I am trying to download video from a .m3u8 livestream video format.

How can I download m3u8 videos using software on my personal computer such as ffmpeg, youtube-dl, VLC, etc?

M3U is a computer file format for a multimedia playlist. One common use of the M3U file format is creating a single-entry playlist file pointing to a stream on the Internet. The created file provides easy access to that stream and is often used in downloads from a website, for emailing, and for listening to Internet radio.



1 Answer 1


Get FFmpeg, then you can download your video with this command:

ffmpeg -protocol_whitelist file,http,https,tcp,tls,crypto -i "http://s6.vidshare.tv/hls/pdommq4tlsm4f4kmledsh5d5fcn27i35msjxqw62lfflut5bgaqhb5kirb5q/index-v1-a1.m3u8" -c copy video.mp4

But it may be easier to use youtube-dl. If it supports the website that contains the video you can type e.g.:

youtube-dl https://www.youtube.com/...

This works not just for YouTube but also many other video sites.

  • Comments are not for extended discussion; this conversation has been moved to chat.
    – DavidPostill
    Commented Oct 20, 2017 at 18:10
  • 1
    Thanks! Works for me on linux Commented Apr 29, 2020 at 17:50
  • 3
    youtube-dl now also supports m3u8 link now. (although it just uses ffmpeg in the backend)
    – SwiftMango
    Commented Sep 25, 2020 at 23:05
  • @SwiftMango How do you input an m3u8 file into youtube-dl? What is the command?
    – Doug
    Commented Jan 21, 2022 at 5:46

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