How to Download M3U8 to MP4: 5 Easy Solutions

Cheryl Bennett
April 10, 2024 Preview 100 Preview 0
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This article will show you how to download M3U8 video streams to MP4 for later use.

M3U8 is a popular format used for online video streaming, primarily for HLS (HTTP Live Streaming) protocol. Such stream is a media split into multiple small files/segments, which enables adaptive streaming based on the viewer's internet condition or device compatibility. M3U8 is a text-based small file that doesn't actually contain media data like MP4, it contains URL references to the segmented media playlist. With the .m3u8 URL, you can download M3U8 videos to MP4 format using a desktop/online downloader or browser extensions.

Note: Some M3U8 videos are encrypted, use a professional downloader software to decrypt and download them without a hassle.

Part 1: Get M3U8 URL

To download M3U8 to MP4, we need to obtain the M3U8 URL from the video webpage or an M3U8 file.

#1. From Video Streaming Sites

  1. Go to the M3U8 video you want to download, right click on the page and select "Inspect" or press F12 to access the browser developer tools.
  2. Switch to the Network tab, type “.m3u8” in the filter box.
  3. Right click on the M3U8 file to copy the URL. (Refresh the page if nothing appears.)get .M3U8 URL from online videos

If there are multiple links, the first M3U8 link usually gives more information and works best when pasted into downloaders. The last M3U8 link is related to the current video stream of a specific resolution, and sometimes online tools can only detect the last one. I often use the first URL, which will show me the video cover, file size and all resolution options.

#2. From M3U8 Files

An M3U8 file is a plain text file, so you can open it with any text editor like Notepad. Find the URL that ends with the .m3u8 file extension, copy and paste it into any M3U8 downloader. If there is more than one URL, choose based on the video resolution you prefer.

get m3u8 link from text file

 

Part 2: Download M3U8 to MP4

Method 1: M3U8 Downloader Software

A dedicated M3U8 video downloader allows users to choose video resolution and download faster.

#1. Use iFunia YouTube Downloader on PC and Mac

iFunia YouTube Downloader is a lightweight yet powerful program used to download online video and audio from various websites including YouTube, Twitch, Vimeo, Twitter, BBC, etc. It can download videos with regular webpage links, and also extract videos from M3U8 URLs and auto convert to MP4 files. It also works well with encrypted M3U8 files that other tools fail to download.

A simple how-to guide:

Step 1. Download the program.

Click the safe download button below to install the software, it's compatible with both Windows and macOS.

Free Download Windows 11/10/8/7 Free Download macOS 10.11 or later

Step 2. Paste M3U8 URLs.

Copy and paste a M3U8 URL into the provided field, and click the "+" button to analyze the link.

paste m3u8 url

Step 3. Choose video resolution.

When the M3U8 video is loaded, you can select a preferred video resolution from the Format drop-down list. It will also display the output file size of each option.

choose video resolution

Step 4. Begin the download.

Click the down arrow icon download button at the right bottom to start the download process.

 

#2. Use M3U8 Mpjex on iOS

M3U8 Mpjex is a handy m3u8 file manager app for iPhone & iPad, it can play/convert M3U8 links or local files to MP4 or TS format. This M3U8 downloader even supports Safari extension to extract the URL from a visited page and then download in the app.

Step 1. Install "M3U8 Mpjex" from the App Store.

Step 2. Run the app, tap the "+" button on the screen and select “Save M3U8 to MP4” option.

Step 3. Input a .m3u8 link in a pop-up window and tap "OK", then select a video resolution from available options and tap on it to start downloading M3U8 to MP4. You can also extracrt M3U8 URL from visited web page in Safari with its extension.

Step 4. Find the downloaded video in Tasks > Completed tab, tap the file and save it to Photos or a specified destination.

M3U8 downloader for iOS

#3. Use Lj Video Downloader on Android

Lj Video Downloader is a useful tool to download m3u8 videos from web and auto convert to MP4 format. Note it doesn’t support encrypted M3U8 files.

Step 1. Install "Lj Video Downloader" from Google Play.

Step 2. Open the app, paste m3u8 link into the program. It should allow you to extract the link from web by clicking "HTTP Headers".

Step 3. Choose a video resolution for the output MP4 file and start the download process. A pop up ad may appear when the download starts.

m3u8 downloader for Android

 

Method 2: Download M3U8 to MP4 Online

M3u8.dev is a free online M3U8 video downloader capable of downloading .m3u8 to .ts or .mp4 files. This online tool can also be accessed on mobile so you can use it on your iPhone or Android device.

