I'd like to generate a M3U playlist for a directory containing mp3 files on my server from the terminal. Since I'd like to ensure that every player will be able to stream those files I'd like to prefix each file entry with the absolute URL to that directory, like this:


So unfortunately simply doing ls -1 *.mp3 > play.m3u isn't enough. Is there a one-liner to achieve this?


I think the following one-liner should work:

for f in *.mp3; do echo "http://..../$f" >> play.m3u; done


This is @chronitis answer with some improvements :

  • stores the file name on the variable $playlist for later use
  • will delete the file if exists previously
  • writes the full path of the file on the playlist

The command

playlist='play.m3u' ; if [ -f $playlist ]; then rm $playlist ; fi ; for f in *.mp3; do echo "$(pwd)/$f" >> "$playlist"; done

To play it with mplayer on the command line also

mplayer -playlist play.m3u
  • I don't know why somebody downvoted this answer. This is the only solution that seems to work right out of the box and should be accepted or at least promoted. Thank you very much! – Geppettvs D'Constanzo Feb 7 '15 at 17:02
  • what if i want to add multiple file formats into this command? – Sumeet Deshmukh Apr 8 '17 at 4:58

You originally asked to create each entry as a web URL formatted line. In addition to replacing the local path with http://..., you'll also need to replace spaces with '%20'. So, long line, but here you go:

find /path/to/mp3s/ -name "*.mp3" | sed 's/ /%20/g' | sed 's|/path/to/mp3s/|http://www.server.com/serverpath/|g' > playlist.m3u
  • good idea! using a plus (+) sign instead would result in a more readable URL though – 3k- Sep 28 '16 at 8:44

This bash script can do the job:

rawurlencode() {
  local string="${1}"
  local strlen=${#string}
  local encoded=""
  local pos c o

  for (( pos=0 ; pos<strlen ; pos++ )); do
     case "$c" in
        [-_.~a-zA-Z0-9] ) o="${c}" ;;
        * )               printf -v o '%%%02x' "'$c"
  echo "${encoded}"

rm -rf p.m3u
for f in *.mkv; do echo "#EXTINF:-1,SR:$f"$(rawurlencode $f) >> p.m3u; 
sed -i '1s/^/#EXTM3U\n/' p.m3u
rm -rf l.m3u
for f in *.mkv; do echo "#EXTINF:-1,SR:$f$f" >> l.m3u; 
sed -i '1s/^/#EXTM3U\n/' l.m3u

A little more developed version. The URL is encoded in proper .m3u style.

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