file is a UTF-8 encoded audio playlist file. It was first developed by Apple to stream video and radio to iOS devices, but also serves as the basis for online streaming. It looks more like a playlist or reference for your audio or videos than an actual media file. Whether your M3U8 file points you towards online media or local music or videos, you should easily and quickly open such a file and enjoy whatever media it points to. Meanwhile, M3U8 also contains information about each track. However, with a built-in player like Windows Media Player or QuickTime Player, you will not be able to enjoy the contents of an M3U8 file. So, check out the guide below and see how to open it on your computer and mobile.

What is M3U8 and how to open it on all devices [Windows/Mac/Mobile]

Part 2: How to Open M3U8 File

To open M3U8 file without any hassle or device restriction, VLC Media Player is a reliable and free choice for you as it is available for all systems. Whether it is computer or mobile, you can install this third-party application and browse your M3U8 content effortlessly. Supporting almost all media formats, VLC can play any media file you have. Now install it and follow the guide here.

What is M3U8 and how to open it on all devices [Windows/Mac/Mobile]

Open M3U8 files via conversion

Is it possible to open M3U8 files anywhere without additional drives? Of course it is, and no additional player needs to be installed on any of your devices except a converter. The right converter can help you easily convert M3U8 to MP4 or other more compatible formats. Then you can enjoy content smoothly and seamlessly across all your devices. For example, AnyMP4 Video Converter Ultimate is exactly such a converter which allows you to convert M3U8 for playing on all kinds of devices. You can see more features and follow the guide to see how.

1. Offers well-designed presets that fit many devices.

2. Convert your M3U8 files to formats suitable for social networks.

3. Preview your M3U8 video or audio before conversion.

4. Enjoy fast conversion with user-friendly operations.

How to Convert to Open M3U8 Files with AnyMP4 Video Converter Ultimate

Step 1: Free download and install the converter from AnyMP4 website. Then launch it and click Add Files button to import your M3U8 file. After loading, you can click on the file to preview it.

Step 2: Next, choose an output format for your file by clicking the Format button. Meanwhile, you can click the gear icon to adjust format settings like encoder or bitrate. You can also choose a format from the Device option.

What is M3U8 and how to open it on all devices [Windows/Mac/Mobile]

Step 3: After that, click on the save to drop-down button to select a folder to store your final file. Finally, click on the Convert All button to start converting. Once complete, a window will appear showing you the file.

What is M3U8 and how to open it on all devices [Windows/Mac/Mobile]

How to Open M3U8 File with VLC on Computer

Step 1: Install and launch VLC on your computer. Then click on the Media button and the Open Case button to import your M3U8 file. Or press CTRL and O keys to select.

Step 2: Choose the M3U8 file you want to play and click on the Open button. Then your file will start playing automatically.

Step 3: You can also control playback, adjust volume, record video/audio or take snapshot via the panel below.

Part 3: M3U8 File FAQs

How to open M3U8 files on Google Chrome?

You need to add an extension to open such a file. Open Google Chrome, go to Chrome web store and search for Play HLS M3U8 extension. Then click on the Add to Chrome button. Once you have activated this extension, you can enter the M3U8 link in Google Chrome and open the media file there.

How to open M3U8 files in iTunes?

You must install the latest version of iTunes. Then open it and drag and drop your M3U8 file into it. Or you can click the Case button, then the Library button, and the Import a playlist button to import. Then iTunes will create a playlist object and you can drag it to your device and sync it to your iPhone in iTunes. But you need to make sure that the files referenced in the M3U8 are on the managed path in the M3U8 file.

Can I open M3U8 files online?

Yes you can. There are many free M3U8 viewers online. For example, you can use FileProInfro’s free online m3u8 viewer or M3U8 player from HLS Reader. These websites also offer a detailed guide for you to easily track and open related files.


From this article, you have known 2 reliable solutions to open M3U8 files and both methods allow you to access and enjoy the contents of M3U8 file on any device. Whether it is Windows, Mac, iPhone or Android, you can either download VLC to play or convert M3U8 to other compatible formats and open it.

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