M3U File - opening and understanding

Did your computer fail to open a M3U file? We explain what they are used for and recommend software that we know can open or otherwise handle your .M3U files.

What is a M3U file?

A .M3U file is an Extended M3U playlist file. M3U is short for Moving Picture Expert Group Audio Layer 3 URL. Files that have the .m3u file extension are MP3 playlist files, also commonly referred to as Winamp playlist files.

The M3U file format was initially created for the Winamp software application, but a variety of MP3 players now use the M3U file format to manage a user's custom playlists. While M3U files are normally used to store audio playlists, some M3U files may contain video file references as well.

The M3U file does not contain any of the actual media within the file. These files only contain references (URLs/links) to the actual media files that have been saved to the user's playlist.

How to open M3U files

You will need a program compatible with the specific file you are trying to open, as different programs may use files with file extension M3U for different purposes.

While we have not verified the apps ourselves yet, our users have suggested 10 different M3U openers which you will find listed below.

Suggest another file format using extension M3U

While we know of one file format using the .M3U file extension, there may be more. It is widespread that different programs use files with the same file extension for very different types of data. Please let us know if you are aware of a different kind of .M3U file.

Various viewers for this file format

These apps are known to open certain types of M3U files. Remember, different programs may use M3U files for different purposes, so you may need to try out a few of them to be able to open your specific file.

WavePad Sound EditorWavePad Sound EditorUser submitted
Switch Sound File ConverterSwitch Sound File ConverterUser submitted
iTunesiTunesUser submitted
QuickTimeQuickTimeUser submitted
VideoLAN VLC media playerVideoLAN VLC media playerUser submitted
Microsoft Windows Media PlayerMicrosoft Windows Media PlayerUser submitted
RealPlayerRealPlayerUser submitted
AresAresUser submitted
GOM AudioGOM AudioUser submitted
WinampWinampUser submitted
We have not verified any software that we know for certain will work with M3U-files on Mac. If you know one, please use the 'Suggest a program' link below and tell us about it!
We have not verified any web services that we know for certain will work with M3U-files. If you know one, please use the 'Suggest a program' link below and tell us about it!