This article talks about the HLS m3u8 format and then outlines the advantages and uses, primarily through using third-party players. It also covers where the HLS m3u8 format is frequently not accessible, allowing you to decide how to view and, for content creators, the conveyance technique or delivery strategy.
HLS is an HTTP-based adaptive streaming protocol mostly used on Apple's Safari Browser and Microsoft Edge. Thus you cannot play M3U8 videos using other browsers. Below are some recommended fixes you can perform to play any HLS M3U8 video on any different browser.
Method 1: Switch Browser
You might want to switch to either Apple Safari or Microsoft Edge Browsers to play HLS based M3U8 videos.
Method 2: Introduce a Codec or Extension to Your Currently Used Browser
You can also introduce a codec or extension to your browser to help you play HLS M3U8 videos.
Method 3: Change the M3U Playlist
Switch your M3U playlist to end with M3U8 to play it.
Note: Since Chrome and Firefox don't support MPEG transport streams, while Safari does. HLS frameworks work since it realizes how to read a binary TS file and modify it as an MP4 fragment before sending the media source extensions buffer to play HLS M3U8 videos. You will thus need to this to the mentioned browsers to play the videos:
1. Disable viewing application or browser.
2. Use FFmpeg to separate the MP4 files to get .M3U8 and .TS files.
3. Click the M3U8 playlist file.
4. When the M3U8 playlist file downloads. You can use it to view videos on any other browser or HLS Players.
If you are working with HLS or writing an HLS compliant player, you would want to test how the Player or see how HLS works. As defined, HLS is a live streaming protocol that is mostly used by Apple. For this reason, it is thus not so much open standard, and HLS streams may be a little bit hard to come by. Below are a few sample streams or URL you can use to test.
1. 360 and VR test streams: Bitmovin made this first move where the stream will operate in the area of 360-degree playback. With two test streams, you can play it on the VR 3600 HTML5 Player. (Reference: https://bitmovin-a.akamaihd.net/content/playhouse-vr/m3u8s/105560.m3u8)
2. Dolby Multichannel m3u8: This sample HLS m3u8 served over HTTP, less secure, but the satisfying point is, you can playback this stream.It might result in media errors, but reloading your HLS player using HTTP can solve it. (Reference: https://d3rlna7iyyu8wu.cloudfront.net/skip_armstrong/skip_armstrong_multi_language_subs.m3u8)
3. MPEG-DASH test vectors: Introduced by the DASH industry, they have various streams like multichannel audio extension, negative test vectors, and HD streams. (Reference: http://testassets.dashif.org/#testvector/list)
4. Dolby VOD m3u8: Here is another free HLS m3u8 example to test HLS players from the Dolby group that can work on HTTP. Media errors are possible too. (Reference: https://d3rlna7iyyu8wu.cloudfront.net/skip_armstrong/skip_armstrong_stereo_subs.m3u8)
5. Bitmovin test stream: Crafted for popular encoders and streaming servers, Bitmovin has provided comprehensive test streams for compatibility and integration. To start working on protected content, DRM test player (Reference: http://bitmovin.com/mpeg-dash-hls-drm-test-player/) can be useful.
6. Azure HLSv4 m3u8: Various companies created and hosted HLS m3u8 URLs where Azure is one of them served over HTTP (Reference: http://amssamples.streaming.mediaservices.windows.net/69fbaeba-8e92-4740-aedc-ce09ae945073/AzurePromo.ism/manifest
7. ITEC, DASH dataset- University Klagenfurt: With a full-movie length resolution of 1080p and version from 1 to 15 seconds,this is the first MPEG-DASH dataset updated to the current status. (Reference: http://www-itec.uni-klu.ac.at/dash/?page_id=207)
8. Tears of Steel m3u8: From the Unified Streaming team, this HLS m3u8 URL got developed for testing that can serve using HTTP. (Reference: http://demo.unified-streaming.com/video/tears-of-steel/tears-of-steel.ism/.m3u8)
9. Telecom ParisTech, GPAC: Working on encoding range UHD, HEVC, and DASH dataset,it is a dataset shot during 4Ever project. With an encoding range 720p30 to 2160p60 in 10 bits, you can try it now! (Reference: http://download.tsi.telecom-paristech.fr/gpac/dataset/dash/uhd/)
10. Big Buck Bunny VOD m3u8: Our final HLS m3u8 hosting URL is here from Akamai, where you can efficiently create and host HLS m3u8. (Reference: https://multiplatform-f.akamaihd.net/i/multi/will/bunny/big_buck_bunny_,640x360_400,640x360_700,640x360_1000,950x540_1500,.f4v.csmil/master.m3u8)
There are a few HLS players HTML5 streaming services that can suit your necessities. Before you begin looking for the ideal match, you should make a few considerations.
Initially, you need to choose whether you need to go for a free HLS player HTML5 or stick to a premium plan.Besides, it is essential to choose what video formats you will utilize the player for.
