Is it possible for now to watch live youtube video streams using vlc? I just don't want to use flash player. I know that vlc can play youtube videos using link for the page where that video is located, but how about live youtube videos?

  • I double this question. For me VLC successfully plays usual YouTube videos (non-live), but fails to play any live stream (e.g. from here). Maybe that happens because non-live videos are available in more formats on YT (I suppose, YT automatically recodes them at the end) while live streams are in MP4 only (at least youtube-dl --list-formats reports the difference between playable and non-playable URLs in that way).
    – Sasha
    Jun 15, 2018 at 7:21

3 Answers 3


Yes, it works the exact same way as non-live streams. Just Ctrl+N (or Media > Open Network Stream) and enter the youtube URL through the first parameter.

An example of the first thing I saw on youtube live (pretty darn terribad):

enter image description here


If you are just looking to avoid using flashplayer, you could opt into YouTube's HTML5 Player.

  • Ok, try this link youtube.com/watch?v=EH-n3Ayqctk if it works for you, because when I try vlc just crashes.
    – rulet
    Nov 22, 2013 at 15:42
  • Works just fine. Try repairing your install. What OS are you on? May be a bug in other OSs or languages, not sure though.
    – nerdwaller
    Nov 22, 2013 at 15:44
  • 1
    Seems like vlc crashes on all live youtube streams.
    – rulet
    Nov 22, 2013 at 16:12
  • 2
    Your issue doesn't stand out as obvious to me, but looking through VLC forums, seems to be an on and off issue as YouTube keeps updating their site and how it works with videos.
    – nerdwaller
    Nov 22, 2013 at 16:18
  • 1
    For me VLC successfully plays non-streaming YouTube videos (like this one), but fails to play streams (like this, this and everything from here). Yes, console shows some errors, but I have no ideas how to interpret them. Any ideas?
    – Sasha
    Jun 15, 2018 at 7:13

There is one more solution and that is to use streamlink together with VLC: https://github.com/streamlink/streamlink

This also allows you to select the streaming quality, which is not possible if you paste the link directly into VLC.

Example command for 720p quality:

streamlink https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xxx 720p

I would like to add to the answer already given by nerdwaller.

VLC requires a CA-Certificate file to be able to validate an *http***s** connection.

I was signed into youtoube, copied the address and tried

Media --> open Network Stream --> Play

main error: TLS client plugin not available
main error: open of `https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=.....' failed

Once signed in, you are surfing using the HTTPS protocol. (So copy-paste will get ya)

Take away the s and open through a not encrypted connection and it worked fine.

  • 3
    no, removing s from https doesn't help it.
    – peetonn
    Jan 27, 2015 at 20:14
  • @peetonn : This is what worked for me back then. On my vlc now 2.2.0-pre2 Weatherwax, when entering an https link, it automatically falls back to an http connection. Perhaps you could set your messages Verbosity to (2) debug to get some more info as to what is happening. Menu [Tools] --> [Messages]. Jan 28, 2015 at 10:25
  • 1
    I believe, YouTube has changed its API. if I remove "s" from https, it simply doesn't work saying that it needs TLS plugin
    – peetonn
    Jan 28, 2015 at 18:48
  • @peetonn : Well thanks for letting me know that this didn't work in your case, probably it is not the real solution and was a work around back then. You could try to install gnuTLS. Also you could try another solution proposed as to feed VLC with certificates. Jan 29, 2015 at 0:15
  • yep, checked these links already, thanks. the one with feeding certificates - I don't know how to do this in windows. also, tried GnuTLS - but they have builds for x86 architecture only. anyways, i've figured out that it's only VLC's x64 version problem. win32 (x86) actually works. in the end, I posted a question here
    – peetonn
    Jan 29, 2015 at 6:37

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