Have you purchased an IPTV service recently but you are now confused over what is IPTV M3U & how to use it? If that is the case then you came to the right place because in this article I am going to explain what does that word means and how you can get the links to the playlist.
Since this website is dedicated to Internet Protocol TV and I have already written a lot of articles related to this and mentioned M3U quite a lot. That’s why a few months ago I received some emails asking about this playlist which I told them through the email but now I am getting a lot of emails related to this.
After getting those emails I thought to write a whole guide on this topic so everyone new or old here could understand what does it means. I then start searching for this online and find out that more people are asking about it and have some other questions related to this topic.
That’s why I have collected everything here and in this article, you will be provided with all the information of M3U files and their playlist. Now if you are also eager to learn about this then just don’t forget to read this article until the very end or else you might not be able to understand it properly.
What is M3u Playlist?
M3U file stands for the MP3 URL is an audio playlist file that was created by Fraunhofer to make a single entry playlist points towards audio, video, or streaming service. This file was first created for the WinPlay3 media player to play multiple audio files from different folders or pathnames or directly from the URL.
This playlist is now supported by many players, including VLC Media Player, iTunes, Winamp, etc. Nowadays this file is being used by the IPTV service provider where they include the list of channels in a text file to play them without having any 3rd-party application.
IPTV providers simply write down all the names of channels along with their URL in that text file so users can see the name and after clicking on it the channel streams online. This is one of the best ways to stream live TV channels on any Windows or macOS computer or laptop without using other apps.
Except this, if for some reason you don’t want to use the VLC or iTunes for the M3U playlist then you can still use this file along with 3rd-party apps. There are many apps available out there, but my favourite one is the Smartters Pro, which is free to use and easy to use with advanced features.
How To Use M3u Playlist in Smarters App
Before we dig into using the M3U Playlist in Smarters App let’s first have a quick conversation over how you can get an M3U playlist in the first place? Well! if you are new to the cord-cutters list then you need to know that IPTV is an internet-based television that provides live channels, shows, movies over the internet.
This service can be used in multiple ways like direct sign in using the username and password, through portal URL and last but not least through the M3U URL. As I already mentioned earlier that this file contains audio and video files but in the case of IPTV the file contains the URL of specific channels.
This file is provided by your IPTV service provider in a form of a URL rather than the .m3u or any other file format. So, once you have had this file then you are ready to follow this guide or otherwise if you didn’t purchase any service yet. Then you may check out my suggestions over the best M3U playlist provider.
If you already have the IPTV subscription then you have probably got the M3U URL from the provider. To set up this playlist I am going to use the Smarters Pro application that is officially available on Apple and Google Play Store. Although for FireTV users need to sideload it because it is not available on their store yet: Install IPTV Smarters App on Firestick
Now once you got the application and the playlist URL let’s follow the given below steps:
2 From the next screen you will be asked to add a user just click on the Add User button.
3 At this time few options will appear that ask how you want to log in so just select Load Your Playlist or File/URL.
4 Now the next screen will ask permission to access Photos, Media & Files so select the Allow or else it won’t work.
5 After that you will notice some empty fields there:
- In the first field, you need to type Any Name you want.
- Choose M3U URL from the Playlist Type.
- Copy the URL provided by the IPTV and paste it into the File/URL field.
- Once all fields are filled just click on the Add User button.
6 Wait for a while and the User will be added to the Smarters Pro.
7 Now click on the name of the user that you have created and then it shows Downloading Movies, Series, Live Channels.
8 Just be patient and when everything is downloaded it shows different options like Live TV, Movies, Series, EPG and so on.
When you see that screen that means you have successfully set up the M3U playlist in the Smarters Pro application. The process is the same for different devices so just follow the instructions as shown above. After that, you will be able to watch your favourite TV channels, Movies or even Series depending on what you get from the service provider.
Best M3U Player Apps
Purchasing an IPTV is quite an easy task but finding the right app to use it is quite difficult because some providers offer their branded app while some don’t. Despite the fact that those app doesn’t offer enough features that you actually need and even some apps don’t support M3U playlist features.
This is where we require a 3rd-party application instead of relying on the branded app with fewer features. Probably there are hundreds of applications are already available out there so to avoid confusion I have listed some of the best M3U player apps that work pretty fine.
This is probably one of my favourite apps to use my IPTV service with because it is safe to use and is officially available on the Apple and Google Play Store. The app has an amazing user interface and has fewer on-screen options to avoid confusion and provides only useful features.
IPTV Smarters Pro let users create multiple accounts there to manage all their services in one place and the best part is it supports M3U playlist and direct login. Despite this, the app also supports a multi-screen feature where user can watch four different channels or movies/TV shows on a single device.
Smarters Pro also supports the Video-On-Demands that are given by your service provider and also is compatible with EPG. The best part of having this app is that it can be integrated with 3rd-party media players like VLC, MX Player etc. This way you can stream channels in your preferred interface.
