PLS (file format)

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Filename extension .pls
Internet media type audio/x-scpls
Type of format Playlist

PLS is a computer file format that stores multimedia playlists, originally used by SHOUTcast and Icecast for streaming media over the Internet. PLS is a more expressive playlist format than basic M3U, as it can store (cache) information on the song title and length (this is supported in extended M3U only). With PLS version 2, playlists also include a PLS version declaration.

File format[edit]

The format is case-sensitive and essentially that of an INI file structured as follows:


  • [playlist] : This tag indicates that it is a Playlist File

Track Entry
Assuming track entry #X

  • FileX : Variable defining location of media file/stream (like .m3u/.m3u8 playlists).
  • TitleX : Defines track title. (optional)
  • LengthX : Length in seconds of track. Value of -1 indicates indefinite (streaming). (optional)


  • NumberOfEntries : This variable indicates the number of tracks and therefore equals the number used for the last track
  • Version : Playlist version. Currently only a value of 2 is valid.


Example of a radio station streaming audio PLS file, complete:

Title1=Here enter name of the station

Alternative Example containing local paths:



Title2=Just some local audio that is 2mins long

Title3=absolute path on Windows

Title4=example for an Environment variable

Unix/BSD/Linux/OS X

In Unix-like operating systems absolute and relative file paths differ from Windows, because there are no drive letters, Environment variables differ and [/] (forward slashes) are used as directory separators instead of [\] (backslashes). Therefore playlists pointing to absolute paths or media files outside of the folder containing the playlist will only work for one type of operating system - either Windows or Unix-like. URLs work the same for all types.

To make the second example from above work the 3rd and 4th path need to be changed to something like:



See also: the categories Media players and Tag editors.

iTunes, VLC media player, Totem, RealPlayer, Winamp, Yahoo! Music Jukebox, MediaMonkey, Windows Media Player, AIMP, Kodi, Rhythmbox, foobar2000, and more than 30 others are able to interpret (open) PLS files. Media Player Classic with the K-Lite codec installed does work with PLS format but still requires the appropriate MIME or file extension associations.


See also[edit]

Other playlist file formats
  • ASX - Windows media
  • M3U - The most common playlist format
  • XSPF - Xiph.Org Foundation
  • WPL - Windows Media Player

External links[edit]