A file with the M3U8 file extension is a UTF-8 Encoded Audio Playlist file. They are plain text files that can be used by both audio and video players to describe where media files are located. VLC, Apple's iTunes, Windows Media Player, and Songbird are just a few examples of programs that can open and use M3U8 files. If you're looking to convert M3U8 to MP4, or to MP3, or to any other media format, you first need to understand that an M3U8 file is a plain text file - nothing more and nothing less. This means it just contains text, nothing that can actually "play" like how an MP4 or MP3 file can play in a media player.


How to Convert an M3U8 file to an MP4 with VLC for Free

In fact, there is no such a M3U8 converter on the market. Then what if you want to convert an M3U8 file to an MP4 file? Fortunately, there are still some media players that act as M3U8 file converter to extract MP4 files from M38U files. Here I will take VLC Media Player as an example to tell you how to change ,m3u8 file to .mp4 file step by step.

Step 1: Download and install the VLC for Windows or Mac version from the official site that suit your computer OS.

Step 2: Run VLC, and then click on "Media" and select "Convert / Save", after that a "Open Media" window will pop up and click the "file" tab and then click "add" button to load the file you want to convert.


Step 3: Click on the "Convert/Save" button when you are done. Finally select the destination folder, give a desired file name and select the desired video profile. The default output is an MP4 file with H.264 codec.


Step 4: Once all settings are done, you can press the "start" button to begin the m3u8 to mp4 conversion.

Part 2. Top 3 VLC Alternatives to Convert M3U8 to MP4

Besides VLC, there are other solutions that can help you convert M3U8 to MP4. And below are the other 3 ways to get the job done.

● How to Convert M3U8 to MP4 with EaseFab Video Converter

Although VLC is shipped with all the necessary codecs, you still may have some troubles while converting videos like unsupported video codec, slow conversion process, etc. One of the solution is to try installing a codec pack; alternatively you can turn to an easier-to-use yet professional video encoder and decoder tool - EaseFab Video Converter (available for Windows and Mac users). This M3U8 to MP4 converter helps you to both download the M3U8 playlist from the URL and then fast convert it to MP4 (H.264/H.265) afterward in a hassle freeway while keeping the original quality.

As a powerful M3U8 downloader and converter, it can help you transcode M3U8 files to MP4 files with H.264 codec, or change the codec to HEVC at the lowest possible bit rate without loss in visual quality. As a result, the output file size will be greatly reduced to save storage, and the conversion will be turbo fast basically due to the industry-leading hardware and software accelerations utilized synchronously. You can also edit enhance & personalize and merge your video files. What's more, the program can also help you adding external subtitles during the M3U8 to MP4 conversion.

How to convert M3U8 to MP4 Quickly using EaseFab

Step 1. Download and load the M3U8 file

Install and launch EaseFab Video Converter. Drag and drop the M3U8 file to the program. A M3U8 file loading window will pop up, it will then automatically grab the copied URL of your M3U8 file and starts downloading it.

Note: The video loading (or downloading) time from the M3U8 file depends on the video length and the broadband speed.

load m3u8 file

Step 2. Select MP4 as the output file

After loading, click Profile and select MP4 or HEVC MP4 from Common Video category as the output format. If you want to convert M3U8 to MP4 for iPhone, iPad, Samsung Galaxy, Google Nexus, etc., you can browse to find any video preset as the output format.

choose output format

For advanced functions

1. Click the Edit button to open the Video Editor window to achieve editing M3U8 file like trim, crop, image, watermark, effect, subtitles and rotate and etc in the corresponding editing pane.
2. Click the Settings button to open the Settings window to adjust the output video codec, resolution, bitrates, frame rate, aspect ratio, audio codec, channel, volume and etc in the advanced tab.

Step 3. Begin conversion

When you click the Convert button, the process of converting M3U8 to MP4 will begin in earnest and it will be very fast.

● How to Convert M3U8 to MP4 with FFmpeg

FFmpeg is an open-source multimedia framework compatible with Windows, Linux, macOS, and iOS and Android in mobile devices. It empowers you to download record, stream, edit and convert video/audio files in an efficient way. With an advanced codec library libavcodec, FFmpeg is capable of converting M3U8 files without quality loss.

However, it has no straightforward interface like other common media converter. So be prepared like a tech-savvy to use command lines to convert M3U8 files.

Step 1. Download and install FFmpeg on your PC.

Go to www.ffmpeg.org to download a program package in terms of the operating system. Then create a folder for this program as well as its unpacked files. Finally set the Environmental Variables to C:\FFmpeg\bin.

onvert M3U8 to MP4 with FFmpeg

Step 2. Copy the link of the M3U8 file.

Open the live video through a browser like Google Chrome or Firefox. Right-click on the live video (or hit F12 key on the keyboard), and go to Inspect >Network. Find your M3U8 file, and copy the link with a suffix of ".m3u8". Then type the command line "ffmpeg -i http://.../playlist.m3u8 -c copy -bsf:a aac_adtstoasc output.mp4 " on a Text Document, and replace http://.../playlist.m3u8 by the link you just copy online.

onvert M3U8 to MP4 with FFmpeg

Step 3. Open Command Prompt.

Search "Command Prompt" in the box of Search Windows and open it. Paste the command line to it, then press Enter.

onvert M3U8 to MP4 with FFmpeg

Step 4. Change the M3U8 file to MP4.

Once the process completes, you can find the MP4 video according to the path before the command line, C:\ffmpeg\>bin, for example.

● How to Convert M3U8 to MP4 Online

As for online M3U8 to MP4 converters, anyconv.com and video.online-convert.com gain massive popularity among users. Both of them are simple converters with a 3-step workflow:

Import the M3U8 file > Start converting > Download the converted MP4 file.

onvert M3U8 to MP4 Online

Compared to AnyConv, Video Online Converter has more customizable options such as resolution, file size, bitrate, etc. And you can import M3U8 by uploading from local storage and pasting a URL. In a nutshell, AnyConv for simple conversion of local M3U8 files, while Video Online Converter for advanced conversion of both online and local M3U8.

Final Words:

M3U8 files are not general videos and they comprise of media list and location and are stored in plain text format. That's why you might be troubled with an M3U8 cannot load error or failed to open M3U8 files in a player. In such occassions, you can convert M3U8 to MP4, which is one of the best video formats compatible with all applications.

VLC is a great choice for encoding M3U8 file to MP4. Besides VLC, you can also use FFmpeg or online converters to get the job done. But if you're looking for an efficient, easy and fast way to to get the job done, EaseFab Video Converter will be your best choice.