How To: Play YouTube videos and playlists with VLC

VLC Playlists

In case you have not noticed already,VLC Media Player is one of my favorite programs ever. There is simply so much it can do while still maintaining a minimalistic feel and top notch performance that I find it irreplaceable. It is also pretty cool to show hidden little features to friends and try to convert them over to the VLC side. One of the latest features I remembered about was the media player’s ability to play videos from YouTube.

How to play YouTube videos in VLC

VLC YouTube Video

1. Start VLC.
2. Click on the File menu.
3. Select the Open Network Stream option.
4. Find a YouTube video you want to play, copy its URL and paste it into VLC’s empty field.
5. Click on Play and wait. Done!

How to play entire playlists in VLC

Although playing videos is extremely easy as you can easy above, playlists are an entirely different matter. When you paste a playlist URL into VLC, it will only play the first video of the playlist or nothing at all in some cases.

VLC Error

This can easily be solved by the YouTube playlist extension from the official VideoLAN add-ons page. Click on the download button and you will be taken to a page filled with text. This is exactly what is meant to happen so do not panic. Go to your browser’s menu and select the Save As option. Make sure your file has the .lua extension and then drag and drop the downloaded file into its appropriate place.

-Windows (all users): %ProgramFiles%\VideoLAN\VLC\lua\playlist\
-Windows (current user only): %APPDATA%\vlc\lua\playlist\
-Linux (all users): /usr/lib/vlc/lua/playlist/
-Linux (current user only): ~/.local/share/vlc/lua/playlist/
-Mac OS X (all users): /Applications/

VLC YouTube Videos

Now that this is out of the way, you can simply paste the URL of a playlist exactly as I described for videos above and it will play all the videos in it. You will even get a list of the videos in order so you know it is working. Enjoy!