Convert YouTube Videos to MP4 With VLC Media Player

How to Convert YouTube FLV Files to MP4 Using VLC

VLC media player
Wikimedia Commons

If you have an FLV file that you've downloaded from a video streaming website like YouTube, you might run into the problem of it not playing on some of your portable devices. This is because some devices don't natively support the FLV format.

One option you have is to download a third-party app for your tablet or phone that does play FLV files, but that's a tedious process trying to load the FLV file on your device. Plus, unlike desktop computers which can use desktop FLV players, some mobile devices don't allow you to have third-party FLV players.

The best solution is to convert the FLV to MP4, which is a much more widely used video format that's known for its good quality/compression ratio.

Just looking to get the audio out of a YouTube video, likely in MP3 format? See our YouTube to MP3: The Best Ways to Convert tutorial for help doing this with VLC Media Player and other tools as well.

How to Convert FLV to MP4

If VLC media player is already your main tool for playing back media then it makes sense to use this rather than downloading unnecessary software to do the same thing.

Before getting started, download VLC Media Player if you don't already have it. Then, follow the tutorial below to see how to use VLC to convert FLV files to MP4.

Select an FLV File to Convert:

  1. Click the Media menu tab at the top of VLC Media Player, and then choose Open File...

    A quick way to do this is with the keyboard shortcut. Just hold down the [CTRL] + [SHIFT] keys and then press O.

  2. Add the video file into VLC with the Add... button.

    To do this, browse to where the video file is stored, click it, and then open it with the Open button. The file path and name will show up in the "File Selection" area of the program.

  3. Find the Play button near the bottom right of this Open Media screen, and choose the small arrow next to it. Select the Convert option.

To do this with the keyboard, hold down the [Alt] key and press the letter O.

Transcode the FLV to MP4:

Now that you've selected your FLV file, it's now time to convert it to MP4.

  1. Before converting to MP4, you'll need to give the destination file a name.

    To do this, click the Browse button. Navigate to where the MP4 file should be saved, and then type a name for it in the "File name" text box. Also, make sure that the file ends with the .MP4 extension.

  2. Click the Save button to continue.

  3. Back on the Convert screen, in the Settings section, click the drop-down menu in the "Profile" section and choose the Video - H.264 + MP3 (MP4) profile from the list.

  4. To start the process of transcoding to MP4, click the Start button and wait for the new file to be created.