Playlist formats: M3U playlist format
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M3U playlist format

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What is a M3U playlist format?

M3U is a computer file format, also generally known to humans as a playlist. It is the default playlist save format of WinAMP, although it is now supported by many applications, including Mp3 Tag Assistant Professional and Music Tag Editor.

An M3U playlist file is a plain text file that contains the locations of one or more media files that the mediaplayer should play. Every line in an M3U playlist file is either a comment, a blank, or a resource to render. A comment line begins with the pound sign, #. Blanks are ignored. A resource is the address of a media file. M3U playlists do not store any music data, only filenames and track info (time, artist, album, etc.).

A resource address can be anything the M3U reader is capable of understanding. These include absolute filesystem paths, relative filesystem paths (with the base undefined by the file format), and URLs.

The M3U playlist can be two types: Simple M3U playlist and Extended M3U playlist.

M3U playlist samples

Here are a few sample MP3 playlists:

  Simple M3U playlist with absolute filesystem path:

   # This is a comment
   C:\My Music\Pink Floyd\1979---The_Wall_CD1\1.In_The_Flesh.mp3
   C:\My Music\Pink Floyd\1979---The_Wall_CD1\10.One_Of_My_Turns.mp3

  Simple M3U playlist with relative filesystem path:

   # This is a comment
   Pink Floyd\1979---The_Wall_CD1\1.In_The_Flesh.mp3
   Pink Floyd\1979---The_Wall_CD1\10.One_Of_My_Turns.mp3

  Extended M3U playlist:

   #EXTINF:199,Pink Floyd - In The Flesh
   R:\Music\Pink Floyd\1979---The_Wall_CD1\1.In_The_Flesh.mp3
   #EXTINF:217,Pink Floyd - One Of My Turns
   R:\Music\Pink Floyd\1979---The_Wall_CD1\10.One_Of_My_Turns.mp3

Extended M3U playlist example description:

The First line, “#EXTM3U” is the format descriptor. The second and third operate in a pair. The second begins “#EXTINF:” which serves as the record marker. The “#EXTINF” is unchanging. After the colon is a number: this number is the length of the track in whole seconds or anything else. Then comes a comma and the name of the tune. The second line of this pair (the third line) is the actual file name of the media in question.

How to create a M3U playlist?

You can use for creation the M3U playlists these our programs: Mp3 Tag Assistant Professional and Music Tag Editor.

These programs support simple M3U playlist; extended M3U playlist; PLS playlist; absolute and relative filesystem path; quickly append new data to existent playlist. Read more...


How can I create M3U playlist with my MP3 files?

How can I create M3U playlist with WMA files?

How can I generate M3U playlist?

PLS playlist format on

© April 21, 2005 by All rights reserved.

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