With BradMax, there are three plans you can choose from if you need a dependable HLS player html5. If you take the free program, you will get magnificent customization choices and different formats. You will also have the option to add a logo and use as many domains as you need. The "Basic" and "DRM" plans are more modern in terms of the ads, email support, and statistics features.URL - https://bradmax.com/site/en/#home
M3u8 online video extractor is an HLS m3u8 extension, snappy and simple to use without complicated steps available for the Google Chrome browser. You can download the m3u8 live stream video to this machine.URL - https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/m3u8-online-video-extract/fcpefnjbneopahdnhdhahbhoccipdmdm
Since HLS M3U8 videos are cumbersome to play, you need to figure out a way to play such videos where Aicoosoft Video Converter is the best choice. With the in-built audio/video downloader feature, you can download m3u8 videos from 10000+ sharing sites. Once you download any HLS M3U8 video, convert it to any desired format from 1000+ audio/video, including popular ones, and easily view it through any media player you wish. Using Aicoosoft, you can also use the Recording feature to record live streams, which you can play or view later.
1. Aicoosoft’s downloader feature allows you to download videos to high-quality MP3 hassle-free from 1000+ sites like YouTube and Dailymotion.
2. Convert your DVDs to digital files in 3 clicks with support to popular formats like M4V, AVI, and MKV.
3. Convert the audio/video or any playback file to your destined reliable format at 30X faster speed with no quality loss.
4. Aicoosoft is equipped with outstanding technology like GPU Acceleration, Multi-Processor optimization, and lossless conversion AI technology.
Detect and download videos and music from millions of sites with a well-known HTTP(s), HLS(m3u8), DASH (MPD) streaming converters that support 4k videos and live streams. The m3u8 Online Downloader has a Chrome plug-in that works well with Windows, macOS, and Android to help you download and play the HLS m3u8 videos easily. It is secure as it utilizes HTTPS.URL - https://www.m3u8-downloader.com/
What is HLS Streaming?
HTTP Live Streaming (also called HLS) is an HTTP-based adaptive bitrate streaming communications protocol created by Apple Inc. and delivered in 2009. Support for the convention is far-reaching in media players, internet browsers, cell phones, and streaming media servers. As of 2019, the annual video industry survey found out that it is the most well-known streaming format.
How Does HLS Work?
It works by breaking the general stream into a sequence of little HTTP-based file downloads, each download stacking one short piece of a chunk of the potentially unbounded transport stream. As the stream plays, the user may choose from various distinctive substitute streams containing a similar material encoded at an assortment of information rates, permitting the streaming session to adapt to the accessible information rate. At the beginning of the streaming session, HLS downloads an all-inclusive M3U8 show playlist containing the metadata for the different sub-streams which are accessible.
Key Benefits of HLS Streaming
1. One key advantage of this protocol identifies with its compatibility features. In contrast to other streaming formats, HLS is viable with a broad scope of gadgets and firewalls. Be that as it may, inertness (or slack time) will, in general, be in the 15-30 second range with HLS live streams.
2. With regards to quality, flexibility makes HLS video streaming stand out from the others. On the server-side, content makers frequently can encode the same live stream at various quality settings.
3. In turn, viewers can dynamically demand the ideal alternative accessible, given their particular transfer speed or bandwidth at any given moment. Simply put, data quality can differ to fit different streaming gadget abilities.
4. HLS additionally supports closed inscriptions installed in the video transfer. Learn more about the technical aspects of HLS from the extensive documentation provided by Apple.
Devices and Browsers that Support HLS
1. Windows 10 (Microsoft Edge)
2. macOS 10.6+ (Safari and QuickTime)
3. iOS 3.0+ (Safari)
4. Android 4.1 +  (Google Chrome)
5. Different users or browsers on the Operating Systems detailed and specific Servers, Live Encoders, and VOD Encoders.
When to Use HLS?
As of now, broadcasters should receive the HLS streaming convention always. It is a state-of-the-art and generally utilized protocol for media streaming.
HTML5 Video Streaming with HLS
Afore-mentioned, the HLS protocol has become the go-to convention for streaming content with HTML5 video players. In case you're inexperienced with HTML5 video streaming, it's one of the three fundamental ways to deal with video streaming today.With HTML5, the content-hosting site utilizes local HTTP to stream the media directly to viewers. Content tags such as <video> tag incorporate as a component of the HTML code. Therefore, the <video> tag makes a local HTML5 video player inside your browser. These tags give guidance to the HTTP protocol (HLS)on how to manage this content. HTTP shows the text, and a sound player plays sound content.
Direct HLS video streaming is immensely in use currently. While many content creators will choose to use the default player, which is better improved for scalability and analytics, others will exploit utilizing M3U8s for recently invested advancements. Thus, you can also play HLS M3U8 videos using some of the remarkable methods listed above or employing the services of an all in one tool such as the Aicoosoft to help you download, convert or view such videos.