View Full Version : m3u file format

2011-12-27, 12:51
I have been looking at the m3u file that is created when making a playlist using the squeezebox controller and it doesn't appear to comply with the 'standard'.

e.g the first 'header' line created with the squeezebox is #CURTRACK 1 when it should be #EXTM3U.

Also there is an extra line for each track preceded by the tag
#EXTURL: that the standard doesn't mention. If I take a look at a M3U file created by windows media player 10 it has the #EXTM3U tag and the
#EXTINF tags for each track, there are no other tags in the file.

I have tried loading a M3U file created with the squeezebox into a program called M3utoASX-WPL11 which purports to be able to convert playlist files to several different formats. This program does not recognised the M3U file created with the squeezebox.

Is this a bug? or has logitech decided to adopt a different standard for M3U files?

2011-12-27, 13:15
SBS creates Simple M3U format files. Playlist files that begin with #EXTM3U are the Extended M3U format.

2011-12-27, 15:22
Thanks for your reply but the following is an extract from a M3U file created with my squeezebox...

#EXTINF:251,Again a Game...Again
\\keycarehome\Music\Talk Talk\Asides and Besides Disc 2\09 Again a Game...Again.mp3
#EXTURL:file:////keycarehome/Music/Talk%20Talk/Asides%20and%20Besides%20Disc%202/12%20It%27s%20Getting%20Late%20in%20the%20Evening. mp3
#EXTINF:345,It's Getting Late in the Evening
\\keycarehome\Music\Talk Talk\Asides and Besides Disc 2\12 It's Getting Late in the Evening.mp3

If the squeezebox creates simple M3U format files, why is the #EXTM3U tag included in the file?


The above URL explains the two M3U formats, neither format contains the hash tags #CURTRACK or #EXTURL. A simple M3U file format does not contain any hash (#) tags at all, so I am confused by your response.


2011-12-27, 15:52
Sorry I jumped to a conclusion which is wrong.

I didn't check the SBS details but was basing info what you said was in the file and what I remember how SBS parses M3U playlists

I think there are two issues

1. The M3U standard is a bit "loose", there is no standard body defining it and some application have "own" extensions added as comments which an m3u processor is supposed to ignore. If there is an "#EXTM3U" then there can be "#EXTINF" to be processed but anything else beginning with a "#" should be ignored.

2. I think SBS expects to read M3U playlists generated by other sources or by SBS. It looks like SBS generated M3U playlist has "extensions" but a 3rd party M3U parser should ignore "#" comments and so ignore the "#EXTURL and "#CURRTRACK" as these are added by SBS to help it when playing a playlist.

2011-12-27, 16:08
Thanks, that makes far more sense now.

I am however, still wondering why these M3U files are not being correctly read by WMP10 or the M3U converter?

Has anybody tried importing these M3U files into other media players?

2011-12-27, 16:49
It's the character encoding. LMS writes playlists in Unicode (UTF-8 with BOM), while most (all?) other players expect them to be in the current Windows codepage. You can open a playlist in Wordpad (not in Notepad) and save it as a new text file, that should fix it.

Strange enough, however, if you create an M3U file from an external application (without the #EXTURL lines), LMS itself expects it to be in Windows encoding, too, and will choke on any UTF-8 characters. I would call that a bug, but once you know it, it is easy to work around it.

2011-12-28, 06:56
Something so simple made so complicated! I manage to waste about 6 hours in total on this problem.

The wordpad trick worked a treat, many thanks, this is why the internet rocks.