M3U8 file icon

M3U8 File Extension

UTF-8 M3U Playlist Format

What is M3U8 file?

Files with the M3U8 extension are encoded audio playlists , which use the UTF-8 symbol encoding system. These are standard text files – they do not contain any real sound data, but only references to multimedia files or subfolders which store them. Besides the references they also include information about the playlist.

References to multimedia contained within M3U8 files can occur in three forms: as a relative path, an absolute path or an URL address. Other text information within file is usually a commentary which describes the content.

Examples of using M3U8 files

M3U8 files may be commonly encountered in operating systems because they are used in standard activities on a computer. One of the examples is computer games which include a rich sound setting, therefore files indicating location of such multimedia is required. Another example of use are Internet radio stations. M3U8 files are used also in order to store playlists including multilingual names of songs, due to the UTF-8 symbol encoding standard.

M3U8 and M3U files

M3U8 and M3U are formats very similar to each other – they are files of playlists and they are recognised by multiple multimedia players. The only thing that differs them is the symbol encoding system, although this is also not entirely true. Both formats use the same encoding system – UTF-8 – but M3U8 is assigned only with this standard while M3U enables also alternatives on which it is usually based.

Programs which support M3U8 file extension

Below you will find an index of software programs that can be used to open M3U8 files divided into 3 categories according to system platform supported. Files with M3U8 suffix can be copied to any mobile device or system platform, but it may not be possible to open them properly on target system.

Updated: 11/03/2021

How to open file with M3U8 extension?

Being unable to open files with M3U8 extension can be have various origins. On the bright side, the most encountered issues pertaining to UTF-8 M3U Playlist Format files aren’t complex. In most cases they can be addressed swiftly and effectively without assistance from a specialist. The list below will guide you through the process of addressing the encountered problem.

Step 1. Download and install Winamp

Install software to open M3U8 file Problems with opening and working with M3U8 files are most probably having to do with no proper software compatible with M3U8 files being present on your machine. This issue can be addressed by downloading and installing Winamp or different compatible program, such as iTunes, RealPlayer, Windows Media Player. The full list of programs grouped by operating systems can be found above. 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. Update Winamp to the latest version

Update software that support file extension M3U8If the problems with opening M3U8 files still occur even after installing Winamp, it is possible that you have an outdated version of the software. Check the developer’s website whether a newer version of Winamp is available. It may also happen that software creators by updating their applications add compatibility with other, newer file formats. The reason that Winamp cannot handle files with M3U8 may be that the software is outdated. The latest version of Winamp should support all file formats that where compatible with older versions of the software.

Step 3. Assign Winamp to M3U8 files

After installing Winamp (the most recent version) make sure that it is set as the default application to open M3U8 files. The next step should pose no problems. The procedure is straightforward and largely system-independent

Associate software with M3U8 file on Windows

The procedure to change the default program in Windows

  • Clicking the M3U8 with right mouse button will bring a menu from which you should select the 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 M3U8 files box and conform your selection by clicking OK button
Associate software with M3U8 file on Mac

The procedure to change the default program in Mac OS

  • By clicking right mouse button on the selected M3U8 file open the file menu and choose Information
  • Open the Open with section by clicking its name
  • Select the appropriate software and save your settings by clicking Change all
  • Finally, a This change will be applied to all files with M3U8 extension message should pop-up. Click Continue button in order to confirm your choice.

Step 4. Check the M3U8 for errors

You closely followed the steps listed in points 1-3, but the problem is still present? You should check whether the file is a proper M3U8 file. It is probable that the file is corrupted and thus cannot be accessed.

Check M3U8 file for viruses
1. Check the M3U8 file for viruses or malware

If the M3U8 is indeed infected, it is possible that the malware is blocking it from opening. Scan the M3U8 file as well as your computer for malware or viruses. If the scanner detected that the M3U8 file is unsafe, proceed as instructed by the antivirus program to neutralize the threat.

2. Verify that the M3U8 file’s structure is intact

Did you receive the M3U8 file in question from a different person? Ask him/her to send it one more time. During the copy process of the file errors may occurred rendering the file incomplete or corrupted. This could be the source of encountered problems with the file. If the M3U8 file has been downloaded from the internet only partially, try to redownload it.

3. Ensure that you have appropriate access rights

There is a possibility that the file in question can only be accessed by users with sufficient system privileges. Log in using an administrative account and see If this solves the problem.

4. Check whether your system can handle Winamp

If the system is under havy load, it may not be able to handle the program that you use to open files with M3U8 extension. In this case close the other applications.

5. Ensure that you have the latest drivers and system updates and patches installed

Regularly updated system, drivers, and programs keep your computer secure. This may also prevent problems with UTF-8 M3U Playlist Format files. Outdated drivers or software may have caused the inability to use a peripheral device needed to handle M3U8 files.

Do you want to help?

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