I have an .m3u8 URI of type LIVE. As far as I know, live playlists use a sliding window instead of containing all the segments. My questions are,

1) Is it possible to find out what the length of the window is (time or frame-wise)? My intention is to use the playlist I have to download a live-stream starting from an earlier time.

2) If yes, how do I get the earlier segments, i.e., how do I specify where I want to start downloading from? I tried something like ffmpeg -ss -00:00:10 -i "in.m3u8" out.mp4, but it did not work.

I do not have much experience in video-encoding or live-streaming, and I would appreciate any direction!

1 Answer 1


You need to download the m3u8 itself, look at the entries and see if the individual TS filenames are entirely regular i.e. no signatures which vary with each entry, and the varying elements that are present can be deduced.

If so, then simply work backwards i.e. if the playlist you download has entries file_03532.ts, file_03533.ts, file_03534.ts..., then file_03529.ts, file_03530.ts, file_03531.ts.. would be the earlier entries. You can then use a download manager that lets you download a list of filenames generated using a pattern. IDM does this. There's probably others.

  • 1
    That makes sense; thank you! Forgive my lack of experience in this matter, but how do we look at the entries and see the individual TS chunks? Jul 25, 2016 at 16:12
  • Nevermind, I opened it with Notepad++ and it worked. Jul 25, 2016 at 16:14

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