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How to Play or Download an Online Video with VLC

VLC Player is one of my favorite programs. It's versatile beyond belief, and has become a sort of video Swiss Army Knife over the years. In fact, many people that use VLC regularly would be pretty surprised to find out it can do things like download web videos from within the player.

Or, if you’d prefer, you can watch streaming videos within VLC, without downloading. This comes in really handy for longer documentaries or building a playlist of videos outside the browser. Here’s how it’s done.

1. Open VLC.

2. Under the Media tab, select Open Network Stream.

3. Add the URL of any web video.  

While some videos will work if you just enter URL of the page with the player on it, your best bet is to grab the player's URL from the embed menu. For example, if the video is on Vimeo, you'll need to click the "share" button and copy the url that's in the IFRAME tag of the embed code.

4. Click Play at the bottom if you want to watch the video. If you’d prefer to download it, continue reading.

5. To download a video,  click the arrow next to the Play button and select Convert.

6. Click the Browse button near the bottom to select a destination file and to name the converted video.

7. Add a location and filename and click Save.

8. Press the Start button.