How to create an M3U playlist for music, video and TV channels?

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How to create an M3U playlist for music, video and TV channels?
How to create an M3U playlist for music, video and TV channels?

Organizing playlists of various formats and containing completely different objects that will be played using software players, home players or Smart TV panels is a very convenient form of managing your own multimedia collections or even favorite TV channels when it comes to watching IPTV through online broadcasts. In addition, you can even create your own playlists on some social networks or on the same popular YouTube video hosting. Let's try to figure out how to create an M3U-format playlist.

What is the playlist and M3U standard?

But first, let's figure out what the playlist itself is. In fact, this is the most common list of music and video files, a selection of television channels or links to such objects on the Internet thatcan be opened in a specific program and played in a given order, which is initially set in the playlist structure. If we talk about a playlist as a software component, it is a special file in which the established playback order is described. When opened, the player simply receives an indication from it regarding what and for what to play. There are quite a lot of playlist formats today, but the most popular was and remains the M3U standard, which is the most common text file that can be viewed in any text editor. But when you open it in the players, the list seems to be attached to the player, and, say, not all files from the music or video collection on the computer are played, but only those that are listed.

How to create an M3U playlist in software players?

Now one more, so to speak, lyrical digression. The fact is that initially this standard for organizing multimedia collections was introduced only with the advent of the legendary WinAmp software player. At that time, this player allowed not only organizing your own collections, but also editing meta-data in the form of ID3 tags, which are additional (extended) information about the artist, album, release years, etc. Only much later, Windows players- systems learned how to open such lists in their own player, which was supplied pre-installed in all modifications, but did not know how to create such lists on its own. Today almost all famousplayers work with the described formats without problems, regardless of what types of objects may be present in the playlist.

Now let's get back to how to create an M3U playlist yourself, and as an example, consider the popular AIMP player, which, like two drops of water, was originally similar to its famous progenitor - WinAmp.

The easiest method is considered to be the most common manual addition of files to the player's playlist by selecting the desired tracks or videos, indicating their location on the hard drive.

Export playlist in AIMP player
Export playlist in AIMP player

When the list is ready, you just need to export it with an arbitrary name and select the appropriate M3U format, since by default the player exports playlists in its own format (actually, like any other player). The same goes for organizing video collections or mixed lists, which can include music, videos, and links to online media.

About editing playlists in players

If you add groups of files to the players, usually a special additional tool immediately opens in the players, allowing you to insert objects in positions selected by the user.

Selecting a position to add a group of files
Selecting a position to add a group of files

If you need to change the order of the tracks manually, you can simply select the desired track, and then move it to the desired position while holding down the left mouse button.

Howedit playlist in Notepad?

How to create an M3U-format playlist is a little clear. But moving tracks in the players, especially if there are a lot of them in the list, can be somewhat inconvenient. In addition, you could move them to another location on your hard drive or even delete them, but they still remain in the list. That is why playlists can use either absolute or relative links indicating the location of some object. Open the playlist file in Notepad and look at its contents. Suppose, in the example shown, there was a problem finding the second object. In particular, this situation may occur if the file has been moved.

Create a music playlist in Notepad
Create a music playlist in Notepad

In this situation, instead of the path specified in the playlist, you need to specify the true location of the missing object, which can be copied from the Explorer address bar, and then save the list.

If we talk about how to create an M3U-format playlist for use on a local system, you do not need to specify the exact paths to the files if both the playlist and the files included in the list are located in the same folder, because when opening list, the player will independently search for the components present in the playlist, scanning both the main and all nested directories in turn. But when saving the list in another location, you will have to use full paths.

How to create your own M3U playlist for IPTV?

Similar actions can be performed with TV channel lists. How tocreate an M3U playlist for IPTV?

Create an IPTV playlist
Create an IPTV playlist

In principle, you can use the usual "Notepad", enter data about the channels there, which look like the one shown in the image above, and then save the file, after selecting the UTF-8 encoding and marking "All files" in the list of formats, after which adding the M3U extension through a dot after an arbitrary name manually.

Export channel list in VLC player
Export channel list in VLC player

By and large, if you already have a playlist downloaded from the Internet that you open, for example, in the VLC player, you can do it even easier by selecting a few channels you need, and then selecting the "Save playlist as …” and giving it an arbitrary name.

To simplify the steps, you can use any simple program for creating and editing channel lists like Simple TV.

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