[Util] Updated - Open Playlist in Windows Media

Back in April I wrote a very basic console app which would (theoretically) allow you to play Shoutcast Playlists (PLS files) in Windows Media Player.[1] I say theoretically because in practice, I've been fielding a large amount of support requests from hapless users having trouble setting up the file associations, checking if they have .NET installed, etc.

I've re-released it with an installer and some improved error handling thrown in for good measure. Download it here: http://www.codeplex.com/openplsinwmp 

The installer associates Shoutcast Playlist (PLS) files with OpenPLSInWMP.exe, which digs through the PLS file for the MP3 server info and then starts up Windows Media Player with that stream. It shows up in the Add / Remove Programs list so you can uninstall it easily if you are insane.

The end result is that Windows Media Player plays PLS files. Just in time for Christmas Christmahannukwanzafestivus special chilly family togetherness season, too: SomaFM has the  X-mas in Frisco stream going.

[UPDATE: Fixed problem with icon association. Download setup from same location, new version is 1.0.2.]

[Listening to: Secret Agent on SomaFM]

[1] I was sick of having to install five different music players to stream all the music I wanted. I now use Windows Media Player 10, Quicktime Alternative, and Real Alternative.


  • Thanks to the links to the alternatives! God I hate the Real spyware and the Quicktime nagware...

  • Just what I was looking for, thanks.

  • Nice little program. Thanks!

  • Hi Jon, Not sure whether I got round to thanking you for your message on the RT website re .pls and Windows Media Player... If I didn't, thanks! RT is back on the air from 3rd to 16th July. I've added a link to your patch. I hope that this is in order... Hope you can find time to listen to us again.
    Best regards,
    Bob W

  • nice program just wondering is there a way to put this into a code and put it on a website so you could listen to .pls files on the windows media player

  • It forced me to download something called .NET framework. 23 megs worth of something. I had to get it from Microsoft. The file is called dotnetfx.exe.

    I would do anything to get WMP to play .pls files. I guess we'll see if this works. I kind of doubt it. I'm not interested in opening this program. Hmm.

  • It didnt work for me either. I cant run the setupopenplsinwmp.exe. it gives me a error right off the bat.

  • Have to use WMP at work due to proxy. Was previously opening up pls files in Notepad, and copy and pasting the URL back into WMP. This worked like a charm. Make sue to associate your pls files with this new app.


  • It does work, but you have to open the .pls file with C:\Program Files\OpenPlsInWMP\OpenPlsInWMP.exe otherwise WMP won't play it.

  • this is just the dog's bollocks
    just what I was looking for my WMP

  • Even though i got it in the firewall exception list it still says it can't check the stream. Then it runs WMP and plays the stream... ???????

  • @Przemek - It first checks the stream to see if it's an AAC+ stream, which is why it's trying to get through the firewall. It sounds like it's unable to get through your firewall, and I can't really help with that part. However, if it's not an AAC+ stream it will still be able to play it. At that point, it's in Windows Media Player's hands, and WMP isn't having any problems getting through the firewall.

  • ehm... I'd LOVE to download it... if i could just open the link and it wouldn't say "page not found" that is...

  • @Martin - I've updated the link.

  • It works great for me with WMP 10,plus i also use a sound enhancer for the player,it sounds clearer
    and much better than Real Player,wich is gone from
    my pc now,no more adware and garbage.

  • Hey.. I tried to run SetupOpenPlsInWMP.exe in Vista RC2 and it says ".NET framework not found, do you want to download it". But obviously the .NET is here as a) it comes with Vista b) I just installed C# Express + C# express sp1 beta.

  • @zzz - Looks like I need to update my install script. Thanks for reporting the problem.

    The program will work fine, but it won't let you install because the .NET check hasn't been updated for the version that ships with Vista. I had to add the .NET check to the install because I used to get tons of error reports from people who were trying to run it without .NET.

  • @zzz - I'm checking for .NET versions 1.0, 1.1, and 2.0 using the registry keys in this KB article:

    Can you check your registry and tell me what you version number(s) you see in this key:

  • A question: Could you make this program parse and try ALL the servers listed in a PLS file? Reason: I have been forced on several occasions to manually edit the pls file to remove the first server-connection listed for this program to even try the next listed server in the pls file. My experience is all. It would be nice to get it to parse and try all until connection is successful. Othervise a great addition to WMP =)

  • Any chance you are developing the same type of app for Mindows Mobile?

