When we left the last post we had downloaded an .mp4 file from the Guardian website using View Source (Ctrl+u) to find the link and right-click Save Link As to get the file and Videolan VLC to watch it.

Now we’re going to get the HD version of the same film using the .m3u8 link and VLC.

Open VLC and from the menu click View -> Advanced Controls like this.

The advanced controls give us a record button at bottom left which is bright red and shows once a film or film link is loaded.

Now we want to play a streamed film (m3u8) from a link.

Return to the View Source page we looked at earlier and this time copy the link that ends in .m3u8 and save it to a text file temporarily. Now with VLC running go to the menu and open Media -> Open Network Stream or simply use Ctrl+n from the keyboard to reach the screen below.

Paste in the .m3u8 link you copied earlier and click the Play button at the bottom immediately followed by the red record button.

The film will begin to record and providing you don’t interfere with the controls until it ends it will be saved complete to your computer as an HD mp4 file.

Please note the above instructions were tested on both a Linux and a Windows 7 machine with similar results except for finding the file afterwards. The Windows 7 search function is pathetic and I recommend Agent Ransack instead.

Lastly if my instructions for saving .m3u8 files aren’t clear to you try this instead:-


and remember you’re not stuck with this one film the above instructions apply to any film on the web which has a streaming (m3u8) link.


Find an .m3u8 link on the web, open VLC, press Ctrl-n on the keyboard, paste in the link and click Play

then immediately click the record button.

When the video has finished playing you will have an HD mp4 video saved to your computer.

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