How to Stream, Cut, Convert and RIP Videos with VLC
Stream YouTube Videos and Playlists
YouTube is filled with hours and hours of awesome content. From songs to videos to educational content to full blown TV shows. And of course, stand up comedy.
For people like me, YouTube is TV. But, and I’m sure you’ll agree here, the website viewing experience is far from optimal. It can either be an appalling amount of ads, loading time or the tyranny of the comment section. If you’re planning to watch more than a couple of minutes of videos, it’s better to take YouTube consumption elsewhere. To VLC for instance.
VLC allows you to stream any kind of video just by pasting in the URL. What’s more, you can do the same for a public playlist.
To do this first go to the video/playlist in question and copy the URL.
Go to VLC, click Media -> Open Network Stream ( File -> Streaming/Exporting Wizard for Mac) or use the shortcut Ctrl+N, (Cmd + Shift + W for Mac) paste the URL in the text box and press enter. The video will start playing.
Right-click and choose Save as. Save this file to the desktop or in the documents folder and make sure the extension of the file (after the dot) is lua.
Now copy the file and paste it in VLC’s playlist directory. The address for different OS’ is given below.
Windows (all users): ProgramFiles(x86) \VideoLAN \VLC \lua \playlist\
Linux: /usr /lib /vlc /lua /playlist/
Mac OS X (all users):/Applications /VLC.app /Contents /MacOS /share /lua /playlist/
Now relaunch VLC and paste in the playlist file.
Convert/RIP Video Files
Just as VLC can play almost any format out there, it can also convert videos to and from any format out there. This goes for MP4 to MKV to even Chrome and web friendly .webm format.
To covert any video go to Media -> Convert/Save ( File -> Convert for Mac) or use the handy Ctrl + Y ( Cmd + Shift + S for Mac) keyboard shortcut.
From the popup window click Add to select one or multiple videos you wish to convert.
Now click the Convert/Save button below.
From the next popup select the format you want to convert to. VLC has handy profiles for full HD conversion and presets for iPhone/Android phones. But you can click the Settings icon next to the dropdown and tinker with the exact video and audio playback settings.
Once you’ve selected the destination file, click the Save button. VLC will now start converting the video.
When it comes to ripping a DVD, the process is mostly the same. The only difference is that instead of the File tab in the Convert/Save window, you’ll be using the Disc tab.
From this tab select the disk drive, and in the next step select the output format and destination before clicking the Start button.
How to Cut Specific Parts of Video
You can use VLC to record the media or cut a specific part of the video while you’re playing it.
To do this, first load up the media file.
Then go to View -> and enable Advanced Controls (Playback -> Record for Mac, shortcut – Cmd + Opt + R).
You’ll now see four more buttons above the playback toolbar. The first button is called Record and clicking it will begin recording. Clicking it again will stop recording and the file will be automatically saved to Library/Videos.
Use the last button called Frame-by-frame for exact control over when the recording begins and ends.
Of course this is a very basic tool where you can’t select recording area or include the parts of video you’re not watching.
Also, while recording you can’t skip a couple of minutes into the video. For VLC to record, you need to watch the video as is. So not without its limitations, but gets the job done.