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In the next few rows we will try to meet you with few incredible tricks from VLC for which you normally is using a bunch of other software or add-ons. Save some headaches and time by checking them up.
VLC lets you play and download YouTube videos.
- Find a video on YouTube—copy the URL from the address bar.
- In VLC, head to Media > Open Network Stream.
- Paste the YouTube link in the box and click Play.
- Under Tools, click Codec Information.
- In the box that says Location, right-click the block of text and click Select All. Copy this text to your clipboard.
- Go back to your browser and paste the link in the address bar. This will open the source file directly on YouTube’s servers.
- Right-click the video as it plays and select Save Video As.
- You can also record clips from YouTube videos as they’re streaming in VLC by pressing the red Record button in the player itself. This isn’t as direct of a rip, but it’s handy if you need to grab a particular clip out of a long video.
Record Video of Your Desktop activity
- Under Media, click “Open Capture Device.”
- Click the “Capture Mode” dropdown and select “Desktop.”
- Modify the frame rate. 15 f/s will probably be good enough for desktop recording, though 30 may be required for more fast-paced movement.
- Click the dropdown arrow next to “Play” and select “Convert.”
- In the “Profile” dropdown, choose MP4.
- At this step, you can click the tool icon to modify the settings of this profile. Here you can modify things like resolution or bitrate. We’ll use the default settings for now, but you can come back here later if you need to tweak the final product.
- In the Destination box, choose a location to place the finished file.
- Click Start.
- Once you click Start, VLC will stream a feed of your desktop into itself behind the scenes. Let it run while you record your workspace. When you’re done, you can click the stop buton in the player controls to end recording.
Convert Video Files
- Under Media, click “Convert/Save.”
- Add the file you want to convert in the File Selection section.
- Click “Convert/Save.”
- In the Settings section, choose the type of file you want to convert the file into under Profile.
- Give the file a name and location under Destination.
- Click Start.
- The converted video file will be deposited in the target location.
Record Your Webcam
- Under Media, click Open Capture Device.
- In the “Capture mode” drop down, select DirectShow.
- For “Video device name” choose your webcam.
- For “Audio device name” choose your microphone.
- Click “Advanced options.”
- If you want to use the software that came with your device to control input settings, choose “Device properties.”
- Otherwise, enter a value for “Video input frame rate.” 30 is a good rule of thumb for smooth video, though you can use less if you’re not concerned about quality.
- Click Okay.
- At this point, you have two options. You can click Play to play live video through VLC and record segments as needed by pressing the red Record button. Alternatively, you can choose “Convert/Save” from the dropdown and select where you would like the recorded file to go. Both methods have their advantages. The former allows you to preview your video and take clips in short bursts. However, this method requires headphones, as it can create a feedback loop. It also may cause a more sluggish recording on slower computers.
- Using the Convert/Save method avoids the feedback problem but it also doesn’t provide you much information on what you’re looking at or when you’re done recording. You can stop the recording by pressing Stop in the player, but there’s no indicator that you are still recording at the time.
Subscribe to Podcasts
You might not think of VLC as a podcast manager, but if you use it regularly, it’s actually pretty handy. To add a podcast, you’ll need the RSS feed of the show. As an example, we’ll use Lifehacker alum Adam Dachis’ Supercharged podcast here. The RSS link will probably look something like this:
Once you’ve found the RSS feed for the podcast you want to keep up with, follow these steps:
- In VLC’s sidebar, scroll down until you see Podcasts.
- Hover your mouse over Podcasts and click the plus sign on the right.
- Paste the RSS feed URL of the show you want to add.
- Click OK.
- Now, your podcast of choice will appear in the Podcasts sidebar section. Click on the name of a show and you’ll see a list of available episodes. Double click on any one of them to start streaming.