This page contains examples of common playlist data formats. We've posted this list so that data which is normally
scattered all over the web, is now in one convenient place and can be easily referenced.
Playlists are comparatively simple files. They can be created/edited using a simple text editor (i.e Notepad or equivalent), and are nothing but lists -- here is the first stream or media file to play, here is the second, etc. And that's basically it. To use the examples below, simply copy the dark blue text and change the file names's and/or URL's to correspond with your media content.
NOTE: If the playlist file is going to be posted on a webserver and linked to via your webpage, you will need to be sure to have your webmaster set up the MIME type(s) on your webserver for the type of playlist file you are using. This will ensure that your webserver knows that the file is a media playist file, not a web or html related file. The syntax for each playlist MIME type can be found via Google.
Compatible players: Windows Media Player, WinAmp, iTunes
Every line in an M3U file is either a playlist comment, a blank, or a file or stream source.
A comment line begins with the pound sign, #. Blanks are ignored.
A source is the address of a media file or stream. A source address can be anything the M3U reader is capable of understanding. These include absolute file paths and URLs.
The design philosophy of M3U is to let source data types do the work. Support for M3U features varies wildly.
M3U is by far the most popular playlist format, probably due to its simplicity. It is an ad-hoc standard with no formal definition, no canonical source, and no owner.
To add more entries, simply repeat the #EXTINF and http:// line(s) that correspond to the type of entry (stream or media file) you want to add.
#EXTINF:Your File name/information goes here
#EXTINF:Your Stream or Station name/information goes here
Try it out - To listen to a working example of an M3U file - CLICK HERE
Compatible players: Real Player, WinAmp, iTunes
A proprietary format used for playing Shoutcast and Icecast streams.
To add more than one song or stream, simply repeat lines 3 & 4 for each additional entry, and then change line 2 to equal the proper number of total entries.
Title1=Stream name or Song title goes here
To listen to a working example of a PLS file - CLICK HERE
Compatible players: Windows Media Player, WinAmp, Real Player
The ASX family of formats are somewhat a moving target, however, since they are defined by implementation in Windows Media. Just about any kind of media can be pointed to within a playlist as long as the playlist is correctly handed off from the browser to Windows Media Player.
To add more than one stream or media file to the list, simply copy the <ENTRY></ENTRY> tags and everything in between them for each new item.
For a full list of tags that can be used within an ASX file - CLICK HERE -
<ASX version = "3.0">
<TITLE>Your playlist title goes here</TITLE>
<TITLE>Stream or song title for this entry goes here</TITLE>
<AUTHOR>Artists name for this entry goes here</AUTHOR>
<COPYRIGHT>Stream or song copyright date goes here</COPYRIGHT>
<REF HREF = "http://wmservername/path/yourfilename" />
<REF HREF = "http://wmservername/publishingpointname" />
<REF HREF = "http://ShoutCastservername:portnumber" />
To listen to a working example of an ASX file - CLICK HERE
Compatible players: Real Player
A RAM file is a flat file containing a list of media URLs, with one URL per line. It is almost identical to an M3U playlist, except that it may contain URLs of proprietary RealAudio media types, and URLs can be tweaked to affect the Real player startup mode.
Notice that this difference between M3U and RAM is similar in syntax but are constrained to point towards different kinds of remote resources.
Startup mode of the Real client can be specified by adding a query string after the resource. RAM embeds parameters for the local player in URLs of remote resources; this practice can be described as bizarre.
RAM is a loosely defined proprietary format whose purpose can be summed up as launching one of the various Real clients and having it figure out what to do.
# Sample of a real audio streaming resource served by rstp
# Sample of a static resource
http://servername/streamname or mountpoint
# Sample that opens the player in full-screen mode
# This opens a file on the client.
To listen to a working example of an RAM file - CLICK HERE
Compatible players: QuickTime, iTunes
QuickTime Player 6 and above can play mp3 and aac (mpeg-4) streams. To allow QuickTime users to tune into either of these formats, you'll need to create a QuickTime Media Link (.qtl) file. If you have QuickTime Pro, follow these instructions.
You can access the media link exporter by choosing Export from the File menu in QuickTime Player, then choosing Movie to QuickTime Media Link. You can either click Save, which creates an XML file with the default settings, or click the Options button to specify the settings yourself. (Note that Export from QuickTime Player requires QuickTime Pro.
If you do not have QuickTime Pro, you can modify the code below as needed. Save it into a text file with a .qtl extension and link to it from your website.
NOTE: Unlike other playlist files, QTL playlist files can only contain one file / stream source entry.