VLC does everything

The Videolan Corp. orange cone
The Great and Mighty VLC

The mighty and geeky VLC Media Player is cooler than you or I. It’s free and will play any video format (save some twisted proprietary ones that should never have existed anyway) on any machine. Here’s two things that make it great:

Record streaming video online

From an email on the TAMU CPI listserv, describing how to record an online TAMUS Board of Regents meeting (but should also work for testimony before legislature, etc.):

  1. Go to http://www.videolan.org/vlc and download the VLC media player. They support a multitude of OSes (linux, MacOS, windows, …).
  2. Get the web address for the streaming video. For the BOR meeting, a direct link appears near the top of the page http://www.tamus.edu when the meeting enters an open session.
  3. Run the installed VLC media player.
  4. Click from the menu “Media” -> “Convert/Save”.
  5. Select the “Network” tab. A new window will pop up.
  6. Copy and paste the web address from step 2.
  7. Click on [Convert/Save] at the bottom of the window. Another window pops up.
  8. Enter the destination file name. Extension does not matter. Click on “[ ] Display the output” to see in realtime the video stream.
  9. Select video/audio option. “Video – WMV + WMA (ASF)” works well for windows. The default option “Video – H.264 + AAC (MP4)” works well for linux (Mac). For other OS, experiment a bit.
  10. Click on [Start]. You can occasionally check if the file you specified in step 8 is growing in size.
  11. When done, click on the stop button “[ [] ]” near the bottom.
  12. Play the file from step 8 using the VLC media player.

 Playing a Video DVD on Windows

Copy and paste the following to help people on Windows (XP only? don’t know) that don’t have a third-party DVD player software installed:

  1. Download the VLC movie player from: http://www.videolan.org
  2. Once downloaded run the file to install the program on your computer.
  3. Insert a DVD movie into your computer and open the VLC media player.
  4. In the VLC media player, click the Play button. If the movie does not start automatically, you’ll be prompted with what to play. Click the Disk tab and select the DVD to start the movie immediately or DVD menu to start the DVD from the menu, and then click Ok.

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