Channel Issues & Questions

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mapiklfish
Level 7

Roku M3U player

I have tried several playlist urls in the m3u planer and none of them work.  One is a free trial for a paid IPTV service.  Why are they not working?  
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4 Replies
RokuDale
Level 8

Re: Roku M3U player

If you have a Roku with a USB port, you could try the Roku Media Player channel to play your .m3u playlist files.
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fluke
Level 10

Re: Roku M3U player

Plex Media Server/Player should allow you to use m3u playlists to stream your playlist.

It should be noted that M3U doesn't contain any content beyond references in the playlist.  It acts as a list of bookmarks but none of the songs are directly contained in the M3U itself.  Also, what invalidates a M3U can vary between media players so just because something works on something like VLC doesn't mean it will be valid on the Roku.  

For initial testings of getting M3U working, I would recommend first starting with just a single song file.  Keep the file name simplistic as possible with no spaces or symbols.  Then test make sure the file can be played by Roku directly.  Once you confirmed the Roku can play it, add it (and initially only the single file) as an entry in a M3U file.  Again, keep the entry simple with no space, symbols, colons or blackslashes.  While a file may appear on a USB drive to be a D:\My Music\Cool Artist - Cool Song.mp3 on your computer, the Roku will not be able to reference the song file as D: at all.  Instead rename it to test.mp3 and put a M3U file in the same exact directly as the song file containing simply test.mp3 without any drive letter or directory references.

Once you get a single song playing in a M3U, you can then test changing the complexity of the file names and adding more songs to the M3U playlist.
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mapiklfish
Level 7

Re: Roku M3U player

"fluke" wrote:
Plex Media Server/Player should allow you to use m3u playlists to stream your playlist.

It should be noted that M3U doesn't contain any content beyond references in the playlist.  It acts as a list of bookmarks but none of the songs are directly contained in the M3U itself.  Also, what invalidates a M3U can vary between media players so just because something works on something like VLC doesn't mean it will be valid on the Roku.  

For initial testings of getting M3U working, I would recommend first starting with just a single song file.  Keep the file name simplistic as possible with no spaces or symbols.  Then test make sure the file can be played by Roku directly.  Once you confirmed the Roku can play it, add it (and initially only the single file) as an entry in a M3U file.  Again, keep the entry simple with no space, symbols, colons or blackslashes.  While a file may appear on a USB drive to be a D:\My Music\Cool Artist - Cool Song.mp3 on your computer, the Roku will not be able to reference the song file as D: at all.  Instead rename it to test.mp3 and put a M3U file in the same exact directly as the song file containing simply test.mp3 without any drive letter or directory references.

Once you get a single song playing in a M3U, you can then test changing the complexity of the file names and adding more songs to the M3U playlist.

Thanks!  I wasn't making my own.  I was just putting in M3u urls for iptv services but none of them worked.  It seems to be a pretty simple process.  Add a playlist, name it and put in the url but it never plays anything.  
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fluke
Level 10

Re: Roku M3U player

The best way to use a paid IPTV service from Roku is to ask the service to officially support Roku by them providing a Roku channel themselves.

There are several reasons why an m3u reference probably isn't working with a IPTV service or other entries you have placed in the m3u:

(1) A paid IPTV service is going to require that you are logged in and then track that authenticated session with something like a cookie.  Logging in from the web browser on your computer only authenticates that web browser, not your entire network.  The URL put in the m3u doesn't replicate the required authentication/session information for access.

(2) Going to a HTML web page may sometimes provide what appears to be a full screen video but still required the web browser to correctly process the HTML to present the video.  Passing the same URL in a m3u can't work for the Roku because it doesn't process HTML, CSS or javascript.  The URL must be direct to the video/audio file.

(3) Your web browser probably supports a wider range of media containers and video/audio codecs than Roku.  Video should be H.264/AVC in a MP4, MKV or MOV container.  While video may show up fine in the browser that is VP6 codec in a FLV container (for example), the Roku will not be able to play it.  Further information on the supported media formats is available here:

https://support.roku.com/article/208754 ... and-photos

What you are trying to accomplish almost seems like the type of thing PlayOn was created for?  You may want to contact their support to see if your specific IPTV or other services would work using their product.
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