Generate M3U Playlist from CD Track List?

I’m willing to concede that this may be in the docs and I’m too lazy to find it.

So the CD Function can generate a report of the tracks in the montage. Cool.

But is there a way it might also generate an M3U from that same list—ie. in that order?

I mean, it would assume that all the track names were file_name.mp3



I’ve never heard of this. I’m lazy too, but I searched the Wavelab online help for M3U and come up with nothing. But I found you can do this with iTunes from File/Library/Export Playlist and save as type .m3u. That generates an M3U text document that looks like Example 1 on this page:

The numbers are apparently the song times in seconds.

If you wanted to change or remove the file paths in the document, you could do that easily with a search and replace in a text editor.

I’m going to request that this should be a program feature.

So many people already rip CDs to MP3s/M3U lists.

Use case for me? I often experiment with sequencing an album many times before public release. In the good ol’ days, I’d just rip a new CD. Now? It’s easier to generate MP3s to play in the car or phone. Having an M3U makes that easy.

The CD Tracklist in WL contains enough info to generate an M3U so… why not? (Especially since one of the reports WL can generate is basically a text file of tracks.)

@PG? What do you think?


So many people already rip CDs to MP3s/M3U list

This is your request?


What I -think- I want is basically a new Output Format radio button on the Audio CD Report. This button would be labelled ‘M3U’.

When selected, the generated report would be an M3U file consisting of all the track names in the montage (each on a separate line with a CR/LF, with the MP3 file extension.

There may be a -little- more to it than that, but basically that’s what I do now: I generate a TXT file of the track names and manually type in ‘.MP3’ after each track name.

Again, I’d use this a lot to create playlists as I experiment with the sequencing (the order) of tracks on projects.

It may seem trivial, but I do this a lot and it’s a time-waster.

The closest you can get is this:

After looking at this some more I have to ask, doesn’t this have more in common with AES31 or Cue Image with pointers and paths to other files than it has to basic cd track list reporting, and names from a source cd tracklist that have no reference to the final file paths the M3U can refer to.

I think the easiest way to approximate this in current Wavelab is probably this:

Create a Basic Audio CD.
Drag in your final files (in your case your final MP3s).
Convert to montage.
Go to the Files tab and export the file names with extension (with or without paths !!!).

The advantage this has is that it’s referring to the real files with their extensions that will be referenced in the M3U. And they can be a mix of different file types and sample rates.

The other limiting thing about just taking CD Track names is that M3U can refer to the mix of different file types (wav mp3 m4a, flac, ogg) and sample rates, and DIFFERENT file paths all in one M3U document.

I think if M3U would be integrated in Wavelab it should include this basic functionality, and not be limited to mp3 and only relative path. Right now it seems very easy to drag all these file types, even with different sample rates into a Basic Audio CD to get the final names for the M3U.

It’s kind of a cool thing, I tried it with MS Groove player, a mix of wav, mp3, aac, 96 and 44.1 k all in one M3U.

But I have to ask, in your particular case, if you’re using one folder and M3U with internal relative path, is it any better than just playing a folder of MP3s on a stick in the car? Don’t the MP3 folders playlist themselves in most players now?

You may be correct. I was just thinking of the easiest way to program it. :smiley:

Here’s my use case: I do big projects… albums with 40 to 100 tracks (it’s opera/musicals). And as we get closer to show time, I’m CONSTANTLY swapping bits in and out and changing the order of things.

( I’ve made previous F/Rs along these lines… like the ability to add or remove a clip and have the montage increase or decrease in size accordingly)

Anyhoo… For years I would just use the Basic CD function for this. I’d simply swap the order of tracks and burn. I’d go through HUNDREDS of CDs on any large project.

In 2018, CDs are passe. Plus, PG has said that the Basic CD is going away. So I’ve made myself learn to use the Montage.

The point is this: an M3U is useful because it lets you change the -order- of tracks without having to upload/download anything to yer iPod. And it takes virtually no time to upload to yer phone.

PLUS: When I’m working on a project I might have multiple versions of every song on my phone. The M3U makes it effortless to try different sequences–again without any tedious upload/downloading.

The main reason I requested this was because it seemed like a complete doddle for PG to program. Again: it’s just the clip file names, but with an MP3 extension tacked on the end.

Can I ask how you’re doing this now? It’s a little more than just adding “.mp3” isn’t it.

