Working with IPTV Links M3u M3U8 Playlists

Here you are going to learn how to download, copy, edit, convert, and save IPTV links, m3u and m3u8 playlists. The idea is very simple.

But before jumping into that, let us learn few things about IPTV playlists.

What is an M3u playlist?

M3U is shorthand for MPEG version 3.0 URL. It is a file format used to save an address list, including audio or video files. M3U files look like simple text files that can be edited by hand.

In the case of a M3U file for IPTV, it is a link that allows access to many IPTV channels. The M3U format is a format that allows many IPTV links to be stored in a file in order to be able to launch IPTV via different platforms, including a TV box, a computer, a smartphone, a tablet, or a television.

What is an M3u8 file?

A file with the extension M3U8 is a UTF-8 encoded audio playlist file. These are text files that can be used by audio and video players to point to the location of multimedia files.

For example, an M3U8 file can give you references to online files for an Internet radio station. Another can be created on your computer to create a playlist for your own music or a series of videos.

An M3U8 file can use absolute paths, relative paths, and URLs to refer to specific media files and / or entire folders of media files. Other text information in an M3U8 file can be comments describing the content.

M3U, can also use UTF-8 character encoding, but can also include other character encodings. Therefore, the file extension .M3U8 is used to show that the file actually uses UTF-8 character encoding.

How to download IPTV links?

To download an IPTV link URL, all you have to do is to locate it, double click to highlight the link, and copy paste into:

  • Your Smart TV App specified field (check How to set up IPTV on your device section below for more details).
  • Any other App that plays IPTV links on smartphones or tablets.

Or alternatively, you can paste the link directly into your browser’s address bar and hit Enter. This way the link will be stored in your device in the form of an m3u playlist.

How to download M3u list?

To download an m3u or m3u8 file, just click on it and it will be stored in your device. You can open to play it on any device app that supports m3u/m3u8 files. (check How to set up IPTV on Smart TV section below to learn how to run m3u list on Smart TV App).

If you only have a playlist in the form of a TEXT, read the following sub-section on how to edit playlists.

How to convert an m3u playlist to an m3u8 playlist and vice versa?

Open the m3u/m3u8 playlist in question in VLC media player, choose Media in the top left corner, and click on Save Playlist to File. Under File Name, click Save as Type to choose the file format in which you want your playlist to be save and click save.

Another way to do it is with a text editor. Open the playlist in your text editor and when save it with .m3u or .m3u8.

And done!

How to edit an m3u playlist in a text editor convert it into a TEXT playlist?

Sometimes you may want to edit your playlist, say, you want for instance to delete some channels and keep only those that are interesting to you, or simply want to create a playlist from different m3u/m3u8 files. For this you need to open the playlist in a text editor.

You can use any default text editor to accomplish the job like notepad in Windows (but DO NOT use MS Word). If you want to do that on a smartphone that doesn’t have a text editor already installed in, you can download one; most text editors are free and any one can do the job.

Now that you have a text editor ready, right-click on the m3u m3u8 playlist and choose to open it in the text editor. You will see all the channels that the playlist hosts.

All you see now in your text editor is text.

Feel free to add other channels from another playlist or delete some of them to create a playlist that better suits you.

When you finish editing, remember to save it with whatever name you choose, BUT that name should bear the .m3u or .m3u8 extension, i.e., the name of the file has to end with that extension (example: name.m3u / name.m3u8).

How to save IPTV text playlist as m3u or m3u8 file?

If you only have a playlist in the form of a text like this:

All you need to do is to copy that text, paste it in a text editor and save it with .m3u or .m3u8.

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