How to use VLC to record webcam footage

With such a disparity in the software supplied by webcams it can sometimes feel like there’s no point in trying to use it to record your latest YouTube hit or to set up a podcast.

Thankfully one of the web’s most popular media players is here to help.

Most people use VLC as a place to watch video of any format yet many probably don’t realise that it can also act as a handy tool to record footage filmed by a webcam.

VLC’s recording capability can be turned on and off easily with a special setting that immediately forgets anything that has been recorded and it could even be used to turn your webcam into a security camera. Below is a step-by-step guide on how to use it.

  1. Go to Media > Open Capture Device and then change the following three settings:
  • Set Capture Mode to DirectShow
  • Change Video device name to your webcam’s name
  • Adjust Audio device name to the microphone of choice, whether it be built into the webcam or an external one.
  1. Go to Advanced Options at the bottom of the window and change the Video input frame rate to 30 [anything lower results in poor quality footage]. To keep the software setting of the webcam, simply check the box next to Device properties.
  1. Next comes the chance to pick a capture method, of which there is two options.
  • Live feed: This allows you to view the video whilst it is being recorded and a headset should be used in order to eliminate audio feedback. Make sure to click the Record button when you want to start recording and it will be saved as an MP4 in the VLC directory [If the Record button is missing, go to View > Advanced Controls to enable it]. After all this is set up click Play at the bottom and it will get underway.
  • Direct save: If you don’t feel the need for headphones and are happy the camera is at the right angle then the direct save method will be right up your street. To get started click on the arrow next to Play and choose Convert, and once you’re done recording then press stop and everything that has been recorded will be stored. When the recording has been saved then choose the desired video format and go to Browse to find a place to save it.

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