Top 4 Methods to Convert M3U8 to MP4 | Minimum Quality Loss

By Cecilia Hwung | Last Update:

People often complain that they cannot play M3U8 files with the default media player on PC, Android, or iPhone. Have you ever been muddled in the same situation? In fact, the M3U8 file is neither a video nor an audio. It is a plain text file that indicates the path of a media file and the playlist info.

Hence, if you failed to open M3U8 files in a player, we would strongly recommend you convert M3U8 to MP4 since MP4 is compatible with all applications.

In this post, we have rounded up 4 working methods to help you with it. Check them now.

1. Convert M3U8 to MP4 on Mac/Windows with VideoProc

An M3U8 playlist is often composed of multiple TS video clips. VideoProc comes to your rescue to extract and combine these clips into an MP4 file. Its powerful built-in media converter has done almost everything for you so you don't need much knowledge of video format, codecs, or transcoding stuff. To make things simpler and faster, it enables you to download M3U8 and convert multiple M3U8 to MP4 in one go.

VideoProc - Far More Than an M3U8 to MP4 Converter

  • Convert M3U8 files to MP4 and more than 370+ video/audio formats on Mac and Windows.
  • Cut, merge, crop, rotate, filter, add subtitles to videos, make GIFs, etc.
  • Process, compress, and resize large 4K videos with minimum quality loss.
  • Save videos from 1000+ online video platforms (including live videos).
  • Record desktop in 3 modes and support green screen and voiceover.

Step 1. Load the M3U8 folder to VideoProc.

Launch this program, click "Video" and "+Video Folder" to add your M3U8 folder which consists of several .ts files.

Load M3U8 Folder / Files

Step 2. Choose MP4 as the target format.

Now, you need to select the resultant video format which will be "MP4" in our case.

Step 3. Export these video clips in one file.

Choose an output folder for your converted video. Tick the box before "Merge" to combine these clips into one MP4 video. Ultimately, hit the "RUN" button to export an MP4 file.

Convert M3U8 files to MP4 - VideoProc

2. How to Convert M3U8 File to MP4 with VLC?

VLC is a popular media player that can also help users in converting videos to accessible formats. A unique thing about VLC is that it is compatible with webcams, discs, files, streams, and devices without any user tracking or pesky advertisement interruptions. Whether you are working on a Mac or Android device, you can use this tool for converting your M3U8 file to MP4 by simply following the steps laid down below.

Step 1. Download and install VLC media player.

You will first have to install VLC media player in your device according to its specific OS and launch the same.

Step 2. Enable the Convert/Save option.

Navigate to the Media tab and click on the "Convert/Save" option. This will launch the Open Media window.

Convert Option in VLC

Step 3. Add the M3U8 file to convert.

Click on the File tab followed by the "+Add" button for loading the M3U8 files you wish to convert to proceed.

Add M3U8 to VLC

Step 4. Set the output profile to MP4.

Set the Profile to MP4 with H.264 codec. And browse a destination file to put the converted video along with specifying the desired video profile as well as file name.

Convert M3U8 to MP44 - VLC

Step 5. Start the conversion and check the output video.

Ultimately, you will have to click on the "Start" button for initiating the conversion.

3. 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.

Install FFmpeg on PC

Step 2. Copy the link of the M3U8 file.

Right-click on the live video, 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.

Copy M3U8 link

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.

Convert M3U8 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.

4. 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.


Convert 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.

FAQ about M3U8 Files

1. What is M3U8?

In essence, an M3U8 file is a playlist encoded in the UTF-8 codec which was developed initially for Apple devices but has gained worldwide acceptance in modern times. The best thing about the M3U8 file is that it is extremely flexible and stores a series of small files of a live streaming video so that a large video can be sent at various data transferring speeds according to different Internet connections.

On occasion, you might be troubled with an M3U8 cannot load error because M3U8 files are not general videos. They comprise of media list and location and are stored in plain text format.

M3U VS M3U8: Simply put, M3U8 is a UTF-8 version of the M3U format. Both of them are playlist files indicating where media files are actually located. But compared to M3U8, M3U has more encodings (including UTF-8).

2. How to Convert M3U8 to MP4 on Android/iPhone/iPad?

Honestly, there is no app that can convert M3U8 to MP4 on iPhone/iPad in the market, but you can install an M3U8 playback app, for instance, M3U8 Stream Player, on your iPhone/iPad, then record the screen while playing it.

On Android, M3U8 to MP4 apps can be downloaded on GooglePlay. Here we take Lj Video Downloader as an example.

1. Paste the link of an online M3U8 video.

2. Select the desired resolution. It auto-converts videos to MP4 format so you don't need to set the output format.

3. Start to download and wait for a while. All videos will be saved in \storage\emulated\0\Download\ on your Android phone.

Convert M3U8 to MP4 Android

Note:It is NOT a workable tool to convert local M3U8 files on your phone. In such a case, desktop converters are versatile assistances for your video playback and conversion.

3. How Do I download M3U8 Files to MP4?

A unique thing about VideoProc is that it can analyze and download M3U8 files. For this, you simply have to navigate to the live page. Then copy and paste the URL of a live video (e.g. a YouTube live video) at the Video Downloader tab for the whole thing to work perfectly. Herein, it is strongly discouraged to use any downloaded video for commercial purposes.

download m3u8 to mp4

Workaround: Save M3U8 videos by recording live streaming videos on Windows/Mac.

Open VideoProc > Recorder > Screen > Hit Crop to select a recording area > Hit REC to start recording > Ctrl+R to stop recording.

Wrap-up

M3U8 files conversion involves mainly 2 situations: converting local M3U8 files to MP4 and saving M3U8 stream to local .mp4 videos by downloading. VlC, FFmpeg, online converters, and mobile apps tend to complete either of them. But you can tell from the tutorial above that VideoProc performs both M3U8 conversion and download successfully. To prevent tripping up on these issues, try VideoProc and solve all your video processing tasks in one-stop.

About The Author

Cecilia Hwung is the marketing manager of Digiarty Software and the editor-in-chief of VideoProc team. She pursues common progress with her team and expects to share more creative content and useful information to readers. She has strong interest in copywriting and rich experience in video editing tips.

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