Step 1. Visit m3u8.dev from any web browser, input the M3U8 URL into the provided field.

Step 2. Click the "MP4 File Download" button to begin the download process. You can check the progress on the right hand panel which will show the download of each video segment.

Step 3. When the download is complete, the video will be saved to your device automatically.

download M3U8 to mp4 online for free

 

Method 3: Use VLC media player

VLC is both an M3U8 player and a converter, it’s a handy option if you already have it installed on your computer. But it’s important to note that VLC conversion can easily cause choppy playback or audio out of sync issues, and the instructions for Windows and macOS are quite different.

How to download M3U8 to MP4 with VLC on Windows:

Step 1. Open VLC and click Media to choose "Convert/Save".

Step 2. Switch to the Network tab and enter the M3U8 URL in the box. Then, click the Convert/Save button.

Step 3. Choose MP4 as the output option from the drop-down list of Profile. Then click the Browse button to choose a save destination and rename the file. You may need to manually change the file extension from .m3u8 to .mp4.

Step 4. Click "Start" to download the M3U8 video stream to MP4 in VLC.

VLC download M3U8 to mp4

How to download M3U8 to MP4 using VLC on Mac:

Step 1. Run VLC media player, click File menu and select “Open Network”.

Step 2. Paste the .m3u8 URL into the field.

Step 3. Check the "Stream output" checkbox and click on the "Settings" button.

Step 4. In the pop-up dialog, choose the output format as MPEG4 in the "Encapsulation Method" list. Then, click "browse" to choose a destination folder and enter a file name.

Step 5. Click "OK" to go back to the Open Source dialog, and click the "Open" button at right bottom to stream and download M3U8 to MP4.

VLC download m3u8 to mp4 on macOS

 

Method 4: Use FFmpeg Command-line Tool

FFmpeg is the Swiss army knife of video conversion that can be used to download and convert M3U8 to various formats. It’s free, open source, and able to handle AES encrypted M3U8 videos.

Step 1. Download and install the latest version of FFmpeg from its official website (https://ffmpeg.org/).

Step 2. Open Command Prompt or Terminal on your computer.

Step 3. Run the following command to download M3U8 to MP4:

  • ffmpeg -i "m3u8_URL" output.mp4

Replace "m3u8_URL" with the actual URL to the M3U8 playlist file.

Step 4. Wait for FFmpeg to merge and convert the M3U8 videos into a single MP4 file.

ffmpeg download m3u8 to mp4

 

Method 5: Use FetchV (browser extension)

FetchV is a browser extension used to download M3U8 videos from the web to your computer, compatible with Chrome and Edge. Unlike above tools, it allows you to download the video without leaving the page or copying the URL. It also offers a recording mode when it doesn’t work with protected M3U8 videos. Follow the steps below to download M3U8 to MP4 with this browser extension:

Step 1. Install "FetchV - Video Downloader for m3u8 & hls" extension to your Chrome or Edge. You can pin this extension to the toolbar for easy access.

Step 2. Go to the page containing the M3U8 video.

Step 3. Click the extension icon in the browser toolbar and select an M3U8 stream. Click the Download button and a new tab will be created, and the download will begin.

fetchV M3U8 downloader

Step 4. When the download progress bar reaches 100%, click the Save icon to save the MP4 file to your device instantly. If multi-resolution is available, you can choose another video resolution and restart the download. And if a pop-ad appears during the download, just close the window.

 

Conclusion

M3U8 files are widely used by many video streaming websites like NBS, Twitch, Vimeo and more for the ability to adjust playback to internet speed. With the help of these M3U8 downloaders, you can effortlessly save M3U8 videos to MP4 on your computer or mobile for offline viewing. If you prefer free and open source tools, VLC and FFmpeg are viable options, but for more control and flexibility over the download, dedicated downloader like iFunia may be preferable. Online downloader site and browser extensions are convenient choices, although they cannot handle encrypted M3U8 links and contain ads. Ultimately, choose the best method that suits your specific needs and ensure the downloaded files are used responsibly.

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Cheryl Bennett
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Cheryl has been writing tutorials, reviews, and how-to articles on consumer apps since 2016. She specializes in multimedia products and is always testing on Mac, PC, and various devices.

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