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Find YouTube Download URLs with VLC Player

Google might have disliked the downloading of their videos enough to tell Microsoft to take that feature out of its YouTube app for Windows phone, but it’s still one of the easiest ways to watch content on the go with unreliable mobile network coverage or Wi-Fi only tablets. VLC player for both Windows & Mac is capable of pulling the the direct video link so that you can download it at your discretion. Here’s how to use it.

Stream the video to VLC player by pressing Ctrl + N (Cmd + N on Mac) and then paste the link to the video in the “network URL” box. It should start streaming as soon as you press Play.

Tip: VLC also also a convert option here however it can be unreliable and usually glitched out when I was testing it.

open network locationmedia url

Once the YouTube video is playing, visit the Tools menu in VLC and click “Media Information” (Ctrl/CMD + I hotkey).

media information tools menu

At the bottom of the information  window is the direct URL to the video. You can copy this URL for your web browser to directly download the video. To quickly select it, click in the box and then press Ctrl + A (select all) on your keyboard, and then press Ctrl + C (copy) to copy it.

Note: This direct video link is temporary and will expire after a certain number of hours.

location url

If pasting the URL into Chrome the browser will begin playing the video. To download it open the menu and click “Save page as…”

save page as in chrome

In the browser the video will always have the same name, videplayback, so you’ll have to rename it yourself if you want to keep track of what was downloaded.

videoplayback title

That’s all there is to downloading a YouTube video by using VLC player to pull the URL. You can try to get the convert option to work, or just use a program like JDownloader. However if you like to keep a minimal amount of programs on your computer and already use VLC player, then this is a viable option.

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One Response to Find YouTube Download URLs with VLC Player

  1. Brand Kent October 22, 2013 at 7:50 pm #

    1.Download “Internet download manager” from
    2.Install it.
    3.Open youtube videos or any videos websites.
    4.Click play on youtube video and there will be tab of Internet download manager onside video.
    5.Click on tab and download video.

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