How do I set the format VLC media player uses when recording?

I am getting giant AVIs which nobody can open (except VLC player itself).

Example MPC-HC output:

MPC AVI Source::Video 0

Media Type 0:
Video: RV32 1920x1080 11.999fps

majortype: MEDIATYPE_Video {73646976-0000-0010-8000-00AA00389B71}
subtype: Unknown GUID Name {32335652-0000-0010-8000-00AA00389B71}
formattype: FORMAT_VideoInfo {05589F80-C356-11CE-BF01-00AA0055595A}
bFixedSizeSamples: 1
bTemporalCompression: 0
lSampleSize: 1572864
cbFormat: 88
  • The existing answer by @peanut_butter seems to be correct: To reduce the size use a highly compressing codec such as H264. One can only change the format between recordings, so you have to set it before starting to record; or stop recording in order to change the format for the next video. Please explain the reason for your bounty. – harrymc Jul 3 '13 at 20:19
  • 4
    So, how to select format before recording? This is what I am seeking. Just like video tape recorder: press button and record what I am seeing. – Suzan Cioc Jul 3 '13 at 21:33

You cannot change the format of the record button. The record button saves the file as VLC receives it, so AVI is saved as AVI and MPEG is saved as MPEG etc. http://forum.videolan.org/viewtopic.php?f=14&t=66641#p221956

Here's all about the record button http://wiki.robotz.com/index.php/Recording_Video_With_VLC.


I am not sure what options you are using to record, or from what source, but it appears in your case that VLC is recording raw uncompressed video.

To record in different formats i.e. to encode the video and/or audio while recording, you can do the following (for VLC on Windows, but the solution should be cross platform)

  1. Go to Media -> Convert/Save or Ctrl+R. enter image description here
  2. Select the source you want to use: File, Disc, Network Stream, Input Device etc.
  3. Click on the Convert/Save button. enter image description here
  4. Select a Destination file, and a Profile (the codec). The default profile should be fine. enter image description here
  5. Click Start to start recording.

The resulting file should be suitably compressed (i.e. not gigantic) and open in any compatible player.

  • 1
    But is it possible to change format that appears after just pressing record button? – Suzan Cioc Jul 3 '13 at 15:30
  • I.e. suppose VLC show something in some format. Does record button allow to capture exactly what is shown? – Suzan Cioc Jul 3 '13 at 15:31
  • 1
    I do not know where the Record button is, but the steps above will capture whatever source you select, which you can also display while converting. – peanut_butter Jul 3 '13 at 15:48
  • 1
    I am not aware of a way change settings when using the record button. – peanut_butter Jul 3 '13 at 18:41
  • 3
    To show the record button: View -> Advanced Controls – Brian Jul 3 '13 at 19:52

The procedure described by @peanut_butter is basically correct.

For recording the screen, see this article for detailed instructions: Use VLC Media Player As Screen Capture & Recording Software.

You need to first choose the menu option ViewAdvanced Controls.

To record the screen:

  • Choose menu MediaOpen capture device
  • Set Capture mode to Desktop
  • On the Play button, click the down arrow and choose Convert
  • Browse for a destination file (a new file, not existing)
  • Press Start and recording will start
  • To pause, press Pause in the Advanced Controls
  • To continue recording, press Play in the Advanced Controls
  • To stop recording, press Stop in the Advanced Controls and save the destination file.

Repeat this procedure for a new recording (with a new destination file).


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