The WPL file extension identifies a Windows Media Player Playlist file. Though you cannot directly convert a playlist file to an MP3 audio file, you can use the playlist to extract the references to each audio file in the list. You can then convert the audio files to the MP3 file format using a file conversion tool. You can also convert the WPL playlist file to another playlist file format to use in other audio players.

The WPL File

A WPL file is a simple XML file that lists each track, along with its file path, in the playlist. However, the WPL file format encrypts the file paths in the XML file. To access the full file paths, convert the file to the universal XML playlist format, the M3U format, using Windows Media Player. The exported file is a universal playlist in the XML file format.

You can open the XML file by right-clicking on the file, then clicking “Open With” from the context menu. Click “Notepad” or “WordPad” to open the file in a text editor to view the contents of the playlist. You can also open the file in the Windows XML editor to view the playlist contents.

Extract File Information

Locate each line of code that includes the “src=” statement, along with a file path or URL. Each path is a path to an audio file. If you have stored MP3 files in the playlist, simply go to the file path indicated in the XML file to find your track. No conversion is necessary. For other file formats, copy the original file to your desktop or to a specific folder to organize your music for file conversion to the MP3 format.

Convert to MP3

Several online tools are available that enable you to quickly convert an audio track to the MP3 format. Media.io, Online-Convert and Zamzar are all user friendly and free. Open the selected tool in a browser, then load the source audio track. Click “MP3“ as the output file format, then click the “Convert” or similar option to convert the file. For some tools, you must enter an email address so the converted file can be sent to you as an attachment. However, for most tools, the page refreshes when the file is converted. Simply click the link provided to download and save your MP3 file.

Convert and Save Using VLC

You can create a new playlist on another platform, such as VLC or iTunes, containing the same tracks. Simply extract the paths to each of your tracks, and then enter them in the new application. Note that some applications, like VLC, enable you to convert files to the MP3 format on the fly. To convert an audio file in VLC, open the track in the application, then click “Media.” Click “Convert/Save.” Check to ensure the correct source path appears in the Source box. Type the name of the file with the “.mp3“ extension in the File Name box. Click the “Containers” option in the Save as Type drop-down list, the click “Save.” The file converts to the MP3 format.

Convert and Save Using iTunes

Use iTunes to convert M4A files to the MP3 format. Open the General tab in the iTunes Preferences dialog box, then click the “Import Settings” button. Select the “MP3 Encoder” from the Import Using drop-down list, then click “Good Quality” or “High Quality” in the Setting box. Click “OK.” The M4A file is copied and saved as an MP3 file in your iTunes Music folder.

Convert Playlist

You can also use Windows Media Player to convert the playlist from the proprietary WPL file format to the universal M3U format, and then import the M3U file into most other audio players. While the playlist is playing in Windows Media Player, click the “File” tab, then click “Save Now Playing As.” Click the “M3U" file format, then click “Save” to save the file as an M3U playlist. Import the playlist into iTunes or any other supported player.