Computer file format for a multimedia playlist / From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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M3U (MP3 URL[1][2] or Moving Picture Experts Group Audio Layer 3 Uniform Resource Locator[3] in full) is a computer file format for a multimedia playlist. One common use of the M3U file format is creating a single-entry playlist file pointing to a stream on the Internet. The created file provides easy access to that stream and is often used in downloads from a website, for emailing, and for listening to Internet radio.

Quick facts: Filename extensions, Internet media type...
Filename extensions
.m3u, .m3u8
Internet media typevarious; see § Internet media types
Initial releasec. 1996
Type of formatPlaylist
Extended toHTTP Live Streaming playlist

Although originally designed for audio files, such as MP3, it is commonly used to point media players to audio and video sources, including online sources. M3U was originally developed by Fraunhofer for use with their Winplay3 software,[4] but numerous media players and software applications now support the format.

Careless handling of M3U playlists has been the cause of vulnerabilities in many music players such as VLC media player,[5] iTunes,[6] Winamp,[7] and many others.[8]