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If you are a music enthusiast as well as tech savvy, you may be familiar with M3U8 file extension. Nevertheless, most people do not understand this format or even have not heard of it. In fact, M3U8 is widely used on computers, websites and streaming services.

This post will share the basic knowledge about this audio format in detail. Then you will understand what is M3U8 and how to listen to it with the best M3U8 players on Windows 10/8.1/8/7 and Mac OS X.

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M3U8 Players

Part 1: What is m3u8?

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In brief, M3U8 is the file extension of audio playlist encoded with UTF-8. It uses plain text files to store the information of audio tracks and music, such as the absolute paths and relative paths of local audio files, as well as URLs. Both audio and video players are able to get where media files are located through the information.

As mentioned previously, M3U8 does not contain media content but the location information.

M3U8 files can be opened and edited by most text editors, such as Notepad on Windows. However, if you want to listen to it, you have to prepare a M3U8 player.

Part 2: Top 5 M3U8 players

Top 1: AnyMP4 Blu-ray Player

Key features:

  • • Read M3U8 files and let you to listen to music simply.
  • • Keep the original quality of audio tracks and music.
  • • Support almost all audio formats and media file extensions.
  • • Integrate an audio equalizer to get the desired audio effects.
  • • Compatible with Windows 10/8.1/8/7/Vista/XP and Mac OS X.


  • • The interface is user friendly and easy to use.
  • • This M3U8 player is flexible and available to both average people and tech savvy.


  • • Since AnyMP4 Blu-ray Player is a professional media player you need to purchase it after the free-trial.

Top 2: VLC Media Player

Key features:

  • • Pack a wide range of video and audio codecs, such as MP3, M4V, WMA, M4A, etc.
  • • Get the information in M3U8 files and play audio tracks.
  • • Available to both local music files and online streaming.
  • • Convert M3U8 files to audio tracks for playing on any devices.
  • • Include several bonus tools, such as rip audio from CD, download online music, and more.


  • • This M3U8 player is open source and free of charge.
  • • It is an all-in-one media player with extensive features.


  • • It is not suitable to beginners since functionalities are hidden in the menu bar.
  • • There are too many custom options.

Top 3: iTunes

Key features:

  • • Import M3U8 files as well as the audio tracks in the playlists.
  • • Add music in the M3U8 playlist to iTunes library automatically.
  • • Create a playlist based on the M3U8 file in iTunes with the specified order.
  • • Sync the playlists to iOS devices through a USB cable or Wi-Fi network.


  • • This M3U8 player is completely free to download and use.
  • • It is available to both Windows and Mac.


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  • • You have to update iTunes frequently.
  • • Some songs in the M3U8 file may be not available in iTunes due to copyright.

Top 4: Windows Media Player

Key features:

  • • Open M3U8 files and add the audio tracks automatically.
  • • Keep the order of the M3U8 playlist.
  • • Support WMA, MP3 and popular audio formats.
  • • Offer multiple modes, such as listen to music by order or random.
  • • Expandable with extra plugins and codecs.


  • • This M3U8 player is pre-installed on Windows.
  • • It is able to play online streaming.


  • • You cannot find advanced settings in this media player.
  • • It only offers 4 levels of audio quality.

Top 5: Songbird

Key features:

  • • Compatible with Windows XP/Vista, Mac OS X 10.5 and Linux.
  • • Play popular audio formats, such as MP3, AAC, Ogg, Vorbis, FLAC and WMA.
  • • Able to open M3U8 files and import audio files automatically.
  • • Pack a customizable interface with various skins.
  • • Display basic information of audio tracks.


  • • This M3U8 player is expandable with various addons and extensions.
  • • It allows you to control the audio playback with hotkeys.


  • • This audio player is large and takes up space.
  • • Some functionalities are difficult to use.

Part 3: Top 3 m3u8 players online

Top 1: Castr Player

Key features:

  • • Test your M3U8 streams online for free.
  • • Offer a video tutorial on the home page.
  • • Support HLS and MPEG-Dash.
  • • One-click to start the audio playback.
  • • No require to install or download anything on your computer


  • • This online M3U8 player responds fast.
  • • It gives you total control to access streaming services on your own.


  • • The free-trial is limited.
  • • It cannot get online audio tracks offline.

Top 2: HLSTester

Key features:


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  • • Play and test your streams online without downloading anything.
  • • Support every stream type, such as M3U8, RTMP, MP4, etc.
  • • Test your music streams with a single click.
  • • Offer the plugin for web browsers for free.
  • • Load audio tracks quickly.


  • • The interface of this online M3U8 player is intuitive.
  • • There is no extra requirement, such as registration.


  • • It needs VPN to access in some regions.
  • • It may crash if your internet connection is not very good.

Top 3: HLSPlayer

Key features:

  • • Play M3U8 and HLS playlists through the internet connection.
  • • Completely free to use without restrictions.
  • • Search for audio streams based on the M3U8 playlist automatically.
  • • Offer a RTMP player and a MP4 player as well.


  • • The interface is straightforward and easy to navigate.
  • • This M3U8 player is available in most popular web browsers.
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  • • It does not offer extensions for Firefox or Chrome.

Part 4: FAQs of M3U8 player

How can I play M3U8 file in HTML?

HTML5 does not support M3U8 files playback. For opening the M3U8 videos on HTML5, you need to insert the following command:
<link href=“” rel=“stylesheet”>
<script src=“”></script>
<script src=“”></script>
<script src=“ js-contrib-hls.js”></script>
<video class=“video-js vjs-default-skin vjs-big-play-centered” data-setup=’{“controls”: true, “autoplay”: true }’>
<source src=“” type=“application/x-mpegURL”>
Your browser does not support HTML5 video.

How do I convert M3U8 to MP4?

For converting M3U8 to MP4, you will need the professional M3U8 converter software. VLC, M3U8 Loader App, etc. Learn the detailed steps of converting M3U8 to MP4 here.

Which browser supports M3U8 files playback?

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Microsoft Edge plays M3U8 files but you must make sure your computer run on windows 8 or 10.


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We have shared the best M3UP player software and online M3U8 players. Now, you should understand what is M3U8 file and how to listen to music with your M3U8 playlist on Windows and Mac.