... download video from an Apple event

For my YouTube channel I wanted to be able to download Apple event videos so I could paste them into Final Cut Pro and then edit clips and react to the footage. I found this to be annoyingly frustrating to do. The days of a simple "right click... save video" in your browser are over.

Apple uses the HLS live streaming format m3u8, which is an UTF-8 compatible video format. When saved, you get a text file with m3u8 data but no video footage.

To download an m3u8 file view the source code of any web page that uses m3u8 file or inspect the video player element. You will find a URL to the .m3u8 file that is used. Save this file.


VLC Media player 01.png

Using VLC media player

  • open VLC media player
  • choose Convert / Stream from the File menu
  • drag & drop the .m3u8 file (or select it using the "Open media..." button)
  • use the Customize button to make a profile:
    - Encapsulation: MP4/MOV
    - Video codec: H.264
    - Audio codec: Keep original audio track
  • choose a destination file path
  • click Save

The video will now be downloaded and converted automatically. Please note that it may take a long time and VLC will show progress in the progress bar.