Downloading .M3U Online Radiocasts – Windows or Linux

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Figure 1 Figure 2

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Figure 3

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<u>copyright 2009 all rights reserved by Frank Starr</u>

Many online radio shows you want to download you can do with usual programs like Media Player for Windows or Banshee for Linux. The files are in formats known as WAV or MP3, and it’s all a piece of cake.

There is another fomat, M3U. You click on the radio show, and your browser or music program shows a file name with a .m3u extension. If you download it, you get a file with a very small filesize. You might be able to play it if you click it. But, if you want to put it on a digital player, you’re out of luck.

Here’s how I download the music files, which I can then put on my digital player, an El Cheapo IPOD variation made by GPX. I use the Opera web browser, but you can probably use other browsers.

First, click on, download and save that .M3U file. In figure 1, I right clicked the .M3U line. When Opra bought up its download options box, I clicked the “Save Linked Content As” option. Then, Remember the name, or click on Opera’s file transfer tab and leave it open. [Figure 1]

Open a text browser program, like Windows Notepad or Linux’s Text Editor. Open up the .M3U file. You’ll see one or more lines which are internet URL addresses, the locations of the files which are the downloadable radiocasts. I show a program from my local radio station, WMNF (https://www.wmnf.org).

To download the files, highlight them one at a time from within your text browser program, then click EDIT and COPY, or the ever popular keyboard keys “CTRL” and “C” (without the quotation marks, natch). [Figure 2.]

Using Opera, click the Transfers tab. Click in the Quick Download box, then press EDIT and PASTE, or the equally popular keyboard keys “CTRL” and “V” (again without the quotation marks, again natch). [Figure 3]

Your radiocast file will now download, in this example case in .MP3 format. Many radiocasts are only archived by their stations for a limited time, like one week, due to copyright restrictions. Just so long as you don’t sell it, you can probably keep the file long enough to play on your portable media player, anyway.

Now, go out and get all those radiocasts you couldn’t download before!
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