Easily download any internet-available video stream with VLC

Hey Kids, Crazy Jeff here with a fun little tip that might take some frustration from your day, if you ever need to "capture" or download a video from the Internet. What forced me into figuring this out is that for a long time, any browser had plug-ins and one plug-in was always for downloading flash video like on YouTube.

This is one of the ways I try to use the LBD to my advantage: when I am in a sufficiently up cycle I try to make sure to keep a number of challenges on-tap of varying complexity so I can push myself as best as I am able. I have to be careful because if I start something too complicated and run-down mentally before I complete, the old bull-headed Jeff still tries to plow thru to the end and generally screw everything up in the process. So its a juggling act but if handled, can make the most of your up cycles. It works for me.

Sadly with the passage of time and other things, browsers quit supporting plug-ins at first and specifically downloading these videos, the browsers finally becoming the tools that they are. The last time I tried to force these things to work for me, I was besieged with adverts from websites wanting my money.

Slight digression: What brain trust things someone stealing from fricking YouTube is going to spend big bucks on their website?

Shrug; some peoples' kids...

Anyhow I used to be a systems engineer and thats how I tend to view problems and once I did, a little research revealed I had the tools here all along to do a bang-up job, the browsers and their policies be damned. All it takes is the Video Lan Client or VLC, a venerable media player/swiss army knife available on all platforms and I have used it myself much when forced to use Windows or Mac.

As it turns out, VLC can load network streams right along with loading media files and so on. Cool but that only got me part-way there. Thats where the research came in. Note: if I needed research to know VLC did streams, I needed to turn in my geek card.

Anyhow, it seems the URL that you get when you copy it right from the video by right-clicking at YouTube.com for example, thats just a pointer to something totally not that video but in order to play the video ever, the actual URL had to be embedded.....somewhere....and so once the video was streaming/playing, I found you could dig into the codec itself and voila! Something called 'Location' had what looks just like a URL....so copy and paste it into a new browser window and presto! The ACTUAL video is playing and guess what? At that point, downloading the video is now no more difficult that clickin on an elipses in the browser video and saying "Gimme" (Download). And its done.

As my best friend in the Army used to say about a thousand years ago, its just that damned simple...now I took lots of screen shots showing the process but again, HealthUnlocked doesn't allow in-article graphics (yet youtube vids are fine, go figure) so I turned the screen shots into a quickie 2-minute video showing the process. And to keep the irony on 10, I hosted it on YouTube; lets see if they allow it to play for anyone but me. Heh.

I can be such a stinker; my mom said so.

BTW: if anyone has a problem playing it let me know, I will host it on my site and repost here, I just try not to do that to Christian when I can avoid it. I just can't help sticking my thumb in the eye of the PTB.

Always been a "problem child"; amazing part is I spent the first 7 years of my schooling in a parochial or church school. I don't know man, something didn't stick I think. Just guessing here....

VLC is like the grand-daddy of cross-platform media players and many a time in the past VLC smoothly played videos on hardware other players choked on. Completely free and open source; gotta love it.

For more information on VLC (which I highly recommend from many many years of use), the site is here: