M3U file icon

M3U File Extension

Media Playlist Format
  • Developer
    Nullsoft
  • Category
  • Popularity
    3.4 (20 votes)

What is M3U file?

M3U (short for skrót MP3 URL) is a file extension used by playlist files. M3U files are supported by many multimedia players. M3U files don’t store actual multimedia data but only references to such data in the form of file lists and file locations. M3U typically contain references to audio files, although they can also hold references to video files.

M3U file structure

M3U files store data in plain text format based on the following scheme – a single-line header data followed by track information and reference to related multimedia file. File reference is in the form of a relative/asbolute URL.

Additional information

  1. M3U are used for queuing files to be played with given multimedia player tool in particular order.
  2. The format was originally developed for Winamp media player, but is now widely supported by other media players.

Programs which support M3U file extension

The list that follows enumerates programs compatible with M3U files, divided into 4 categories based on operating system on which they are available. M3U files can be encountered on all system platforms, including mobile, yet there is no guarantee each will properly support such files.

Updated: 03/07/2022

How to open file with M3U extension?

There can be multiple causes why you have problems with opening M3U files on given system. What is important, all common issues related to files with M3U extension can be resolved by the users themselves. The process is quick and doesn’t involve an IT expert. We have prepared a listing of which will help you resolve your problems with M3U files.

Step 1. Get the Winamp

Install software to open M3U file Problems with opening and working with M3U files are most probably having to do with no proper software compatible with M3U files being present on your machine. The most obvious solution is to download and install Winamp or one to the listed programs: iTunes, RealPlayer, Windows Media Player. On the top of the page a list that contains all programs grouped based on operating systems supported can be found. If you want to download Winamp installer in the most secured manner, we suggest you visit Radionomy website and download from their official repositories.

Step 2. Verify the you have the latest version of Winamp

Update software that support file extension M3UYou still cannot access M3U files although Winamp is installed on your system? Make sure that the software is up to date. Sometimes software developers introduce new formats in place of that already supports along with newer versions of their applications. If you have an older version of Winamp installed, it may not support M3U format. The latest version of Winamp should support all file formats that where compatible with older versions of the software.

Step 3. Associate Media Playlist Format files with Winamp

If you have the latest version of Winamp installed and the problem persists, select it as the default program to be used to manage M3U on your device. The process of associating file formats with default application may differ in details depending on platform, but the basic procedure is very similar.

Associate software with M3U file on Windows

Change the default application in Windows

  • Right-click the M3U file and choose Open with option
  • Click Choose another app and then select More apps option
  • Finally select Look for another app on this PC, point to the folder where Winamp is installed, check the Always use this app to open M3U files box and conform your selection by clicking OK button
Associate software with M3U file on Mac

Change the default application in Mac OS

  • From the drop-down menu, accessed by clicking the file with M3U extension, select Information
  • Proceed to the Open with section. If its closed, click the title to access available options
  • Select the appropriate software and save your settings by clicking Change all
  • Finally, a This change will be applied to all files with M3U extension message should pop-up. Click Continue button in order to confirm your choice.

Step 4. Verify that the M3U is not faulty

If you followed the instructions form the previous steps yet the issue is still not solved, you should verify the M3U file in question. Being unable to access the file can be related to various issues.

Check M3U file for viruses
1. Check the M3U file for viruses or malware

If the M3U is indeed infected, it is possible that the malware is blocking it from opening. It is advised to scan the system for viruses and malware as soon as possible or use an online antivirus scanner. If the scanner detected that the M3U file is unsafe, proceed as instructed by the antivirus program to neutralize the threat.

2. Check whether the file is corrupted or damaged

Did you receive the M3U file in question from a different person? Ask him/her to send it one more time. It is possible that the file has not been properly copied to a data storage and is incomplete and therefore cannot be opened. If the M3U file has been downloaded from the internet only partially, try to redownload it.

3. Ensure that you have appropriate access rights

Some files require elevated access rights to open them. Log out of your current account and log in to an account with sufficient access privileges. Then open the Media Playlist Format file.

4. Make sure that the system has sufficient resources to run Winamp

The operating systems may note enough free resources to run the application that support M3U files. Close all running programs and try opening the M3U file.

5. Verify that your operating system and drivers are up to date

Up-to-date system and drivers not only makes your computer more secure, but also may solve problems with Media Playlist Format file. Outdated drivers or software may have caused the inability to use a peripheral device needed to handle M3U files.

Conversion of a M3U file

File Conversions from M3U extension to a different format
File conversions from other format to M3U file
Do you want to help?

If you have additional information about the M3U file, we will be grateful if you share it with our users. To do this, use the form here and send us your information on M3U file.

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