  • this works great, tho I had to download the .net 2.0 update, which I found as a 'Custom' option on the Windows Update program), then open the .pls file (in my case, DR Klassisk) with the OpenPLSinWMP option from the download window (I use the Firefox browser)

  • IT seems doesnt works in WMP11, anybody coul do this?

  • I just installed OPENPLSINWMP tool on a RTM MS Vista machine running WMP11 - works fine with no real headaches or technical intervention required. Nice one!! I'm a business guy for MS - not really very technical - if this had been hard I wouldn't have been able to do it.....

  • Installed and works great on my 64-bit Vista Enterprise system with WMP11. Had to manually map the file extension to your EXE and had to add the EXE to the firewall exception list, but neither of those is difficult. I am absolutely ecstatic that I can now play MPEGRadio in Windows Media Player.

  • Man, you are the best. Winamp is blacklisted in our Company, and I missed all the shoutcast stations.

    Thanks again,

  • Any possibility of getting this to work with Windows Mobile 2005?


  • I would KILL to get a version that would work on a smartphone running windows mobile...to work on my bosses phone, it would have to be digitally signed by one of two trusted sources. Any idea if this is a possibility in the near future?

    You see, my boss (president and owner of my company) also owns an AM HD radio station that simulcasts over the internet using shoutcast. He wants to listen to his station using his Nextel i930. I am his IT director (guess who gets to try to make this work). Nextel will not allow ANY unsigned apps to be loaded on the phone since it is "true always on" and needs to be protected from malicious and/ or poorly written code (a quote from Nextel/Sprint).

    If you could make this happen, I would sing your praises to the heavens.


  • @Terry - I actually ported OpenPlsInWMP to Windows Mobile, only to find that the mobile version of WMP doesn't support MP3 streams.

    There are some other free mobile players out there, some listed here:

  • Nice even works on x64 vista. Nice work. Thanx.
    Winamp just became too bloated.

  • Now was that so hard? WTF, why can't WMP do this stuff by itself. Nice job, your software works great. It took 20 seconds to install, and now I can listen to my old college radio station.

  • i managed to make many channels of mpegradio stream in a embed windows media player on my radio page at radio.nabolister.com

  • Downloaded fast. doesnt work. I'm not a techie. Went to shoutcast's page, found a station hit listen, and nothing. It has to be something I'm doing wrong. Would appreciate any help.

  • I can't get this to work!! The install fails with a code 5

    Access is denied for creating the registry key

  • Great it works!

    But it does not show the Artist or Title.

    Is this normal?

  • I am currently running an Apache server with links to a shoutcast server at
    The url above is the Apache
    I have an asx file in the htdocs folder along with all the index pages ect
    Works great in winamp. The radio station I am chief engineer wants all listeners to have a seamless experiance when clicking on the link on the webpage and not have to install anything.
    For three days I have been looking for an embedded player and the code for the webpage and asx file for windows media player or should I give up on mp3 and change the encoder to a different output and will Windows media player see it. From this forum it seems that the user will have to install something and that will not float in the frount office.
    Would someone assist. my email is mychucky@funport.net
    If someone can look at my code at the website I would appreciate it.

  • Thanks very much mate, now playing Cryosleep in Windows Media Player! People like just make life that little bit nicer and more straight forward!

  • download link is broken

  • Thanks a lot! It works great (WMP 11, Vista).

    Now, if only if I can find someway to get WMP to list the song titles...

  • It would be neat to have the Media Guide open the shoutcast.com page other than the online store..

  • wmp10.. thnx a lot.

  • So where it to find?,

  • Your Site Is Great!,

  • I need to play the mp3 file ripped from shoutcast stream in windows media player.
    How i can get this?

  • Working good! Thanks for that :)

  • You actually make it appear so easy along with your
    presentation however I find this matter to be really one thing which
    I believe I would by no means understand. It seems too complex and very broad for me.
    I am having a look ahead for your subsequent post, I'll try to get the cling of it!




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