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I would like to play youtube videos on VLC. I am newbie (one of mac os re, but can fallow instructions :) when i enter address on network stream nothing happens it is on the playlist but nothing happens it is not playing. I have a firewall if it helps :)

Problem solved thanks to your help!!

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up vote 21 down vote accepted

I assume you entered the URL correctly (no https but http, and only the v=... part, like

Open the Extras menu and click on Messages. Now click play again and see what message's there.

My guess is it's

lua error: Couldn't extract youtube video URL, please check for updates to this script

VLC parses YouTube's HTML source code to look for the video, but sometimes, YouTube changes its way it outputs the HTML, so VLC is unable to find the video URL.

Possible workarounds

  • Go to and enable html5 there to play the video in your browser without flash
  • Install minitube and try to play the video there
  • Wait for an update of VLC (or update the lua script yourself - not so easy, see Updating the VLC YouTube parser)
  • Install the package youtube-dl and download the video to your harddisk. It's a command line utility though

Updating the VLC YouTube parser

Update just the Lua script for YouTube parsing to the latest version from VLC:

Open the Terminal application and enter these commands:

Make sure curl is installed, we need this to download the new file

sudo apt-get install curl

Get rid of the old, non-working scripts

sudo rm /usr/lib/vlc/lua/playlist/youtube.*

Download the current ones (use the whole command line, yes, it's quite long):

sudo curl ";a=blob_plain;f=share/lua/playlist/youtube.lua;hb=HEAD" -o /usr/lib/vlc/lua/playlist/youtube.lua

See if it works.

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Here's the bug report: – Chan-Ho Suh Oct 8 '12 at 12:01
According to the bug reporter, here's a github for the patched lua script: – Chan-Ho Suh Oct 8 '12 at 12:02
I've updated my post, see "Updating the VLC YouTube parser". I was able to play videos with VLC after this. – phoibos Oct 10 '12 at 17:25
Thank you thank you thank you :) – user94159 Oct 10 '12 at 19:48
For a second I thought I was boned, but that last suggestion actually worked! So +1 for you, and I'm totally bookmarking this for the next time this happens. – Braden Best Jun 9 '14 at 4:22

protected by RobotHumans Oct 5 '15 at 21:12

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