Recording DVD Segments on a Mac

In the “how long were you going to have that feature and not tell me” category comes the ability to record in the Mac version of VLC. What it allows you to do is record segments from a DVD. You see, in the Windows version of VLC (since version 1.0 came on the scene), you have been able to record a DVD that is playing. The Windows version has a record button in the program (you need to select View>Advanced Controls to make it available). Once you do that you can hit the button to start recording, then hit it again to stop.

For almost a year now, and even during my recent NMC presentation, I have been under the assumption that this was a Windows only feature. In exploring the new version 1.1 for the Mac, I discovered in the keyboard shortcuts area a “record” option. Invoking “Shift-Command-rOption-Command-r starts a recording, and pressing the same key combo again, stops the recording.

This, of course, dramatically helps the workflow of using clips from DVDs on the Mac. After saving the recording, I would use Handbrake to convert it into a web ready MP4 file, then upload it to a web server.

See my screencast on Recording Segments from a DVD. Insert the standard disclaimer here about copying DVDs and Fair Use.

10 thoughts on “Recording DVD Segments on a Mac

  1. the short cut CMD-Shift-R doesn’t work work it brings up the folder which the video is in

  2. @Jake – In VLC on the Mac, if you go to Preferences > Hotkeys, you will see Shift-Command-r listed as the shortcut for “Record”. If you are using an old version of VLC, it is possible it isn’t there, but it should be if you are using version 1.0 or later.

  3. Hi,
    How can you record videos in different format so that it is compatible with iMovie for editing purposes?

  4. @Bert, you’ll need to convert the recording to a different file format for iMovie. I would (and do) use HandBrake. You can see an example of the procedure to get a recording in a format for Windows Live Movie Maker here – – same procedure to convert a recording for iMovie.

  5. In VLC for Mac v.2.0.5, the command to record is: OPTION – COMMAND – R. It’s not hidden and is located third down from the Playback menu at the top.

  6. Emi, That is correct about the Option-Command-R feature under the Playback menu. At the time this article was written there was no menu command that indicated that this feature existed. It was only in the help file under keyboard shortcuts.

  7. “Shift-Command-R” worked for me, while “Option-Command-R” didn’t. (The info under the “Playback” menu choice list the “Shift” version, as well.) I’m just posting this in case it helps anybody.
    Thanks so much for the info!

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