I have a .m3u audio file from a local radio station. It is an audio recording of the radio's livestream since 11/1/2016 (this month). I can play the file from the beginning using a variety of media players (WMP, VLC player, Foobar, Winamp) but I am unable to seek through the file. I'm specifically trying to listen to the end of the file (late 11/13/2016) because someone I know was hosting but I missed the broadcast.

Whenever I try to skip to the end it will keep playing from however far I've let it play. I'm not sure if it is because the file is too large to buffer properly, or if the file lacks metadata needed for skipping around on the track (I can't even see the length of this recording).

What software can I use to allow seeking for this audio file?

  • m3u is a playlist file format, it does not contain any audio. Maybe your file has the wrong extension?
    – Nicolas Raoul
    Commented Nov 15, 2016 at 7:18
  • Thanks for pointing that out. So the file I'm opening (live.m3u) must be pointing to a stream hosted by the radiostation right? I can tell it does not point to the truly live stream when I compare it to their site player. Is there a way to seek through the stream that this file points to, if I do not otherwise have direct access to the source stream?
    – CptBlAnds
    Commented Nov 15, 2016 at 7:39
  • Could you please post the content of the live.m3u file? (feel free to change the identifiers if confidential)
    – Nicolas Raoul
    Commented Nov 15, 2016 at 8:42

1 Answer 1


With VLC

Your best bet is to open the file in VLC and press Ctrl-L to show the playlist - you should then be able to select the item that you need.


In the command prompt change directory to the location of the .m3u file and type:

type name_of_file.m3u

Where name_of_file is the name of the file - this will show you one or more lines of URLs, hopefully the radio station saves its audio recordings in 1 hour or less chunks, many do and even more useful it is quite common for them to name the files in a yyyy-mm-dd-hh-00 format that will enable you to quickly locate the specific recording that you are looking for.

Your web browser should then allow you to simply open or download the appropriate one.

The other method is to simply copy the .m3a file to a .txt file and open that in a text editor, (it may well be too large for notepad in which case consider TextPad or Notepad++ - both are free), alternatively with most text editors you can open the editor and then drop the .m3a file into them. Locate the line that is likely to include the recording you require and some text editors both of those mentioned earlier IIRC have a facility to select a URL and allow you to open in browser via a right click.

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