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Hidden Hacks of VLC

VLC has heaps of features more than just a traffic cone icon that we are so accustomed.  This segment unravels the versatility of this popular media player in simple step-by-step instructions. 

Download YouTube Videos

VLC is your best friend when it comes to downloading videos from YouTube straight from its desktop interface.  Here’s how:

1. Search the video in YouTube and copy the path of that video from the address bar

2. Open VLC Media Player on your computer, open media, then paste the path then click play

3. Click “Tools” and choose “Codec Information”

4. Under “Location”, you’ll be able to see the download link,  right-click this link and click “Select All” and copy the text to clipboard

5. Open a web browser and paste the link in the address bar. Press “Enter” key

6. Right-click anywhere on the browser window in which video is being played and select “Save As”

Recording clips from You Tube while it’s streaming with VLC is also possible; just press the Red Record button in the player itself.  This will allow you to have a snip out of a long video.

Record Your Desktop

VLC’s flexibility extends to desktop recording as many of us find strange to know.   VLC has the ability to record your desktop into a video file. It may not be as powerful as to screen record an entire movie, but good enough to exhibit your desktop’s activities into a video file.  Here are the tips on how to do it:

1. Open VLC, Click Media

2. Choose Capture Device, select Desktop as the Capture Mode

3. Change the fps (frames per second).  You may choose the 15 fps for desktop recording but for a fast-paced movement, 30 fps will be required.  Make sure the source is your screen.

4. Click Next to “Play” and select “Convert”

5. From “Profile” dropdown, choose MP4 (You can use the tool icon to modify the settings of this profile)

6. In the destination box, choose a location to place the finished file

7. Stream by clicking “start”

VLC will now start to capture your desktop’s feed in which anytime you want to stop recording, just click the stop button on your VLC.  The desktop recording can be played as common media files.

Convert Video Files

One of the many facets of VLC is converting videos to certain formats, no need to download another application just to convert the file.  This saves you the hassle of having different applications for certain file format.  Learn how:

1. Click on ‘Media” then click Convert/Save

2. From the “Settings” section, Choose the type of file you want to convert the file into

3. Choose a name for the file and location under Destination

4. Click on the “Start” button

Record Your Webcam

VLC gives you the luxury of taking pictures and recording them even if your webcam does not have the software to do so.  VLC presents you a wide array of formats and settings to choose from, which makes it a vital tool in recording You Tube videos.  Let me tell you how.

1. In VLC, open Media then Click Open Capture Device

2. In the” Capture mode” dropdown, choose Direct Show

3. Under “Video Device Name”  choose your webcam

4. Under ”Audio Device Name” choose your microphone

5. Click ‘Advance Options”

a. If your webcam has a software that you opt to use, choose “Device Properties”

b. Or, you may enter a value for “Video input frame rate”.  30 is best for crisp video quality

c. Click “Okay”

After the steps above, you now have two choices: You can press “Play” to watch live video through VLC and record segments by pressing “Record” button.  Another is to select “Convert/Save” and select the location where you would like to save the recorded file.  Both options have features that are suitable to your needs.  If you want to preview your video and take short clips, use the first option.   One tip to get rid of feedback problem is to use a headphone.   Please take note though that this method will not give pitch perfect recording on slower computers.

 “Convert/Save” method is one way of avoiding any feedback problem; furthermore, it doesn’t show visibility of the video being recorded or any of the recording status.  You can stop the recording by pressing “Stop” but there’s no indication status shown after doing so.

Subscribe to Podcasts

Podcast is an awesome way of listening to music or radio over the internet and VLC lets you subscribe to your favorite podcast online.  Let’s learn how:

1. Search for podcasts available, pick one and copy the website address

2. Click the plus sign beside the podcast label, then enter the URL that you copied.

3. Click on the podcast subscription you added, select and play a podcast episode.

VLC is more than just a media player. It encompasses a comprehensive range of technological advancements all rolled into one.  It is indeed an absolute advantage for someone to know the best hidden features of VLC and have cutting-edge skill that’s a cut above the rest.



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