How to Record Streaming Video Using VLC

By William Nagel

VLC media player is a powerful, open-source media player available for most computer platforms, including Microsoft Windows, Mac OS X, and various Linux distributions. Known for its ability to play almost any audio or video format, VLC is also capable of streaming your media to the Internet and recording streaming media from the Internet or another computer. If you want to capture streaming media from the Internet to view on your computer at a later time, you can use VLC to save the media by entering the URL of the stream and setting capture options.

Opening a Stream

Step 1

Open VLC. Click "Open Network Stream" or "Open Network" from the "File" menu.

Step 2

Click the protocol of the video from the list of options. If the video address starts with "HTTP" "FTP" or "MMS," click the "HTTP/FTP/MMS" option. If the address starts with "RTSP," click "RTSP."

Step 3

Enter the address of the video stream in the "URL" box.

Step 4

Check the "Stream Output" box to enable the "Settings" button.

Saving a Stream

Step 1

Click the "Settings" button to open the "Settings" dialog.

Step 2

Check the "File" box to have VLC shunt the stream into a file you can view later. Click the "Browse" button to open the "Save" dialog and select a save location for the video. Type a name for your video in the "File Name" text box and press "Save" to close the dialog window.

Step 3

Click a format to save the video file as from the "Encapsulation Method" options. If you know the format of the video being streamed, click it from the list of options. If you're uncertain of the format, check the video stream URL to find the appropriate file extension of the stream.

Step 4

Click "Open File" from the VLC "Media" menu to access the "Open File" dialog window. Use the Open File window to navigate to the folder where you saved your video. Click on your video and press the "Open" button to play the video with VLC.

Tips & Warnings

  • Clicking a format from the "Encapsulation Method" menu that doesn't match the format of the streaming video may cause playback issues when you attempt to view the video later.