TiviMate is yet another best M3U Player app that can be used to manage your playlist and watch live TV channels. However, the app is currently available only for Android TV Boxes or Smart TVs. Also, there is no announcement from the developer about releasing it for Android mobiles.
Just like the Smarters Pro, you can also use multiple M3U Playlist with TiviMate but there is a problem as this feature is only available for the Pro version users. For free users, they can only use one playlist that is enough for an average person who just wants a single service.
TiviMate has a unique feature that let you change the name of your channel, customize the order of shows appearing in the TV guide and also upload a custom logo. Even though it let you search for the channel or the TV show directly so you don’t have to scroll to the end to get the preferred channel.
The last app that I would like to add here is the Lazy IPTV and this is the best option for those who want a fully customizable application. Lazy IPTV supports various formats of M3U playlist that includes Zip, GZ format and open-view, even though it can read XSPF file format as well.
Using this app is a lot easier because it let you open the M3U playlist directly from the storage or simply by pasting the URL provided by the IPTV seller. It also supports HTTP and UDP whereas you can play from YouTube and VK-video platform that is quite an impressive feature to have.
As we speak about customization then the IPTV let you add a favourite, manage folders, and also allows you to create a Playlist group. Furthermore, the app lets you export your playlist in case if you want to use another one and also provides home customization to add the most-watched channels and how channels should display.
Best M3u Playlist Provider
Since you have already understood what is M3U playlist and how it works now let’s talk about which are the best M3U playlist, provider. It is because currently there are hundreds of services you will find online when you search M3U provider on any Search Engine.
Some people select the result that appears at the top while some select that is third of the fifth number thinking that it would be the best choice. That is completely false because the ranking doesn’t prove their services unless you tried it on your own as each provider have a different number of channels, connections etc.
That’s why considering these facts I have already tried several providers by myself to test which are good. In this section, I am going to provide a simple overview of the two best providers that I really like the most. In case if you are interested in finding the best IPTV service provider then you should probably read my previous article.
The first M3U playlist provider we have here is the IPTVTrends, which I am using personally because of their customer support. They offer the best customer support as compared to most of the services, they will help you to fix any problem you have and they are very good at communication.
Furthermore, this service is packed with around 19,000+ live TV channels and 56,000+ VODs comes in HD, UHD, and even 4K resolution. They have a server uptime of 99.99% whereas you can stream anything you want without getting distracted by the buffering.
IPTVTrends is not much popular platform but still, it is getting many new users daily because of the service and their good customer support. This service provides both M3U Playlist as well as direct login and it can be used on all devices including Enigma, MAG, Raspberry Pi and so on.
The next best M3U playlist provider we have the Xtreme HD IPTV that is quite old but some people might not hear it before. It is providing its best service to the users for many years and has thousands of satisfied customers until now. This IPTV is well known for providing users with Sports channel including live events.
Xtreme HD IPTV is probably heaven for the Sports lover as they get Cricket, Hockey, Badminton, Tennis, Rugby, Golf and almost every Sports channel here. Purchasing this service will provide you with 19,000+ live TV channels including 60,000+ Video-On-Demands.
This IPTV provider offers multiple connections depending on which plan you are purchasing as with 2 Year plan you get 13 connections while the 1-year plan offers only 7 connection. Overall the Xtreme HD IPTV is really amazing and you should probably try it on your own by getting a trial.
Is IPTV M3U Illegal?
An IPTV M3U playlist is not illegal because it is simply a playlist that includes the information of live TV channels given by your IPTV provider. It is because an Internet Protocol TV is completely safe and legal to use unless the owner of that playlist has the rights to that content.
There are probably thousands of websites available out there that provide M3U link for free that includes pirated channel or videos. Streaming from these type of links is without a doubt an illegal act and that’s why you should always avoid going for free services or else you will get into a serious problem.
Even though this same goes for the premium sellers because most of them offer pirated content to the users and charged money for that. However, some people think that they have paid money that means the service would be the legal one but that’s not true as it doesn’t make illegal legal.
To avoid such problems I have already shared various tips on how to avoid getting these services or how you can check which service is trustworthy. Even though I have also checked several services on my own and then listed them on my website to help my visitors getting the right service.
Now as you have made it this far I am certain that you learn what is M3U Playlist and also understand the process of how to get one for you. In this article, I have mentioned all the necessary things that you should know before purchasing the playlist and how you can avoid scammers.
Even though I have shared some of the best M3U providers with you that are tested by me and works just like a charm. If you have ignored that section then you should probably go above and read it again. Other than this make sure to read the best M3U players that you will need after getting your first service.
Despite that, if you still having any problem understanding this or just want to ask any other question related to this then please don’t hesitate to write it down. I will be very glad to hear from you and also try my best to answer that question if I had knowledge about that.