Why Download from Twitch?
Downloading from Twitch offers a lot of benefits. Firstly, by downloading and saving VODs to your computer, you can watch past streams anytime you want. It gives you the freedom to choose when you want to watch a stream. Secondly, downloading VODs lets you edit high quality videos and highlight your favorite moments of the stream. It also makes it easier to upload to other video hosting sites such as YouTube.
How to Download from Twitch?
Thankfully there are many different ways to download from Twitch. There are websites and programs that make it easy to download the latest VODs from Twitch straight to your computer. Below I will highlight four of the best ways to download VODs from Twitch.
TwitchDown offers a convenient way to download high quality broadcasts directly from your favorite streamers. As you may know, Twitch VODs are separated into 30 minute sections, so downloading long clips may result in many different parts. But with TwitchDown, all clips are automatically joined together before download.
The only drawback? Because TwitchDown uses its own servers to download and stitch clips together, it has a 3 hour limit on VODs. Videos longer than 3 hours are not supported on TwitchDown.
TwitchTools provides an easy way to quickly retrieve direct links to Twitch VODs. Simply place the links onto TwitchTools’ website and press Download. It works like TwitchDown except it doesn’t automatically join files together. Despite not being able to join files together, TwitchTools was by far my favorite method for downloading VODs. You can efficiently download VODs of any length or size.
The problem is TwitchTools no longer supports the new HLS VOD system put in place by Twitch. All new VODs cannot be downloaded with TwitchTools, only old VODs can be downloaded.
If you want to download a VOD longer than 3 hours and also uses Twitch’s HLS VOD system, then none of the above options will work. What do you do? Well you can use a download manager and download VODs directly from Twitch. With JDownloader, you find a link to a VOD and paste the link directly into JDownloader. JDownloader will crawl for links and prepare them for downloading.
Even better, JDownloader can download multiple VODs or unlimited number of VODs at the same time. Just copy all the video links you want to download and paste them into JDownloader. And because it is a download manager, it can do a lot more than just download videos from Twitch.
4. Downloading with Livestreamer
Livestreamer is a command-line utility program that transmits video streams to a video player, such as VLC. This option may be the most difficult one, but it is also the most flexible. With Livestreamer you can download VODs of any kind and length. Novice users are recommended to stick with the above options. However if you are comfortable with the command line and want to try a flexible option that can accomplish everything above and more, then try Livestreamer.
Livestreamer can download videos without having links to VODs. By default, Twitch does not have past broadcasts enabled, so it is up to individual streamers to have VODs enabled. TwitchDown, TwitchTools, and JDownloader will not work if you do not have a direct link to the VOD. However, you can still download and save VODs with livestreamer by downloading it live during broadcast.
Each option has its limitations, TwitchDown cannot download VODs longer than 3 hours, TwitchTools cannot download new HLS VODs, and JDownloader cannot download VODs live. Livestreamer does not have these limitations, but presents great difficulty to novice users.
So which option is the best for you?
If you are a casual viewer and want to download highlight clips or short VODs, then definitely use TwitchDown. It is by far the easiest option since it helps you combine clips into a single file. And has an easy to use web interface.
JDownloader is for power users who want to get multiple VODs downloaded all at once. If you want to download more than one VOD quickly and without hassle then use JDownloader. It’s simple to use, but requires installation.
Livestreamer is for the experts, the people who want all the functionality of a powerful program. Although it may be difficult to get started, it is definitely the best option for people who are Twitch enthusiast.