This is an M3U test file I exported from an iTunes playlist. It’s SO (!!) easy. Just drag in the FINAL MP3 (or whatever type of any rate) files to a new playlist and export the M3U. But itunes has the HUGE disadvantage that it ALWAYS outputs the full file paths. It sounds like you just have M3U in the same folder with the MP3s so don’t need or even want path, because the paths won’t be on the stick, so it won’t work. At least in Wavelab you can already get the file full paths or NO paths, which are both useful. And you can add FLAC and OGG files that iTunes won’t take.

#EXTINF:198,Love Me Down - Beck
C:\Users\non\Music\Beck 96k SRC\Love Me Down.wav
#EXTINF:163,Feel It Still - Portugal The Man
C:\Users\non\Music\iTunes\iTunes Media\Music\Portugal The Man\Feel It Still.m4a
#EXTINF:350,Touch Of Grey - The Grateful Dead
C:\Users\non\Music\Amazon\The Grateful Dead\Touch Of Grey.mp3

It’s a mix of 96 KHz WAV, and 44.1 AAC and MP3 files, all in different directories.

When you do this now from Wavelab to TXT file, do you have to add the timing in seconds, title and artist for the first line (that iTunes gets from the file metadata), filename with extension, and the EXT code ?
That sounds like a lot of work right there !

So I would second your Feature Request, however it could be implemented, even if it’s just Clip Names plus .mp3 for a TXT file as you requested.

It’s really -not- much more than I requested. What I do… and what most people would do, I suspect, would be to create a folder on yer iPod or Android and drag the MP3s and M3U into it. And then I’d simply upload a revised M3U as necessary. All the stuff yer on about (subdirectories, different file types, sample rates) I would never use. And I doubt -most- people would either.

As to the actual mechanics? I do that with an old program called MP3 Monkey or something? (Sorry, I’m not at that machine now. It’s got ‘Monkey’ in it.) Lots of programs do the same thing.

The main reason I asked about this is because, frankly, the CD Report has the thing already built. I figured it would be a cinch to do. No bells and whistles. You just get a text file which represents the track list from yer CD tracks with an MP3 file extension. Presto!

It might sound trite or arcane, but I would use this almost every day. As I said, it’s invaluable when yer working on a large show to be able to audition different sequences (orderings) of tunes. Can I do it myself? Sure. But if WL is already 90% of the way there? Why not go that last 10%?



FWIW, I’m using Studio One Pro (which I don’t care for) to teach a mastering class and I just noticed that when you render files from the project, it creates an M3U file automatically without even asking it to.
Screen Shot 2018-10-23 at 6.24.45 PM.png

Makes sense, and now that I know what it is and what it can do, I think it should be in there. I can’t believe I never heard of it and it’s at least 15 years old. Thanks Suntower and Justin.

Yeah, I’ve never really come across it either and I still don’t fully get what it does but I think I get the basic concept. I personally don’t have a need for it but it seems like something worth adding.

I guess you need relative file paths, not absolute path, in the list?

That seems to be much more common, like in Justin’s example and how Suntower must use it (M3U in the folder with the audio files). I don’t know why iTunes makes absolute path only in their M3U, because it must cause all sorts of grief if somebody takes it to their car or another computer, or sends just the M3U to someone else. A choice of relative or absolute would be ideal, but relative would probably be enough I would think (sorry Suntower I’m assuming your M3U’s have no path, because you said “What I do… and what most people would do, I suspect, would be to create a folder on yer iPod or Android and drag the MP3s and M3U into it”).

I doubt Studio One has a choice but maybe they do. But I had come across somebody else’s suggestion to use search and replace (with nothing) in the text file to remove the paths. Hadn’t thought of that myself.

It’s funny that Bob threw me a curve with the ‘absolute paths’ thing. Again, I believe that if you simply provided the file name with an MP3 extension (ie. ‘relative path’) it would be useful.

Well… at least it would make -one- paying customer happy. :smiley:

You’re right, I was over-complicating things. I made a couple of M3U’s in Media Monkey and they were as simple as could be: all they contained were the filenames, no code no time no other names. One playlist was just one filename:

Track 1.mp3

That’s it, that was the whole file. But the fact the file had an M3U extension meant it opened in any music player by right clicking (or your default player by double clicking), which is useful and fast.

Actually I found Media Monkey made absolute paths if you saved the M3U outside the audio files folder, and it made no path if you saved the M3U inside the audio files folder. Which I thought was pretty clever.

But you’re right the M3U file can be as simple as that, just a list of the filenames, and still do something useful by opening quickly and easily in any player you choose by right click “open with”. And with multiple different sequence playlists calling the same or alternate files in the same folder.

You’d make a great forensic investigator, Bob. :smiley: