The M3U protocol has been around for decades, but it was only extended to the M3U8 protocol by Apple around 2015.  Nowadays, the format is pretty much the standard for most streaming sites; both for audio and video.

Whether you’re watching a YouTube playlist or listening to a radio station, there’s a good chance that the entire file will be M3U8. Essentially, the M3U protocol encrypts video files, making them more difficult to download. You’ll find that this protocol is most common for streams and playlists, but other videos can use it too.

What is M3U8?

M3U8 is the Unicode variant of M3U that uses UTF-8-encoded characters. M3U8 files serve as the foundation for the HTTP Live Streaming (HLS) format, which was created by Apple to broadcast video and audio to iOS devices and has now become a popular standard for adaptive streaming in general.

M3U8 downloader:What is M3U8?

In recent years, streaming platforms have become incredibly popular. Watching streamers on Twitch and YouTube is pretty much a normal part of daily life. But if you want to save a stream for later, how do you download it?

Using the M3U8 downloader program, downloading audio, video, and live-streaming video is simple. In essence, it is an internet video extractor. Simply add any M3U8 URL and select "Download" from the menu. From an M3U8 file, the program will download videos.

Top M3U8 Downloader Available

Here we’ve listed 5 effective ways for you to save your M3U8 videos on different systems and devices.

1. On PC and Mac: StreamFab M3U8 Downloader

One of the most difficult things to deal with when you’re downloading M3U8 videos is getting past the encryption hurdle. As a result, StreamFab DRM M3U8 downloader comes in handy that can bypass those protocols of HTTP Live streaming websites and other platforms using DRM M3U8 technologies with its built-in browser.

That is to say, you can simply open the video you want in its browser, and then it will automatically detect the URL and ask you for downloading. All you need to do is just one click. It allows you to download videos in 480p, 720p, 1080p, and even up to 2160p high quality which depends on the video quality from the original.

M3U8 downloader:1. M3U8 Downloader for Windows and Mac: StreamFab M3U8 Downloader

Key Features:

  • Work with almost all websites with HLS protocol, including YouTube, Beach on Demand.
  • Automatically detect the video URL in its built-in browser.
  • Batch download high-quality videos at a fast speed.
  • Download video subtitles in a bunch of different languages.
  • Download the M3U8 videos in MP4 and MKV formats.
  • Automatically delete any ads from the streaming service.


Step 1

Download the video downloader

Install the software on your device and open the interface

Step 2

Choose the streaming service

Tap the VIP Services or the YouTube icon on the left channel to find the streaming website you want. You can also copy and paste your video URL directly into the address bar on the Homepage.

M3U8 downloader:1. M3U8 Downloader for Windows and Mac: StreamFab M3U8 Downloader

Step 3

Customize the file

Search for the video and play it, and a pop-up window will ask you to choose the preferred resolutions of video quality, 480p, 720p, 1080p, or even up to 2160p.

M3U8 downloader:1. M3U8 Downloader for Windows and Mac: StreamFab M3U8 Downloader

Step 4

Click the download button

After customization, you can download it right now or add it to the queue.

2. On Chrome: CocoCut Video Downloader

It is a famous M3U8 downloader for Chrome as an extension-based program with multiple active users, allowing you to download videos from many websites, including YouTube, Dailymotion, Vimeo, and Twitter. It can detect M3U8 files and batch download them. But not all videos are available to download, sometimes it doesn't work.


  • Easy to use. No need to download any software.
  • Clear and simple interface.
  • Not all m3u8 websites are supported. 
  • It takes time to wait the downloading process.

CocoCut Video Downloader


3. On iOS: M3U8 Stream Player

You can try the M3U8 Stream app from the app store to download streaming videos for iOS. This will give you access to all sorts of videos on your iPhone or iPad. But, the app has a few too many annoying ads. Furthermore, it doesn’t seem like many people have used the app, which makes it harder to trust.


  • Apple store verified, safe, and clean.
  • Riddled with annoying full-screen ads

M3U8 Stream Player


4. On Android: StreamFab for Android

Android phones and devices provide greater portability and a handy experience for exclusive entertainment on the go. If you need an M3U8 downloader APK, then this M3U8 Loader fits the bill. The app receives positive ratings. The best comprehensive solution helps you to download streaming videos from Amazon, Netflix, and across 1000+ websites on your Android devices.


  • Over 1000+ websites are supported.
  • Lossless video and audio quality.
  • Personal customize format
  • You need to pay to unlock more functions

M3U8 downloader:4. M3U8 Downloader for Android: StreamFab for Android


All you need to do with this tool is to find the link to the stream and copy-paste the video. Afterward, you can watch as the video loads in the download queue. With StreamFab extending its hand to Android, you can now download your treasured video titles on your Android devices anytime, taking advantage of your network's complete bandwidth.

5. On Firefox: Live Stream Downloader

The M3U8 LiveStream downloader seems like the perfect tool for you to download HSL streams from Firefox. It can detect any audio, video, or media streams on the active tab and download it from segmented parts to a single file. 


  • Detect and Download M3U8 HLS Streams (HTTP Live Stream) in multiple threads
  • Supports detecting many audio and video formats
  • Uses multi-threading to increase download speed

Live Stream Downloader


How to use it:

1. Go to a streaming website like

2. Wait until the toolbar color changes

3. Click on the toolbar button once to select a quality

4. Wait until the download is over. You can see the progress as badge text.

How to Open an M3U8 File and Watch it?

If you want to open M3U8 files, you’ll need special software that can decrypt the file for you. That said, if you already have access to the M3U8 DRM protected content, you can easily use the StreamFab M3U8 downloader to convert the file to a more accessible format, for example, MP4. 

When you first come across an M3U8 file, you probably wonder how you could watch this thing. Especially when you’ve never heard of M3U8 videos in the first place. Luckily, using an M3U8 video downloader and Player, you’ll have the ability to download as many files as you want and watch them offline.

PlayerFab Video Player

PlayerFab is one of the best new video players you can use to view your streams. Because it plays videos of any quality without compressing them needlessly, it’s perfect for connecting your computer to your TV to get high-quality full-screen streams.

M3U8 downloader:PlayerFab Video Player

Since you’ll probably be using this tool to watch playlists that you’ve downloaded previously, PlayerFab gives you the auto-play feature. As a result, you won’t have to go back and forth to click play for each video, unlike with built-in media players.

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Furthermore, you can easily skip through any ads with this tool’s fast-forward option. Plus, you can slow down the videos and speed them up at will. Watch a slow-mo replay whenever you want!

If you’re already a StreamFab user, we let you buy this tool at a steep discount. It only costs $69, so you can save if you buy both. Bring the theatre into your own home with this fantastic tool.

Final Thoughts

Downloading M3U8 files seems challenging, but with the right M3U8 downloader, you’ll have the ability to download videos from whichever streaming platform or playlist you want. Don’t get caught up in all the trappings and challenges that come with other downloaders, choose the StreamFab M3U8 downloader for its versatility and ease of use.

Once you’ve converted the M3U8 files on your computer, you’ll have the ability to view the videos wherever you want because you can choose the download format. For the best viewing experience, we recommend PlayerFab to play videos at different speeds and equip all your videos with subtitles.