How to Play a YouTube Playlist in VLC

Vlc Playlists Featured

Did you know that you can play YouTube videos in a VLC player? If you didn’t, we covered this topic a while ago. In short, you can feed VLC a YouTube link, and it’ll play it for you.

But what if you want to play more than just one video? What if you want to play an entire playlist? It’s a little tricky to get VLC to play a playlist and requires a little bit of modding. However, once it’s all set up, you can make VLC play entire YouTube playlists by itself.

The Benefit of Using VLC to Play a YouTube Playlist

By playing a Youtube playlist in VLC, you don’t have to keep the YouTube page open in the browser. Let the videos run in VLCm and if you are not keen to watch the video, simply minimize VLC and listen to the music.

Secondly, there is no advertisement shown in the video when it is played in VLC. This is a great way to enjoy videos without being a YouTube Premium subscriber.

Downloading the Files Needed

First of all, it’s worth downloading VLC if you don’t already have it. If you do have it, make sure it’s all up to date. To do this, click on “Help,” then “Check For Updates.”

Vlc Playlists Update

Now that you have an up-to-date version of VLC, you can play individual YouTube videos. To play a whole playlist, we’re going to need to tweak VLC with an addon.

The addon we’ll be using is called Youtube playlist and allows us to load entire playlists at once. However, at the time of writing, this addon isn’t cooperating very well with VLC. Fortunately, someone coded a special version of Youtube playlist that works with the current version of VLC. If the first link doesn’t work, give the second one a try.

Using the YouTube Playlist Addon

1. Download the Youtube playlist addon file to your desktop. The file should have a .lua file extension.

2. Move the addon file to the VLC’s playlist folder. Here is its location for the various OSes:

  • Windows (all users): /ProgramFiles/VideoLAN/VLC/lua/playlist
  • Windows (current user): %APPDATA%vlc/lua/playlist
  • Linux (all users): /usr/lib/vlc/lua/playlist/
  • Linux (current user): ~/.local/share/vlc/lua/playlist/
  • macOS (all users): /Applications/

If the directory doesn’t exist, create it.

3. Once the file is in its place, open VLC, and go to “Tools -> Plugins and extensions.” You should see that the addon has been successfully installed. If not, then double-check the folder where it is placed.

Youtube Playlist Addon Installed

4. Press Ctrl + N. A window will appear asking you for a URL. Now you can feed it either the URL of a video in a playlist or a link to the playlist itself. A YouTube playlist URL should contain “&list=” in the URL, followed by random letters and numbers.

When you press Enter, VLC should automatically populate your playlist with YouTube videos!

Vlc Playlists List

Does This Download the Videos?

This doesn’t actually download the playlists that you feed into VLC. Instead, VLC streams it, much like when you click play on a YouTube video. As such, you’ll need to stay online to keep the playlist running. If you go offline, VLC will begin throwing errors that it can’t find the URL of each video.

Let the Music Play

While VLC can natively play individual YouTube videos, it needs a little help for entire playlists. Thankfully, there’s a very useful addon you can install that makes adding playlists a breeze.

Do you think this feature should be a staple in VLC? Let us know below.

Simon Batt
Simon Batt

Simon Batt is a Computer Science graduate with a passion for cybersecurity.

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