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How to record your webcam with VLC

​Whether you want to make a few YouTube videos, or you're practicing a speech, recording yourself with VLC is easy and offers lots of formatting options.

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The provided software for some webcams can be a bit lackluster. While options for adjusting the brightness, contrast, or zoom exist, you may be looking for a way to record the feed. If you're already using VLC for watching videos or streaming podcasts, did you know you can also use it to record your webcam?

Don't have VLC yet but want to try it out? Grab a copy here.

The recording function in VLC can be turned on and off at will, or switched to a set and forget mode. This allows you to use the feature for a number of purposes, including studying your own abilities on camera, setting up a temporary security feed (hard drive space allowing), or just making a video for the Web. Check out these steps for recording video from your webcam:

VLC capture device settings.

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Step 1: Head to Media > Open Capture Device and then adjust the following settings:

  • Capture Mode: DirectShow
  • Video device name: Select your webcam name.
  • Audio device name: Choose your microphone. This can be the one built into your webcam, a mic on a headset, or another free-standing mic you want to use.

VLC advanced options for capture devices.

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Step 2: Click Advanced options and then adjust the Video input frame rate to 30 (a lower value will yield lower quality video). If you want to stick with the software settings for your webcam, then check the box next to Device properties.

VLC Convert menu.

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Step 3: Pick one of these two recording methods:

  • Live feed: You can choose to view the video as you're making it, which will require you to wear a headset to avoid audio feedback. Additionally, you'll need to click the Record button when you want to capture the feed, which will be saved in MP4 format in your VLC directory. Click Play at the bottom of the window to start this method. Missing the record button? You can enable it by going to View > Advanced Controls.
  • Direct save: If you don't want to wear headphones, and you're confident that your webcam is at the correct angle to capture what you want, then you may opt for this method of recording. When you're finished, press the stop button and the entire video will be saved. Click the arrow next to Play and select Convert to start this method. You can change the video format if you do not prefer MP4, and then you can click Browse to select a location and give the file a name to make it easier to find.

Once you're finished creating your videos, you can share them, or keep them private if you are examining your speech or video abilities.