What Is a PLS File?

Several file formats use the PLS file extension, but the most common usage is for audio playlists

What to Know

  • Some PLS files are audio playlists that store the location of files for a media player.
  • Software like iTunes, VLC, and Clementine can open PLS files.
  • VLC can convert a PLS playlist to other playlist formats—M3U, M3U8, or XSPF.

This article explains the various formats that use the PLS file extension, including how to open and convert each file type.

What Is a PLS File?

A file with the PLS file extension is most likely an audio playlist file. They are plain text files that reference the location of audio files so that a media player can queue the files and play them one after the other.

It's important to understand that PLS files aren't the actual audio files that the media player is opening; they're just references or links to the MP3s (or whatever format the files are in).

However, some PLS files may instead be MYOB accounting data files or a PicoLog settings files.

PLS files in Windows 10 that open with PotPlayer

There's also something called PLS_INTEGER that has nothing to do with any of these file formats. PLS is also short for tech terms like physical layer switch, please (texting jargon), and private line service.

How to Open a PLS File

Audio Playlist files with the .PLS file extension can be opened with iTunes, VLC, PotPlayer, Helium, Clementine, CyberLink PowerDVD, AudioStation, and other media management software programs.

Like you can see below, audio playlists like this one can also be opened with a simple text editor like Notepad in Windows, or something more complex like a free text editor application.

Here's a sample PLS file that has three items:

Title1=Audio File Over 2m Long
Title2=Short 20s File
Title3: Radio Stream

If you use a text editor to view or edit the PLS file, something like the above is what you'll see, which means it won't actually let you use the PLS file to play the audio. For that, you'd need one of the programs mentioned above

MYOB AccountRight can open PLS files that are accounting data files. These files are typically used to hold financial information.

PLS files that are created from PicoLog data logging devices can be opened with PicoLog Data Logging Software.

If you find that an application on your PC does try to open the PLS file, but it's the wrong application, or you'd rather have another installed program open it, see how to change file associations in Windows.

How to Convert a PLS File

Before we explain how to convert an audio playlist, you should remember that the data contained in the file is just text. This means you can only save it to another text-based format, not a multimedia format like MP3.

One way to convert a PLS file to another playlist format is to use one of the openers from above, like iTunes or VLC. Once the file has been opened in VLC, for example, you can use the Media > Save Playlist to File option to convert the playlist to M3U, M3U8, or XSPF.

Another option is to use Online Playlist Creator to convert the PLS to WPL (a Windows Media Player Playlist file) or some other playlist file format. To convert the file this way, you have to paste the contents of the file into a text box; you can copy the text using a text editor.

You can probably convert MYOB and PicoLog files using one of the programs from above that can open the file.

Still Can't Open the File?

If none of the information above has been helpful in opening your file, it's possible you're just misreading the file extension. Some file extensions are spelled in almost the exact same way as PLS files, but they aren't related to the formats from above and therefore won't open with the same programs.

For example, PLSC (Messenger Plus! Live Script), PLIST (Mac OS X Property List), and PLT (AutoCAD Plotter Document) files don't open like PLS playlist files even though they share some of the same letters in their file extensions.

Does your file have a different file extension? Research the one that you do have to get more information on the programs that can open or convert it.

  • How do I open a PLS file in Windows Media Player?

    Windows Media Player doesn't support the PLS file format, but there's a free Windows software program that acts as a middleman between Windows Media Player and the PLS file. Download Open PLS in WMP and follow the prompts to open a PLS file.

  • How do I convert a PLS file to MP3?

    To convert a PLS file to an MP3, you'll need a third-party converter or an online conversion tool. An example of a third-party converter is Switch Audio Converter. Download the software and follow the prompts to import and convert the PLS file. An online conversion tool option is Convertio; upload your PLS file and convert it.

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