M3U8 File Extension

Have a problem opening a .M3U8 file? We collect information about file formats and can explain what M3U8 files are. Additionally we recommend software suitable for opening or converting such files.

What is the .M3U8 file type?

The .m3u8 filename extension refers to the Unicode version of the standard M3U playlist format, introducing the respective M3U8 file type. Having originated with Winamp, a once cult media player for MS Windows, M3U is a text-based format for creating ordered playlists (initially, of MP3 files).

Regular M3U playlists use the Latin-1 (ISO/IEC 8859-1) codepage, prohibiting the use of non-Latin (e.g., Cyrillic) characters in such playlists.

M3U8 is exactly the same as M3U, with the only difference being the Unicode (UTF-8, 8-bit) encoding standard used instead of Latin-1. M3U8 files are capable of handling all types of characters supported in UTF-8.

An .m3u8 file is an M3U8 playlist, a Unicode-encoded plaintext file with references to local and/or online multimedia resources in a certain syntax (the same as M3U). Besides their initial purpose of organizing playback of locally-stored media, both .m3u and .m3u8 playlist files are widely used by online media broadcast services as pointers to their channels.

Both .m3u and .m3u8 playlists are supported by all current media players.

Software to open or convert M3U8 files

You can open M3U8 files with the following programs:
VLC media player
VLC media player by VideoLAN
iTunes by Apple Inc.
Winamp by Nullsoft, Inc
PotPlayer by Kakao Corp.

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