Download YouTube Videos with VLC (Because, why not?)
VLC is one of the most popular video players for Linux and other platforms.
It’s not just a video player. It provides a number of multimedia and network-related features, among others. You will be surprised to learn what VLC is capable of.
I will show you a simple VLC feature, namely download YouTube videos with it.
Yes. You can play YouTube videos in VLC and download them as well. Let me show you how.
Download YouTube Videos with VLC Media Player
Now there are ways to download YouTube videos. Use a browser extension or use dedicated websites or tools.
But if you don’t want to use anything more, the already installed VLC player can be used for this purpose.
Important: Before copying the link from YouTube, make sure to choose the desired video quality from the YouTube player, because we will get the same quality the video was playing in when copying the link.
Step 1: Get the video link of the desired video
You can use any of your favorite browsers and copy the video link from the address bar.
Step 2: Paste the copied link into the network feed
The network stream option can be found under Media which is the first option on our top menu bar. Just click on Media and you will get “Open Network Stream” option. You can also use the shortcut to open Network Stream CTRL+N.
Now you just need to paste the copied YouTube video link and click on the play button. I know it only plays the video in our VLC, but there is a little extra step that will allow us to download the video that is currently streaming.
Step 3: Get location link from codec information
Under the codec info prompt, we’ll get a location link for the currently playing video. To open the Codec Info prompt, you can use the shortcut CTRL + J or you will find the Codec Info option under “Tools”.
It will bring detailed information about the video being streamed. But what we need is “Location”. You just need to copy the location link and 90% of our task is done.
Step 4: Paste the location link into a new tab
Open one of your favorite browsers and paste the copied location link in the new tab and it will start playing the exact video in the browser.
Now right click on the video playback and you will get an option to “Save Video As”.
It will open file manager and ask you if you want to save this video locally or not. You can also rename this file because by default it will be named “videoplayback.mp4”
If you are having internet connection issues or want to save a video for future viewing, downloading the YouTube video makes sense.
Of course, we do not encourage piracy. This method is just for fair use, please make sure the creator of the video has licensed the video for fair use and also be sure to give credit to the original owner of the video before using it elsewhere.
I’m a software engineer who does my best to bring open source software to a general audience. Being a Linux author solves my goal.