M3U and M3U8 are playlist file formats used to stream audio and video content. Although both formats share similarities, they differ in a few key areas. In this article, we will explain the differences between the two formats and how they are used.
What is M3U?
M3U is a playlist file format that stands for MPEG version 3.0 URL. It is a plain text file that contains a list of audio and/or video files to be played. M3U files can be opened and edited with a text editor and can be played on media players like VLC, Winamp, and iTunes. The M3U format does not support Unicode characters, making it unsuitable for international languages.
What is M3U8?
M3U8 is an extension of the M3U format that stands for MPEG version 3.0 URL UTF-8. Unlike M3U, M3U8 uses Unicode characters, making it suitable for international languages. M3U8 files are used to stream video and audio content over the internet, especially for mobile devices. M3U8 files can be played on media players that support HLS (HTTP Live Streaming) protocol, such as QuickTime, Safari, and VLC.
Differences between M3U and M3U8:
The main difference between these 2 formats is that M3U8 supports Unicode characters, making it suitable for international languages, while M3U does not. M3U8 is also used for streaming video and audio content over the internet, especially for mobile devices, whereas M3U is a more general playlist file format that can be used for different types of media files.
Another difference between the two formats is the encoding. M3U8 files are encoded in UTF-8, while M3U the other one can be encoded in different character encodings, including ANSI, UTF-8, and UTF-16.
Similarities between these Playlists:
Despite their differences, both M3U and M3U8 are used as playlist file formats for streaming audio and video content. They both contain a list of media files to be played in a specific order. Both formats can be opened and edited with a text editor and can be played on media players that support the file format.
M3U and M3U8 are playlist file formats for streaming audio and video content. M3U is a general playlist format. M3U8 extends M3U and supports Unicode characters. It’s used for streaming video and audio content over the internet, particularly for mobile devices. Both formats are widely used in media streaming and can be edited with a text editor.