How to record a streaming video on a Mac for free

Edited by Ben Jacklin

July 21, 2021

Sometimes, you want to capture a streaming video to reference later, but many streaming services don’t offer a recording option. Luckily, there are several options to capture a streaming video on a Mac.

Software

Pros

Cons

Download

Installable recorder (Movavi Screen Recorder)

    Free to use

    Can take screen­shots, record video and audio

    Cap­tures system audio on Mac

    Has to be down­loaded and installed

Hotkeys (macOS Mojave)

    No need to install a strea­ming video recorder for Mac

    Easy to use

    Suitable for basic use

QuickTime

    No need to down­load software for OS X

    Easy to record live strea­ming video on Mac

    Limited features

Online recorder (Apowersoft Online Recorder)

    Easy to use

    Flexible screen re­cording

    Wide range of features

    You have to download and install a recorder to use it

    Being an online tool, you need an Internet connection to access it

Browser extension (Loom)

    Relatively cheap

    Realtime editing

    Easy to use

    Supports collabo­ration

    Files are shared via links

    Training is only available via documents

Our special pick is Movavi Screen Recorder. This user-friendly software creates high-quality screen recordings and can also create screencasts. Movavi Screen Recorder offers advanced video editing features, the ability to schedule recordings ahead of time, and the option to show keystrokes and mouse movements in recordings. Movavi Screen Recorder can also record video from webcams and creates videos in all of the most popular file formats, including MP4, AVI, and MKV.

How to capture a streaming video on a Mac with Movavi Screen Recorder

Let’s start with installable software. It has more features than built-in tools and can be customized to meet your needs. The main disadvantage is that you have to install it, which may be impossible if you don’t have administrative rights for it, for example, on a Mac you use for work. However, if you find installable software more convenient, you can figure this out with your company’s IT team.

Movavi Screen Recorder is a powerful video ripper that will easily download any streaming video to Mac. Just download the program and follow the simple instructions below to learn how to record streaming video on Mac.

Step 1. Install Movavi’s video recorder

Download and open the distribution file and follow the installation instructions. The program is available for Mac OS Х 10.9 or higher.

Step 2. Set the capturing parameters

Go to the streaming site and cue up the video you want to download. Launch the software, press the Screen recording button, and draw the orange capture frame over the video area on the screen.

If you don’t want to sit in front of your Mac and watch the recording process, you can set the timer in the Settings menu. The program will end the recording after a designated amount of time has elapsed, so you can leave the computer and get on with your life while the recording is happening.

Step 3. Download the streaming video on your Mac

Click REC and get ready to play your video – you have three seconds. You can manage the video capturing process by clicking the Pause and Stop buttons or pressing ⌥ ⌘ 1 to pause/resume the recording and ⌥ ⌘ 2 to stop capturing. By default, the recording will be saved in MKV format and open in a preview window. If your media file contains ads or other parts you don't want to keep, or you want to save it in another format, go on to the next step.

Step 4. Edit and convert the video (optional)

If you want to remove the unwanted parts of the video, do the following: click the Cut button, place the markers on the timeline at the edges of the segment you want to get rid of, and click the Trash Can icon. Once you're ready to save the changes and convert the video, click Export.

In the new export window, choose the format for saving and click Save.

Now, let’s list the essential information on this software:

Pros:

  • It’s free to use, but you can upgrade for more features.
  • It has tools to record video, take screenshots, and record audio.
  • It captures system audio on Mac devices.

Cons:

  • You have to download and install the software.

For more reviews on the program, follow the link below:

Movavi Screen Recorder reviews on G2

Movavi Screen Recorder

The perfect way to record from your screen

Disclaimer: Please be aware that Movavi Screen Recorder does not allow capture of copy-protected video and audio streams. Learn more

How to record a live streaming video on a Mac using hotkeys

If you need to capture anything on your screen, whether it's an image or a live stream, you do not need additional software. With Mac, you can use inbuilt Screenshot to capture images. For video recordings, there are keyboard shortcuts you can use. However, this option is only available on macOS Mojave or later versions. Though the idea of using keyboard shortcuts seems a little intimidating, it's quite simple.

Here’s how to record a streaming video on your Mac with audio:

  1. Press Shift + Cmd + 5 – An onscreen menu will pop up, giving you access to different recording options. These include capturing a still image, a section of the screen, an entire screen, or a window.
  2. Press the fourth button from the right – Doing so sends the instructions to record the entire screen. You'll recognize this button by its window-like outline with a circle near the bottom right corner. If you are using multiple monitors, select the one to record. In the menu bar, you will notice an icon indicating the progress of the recording. To stop recording and automatically save the video, you can click on it. Alternatively, press Ctrl + Cmd + Esc.
  3. Press the third button – Instead of pressing the fourth button, use the third one if you want to record a portion of the screen. A box indicating what will be recorded will appear on the screen. Drag it to the desired section of the screen. You can also expand or shrink it by dragging the edges. On the options menu at the bottom, press the Record button to initiate recording.
  4. Move and share files – In the bottom-right corner of your screen, a thumbnail of the file will appear after you've finished recording. A file of the recording will also appear on your desktop if you do not click on the thumbnail. Move the file to the desired storage location from where you will access or share it.

With your recordings saved, you can edit them and merge them with other files to create videos as you please.

Pros:

  • No need to install a streaming video recorder for Mac
  • Easy to use

Cons:

  • Suitable for basic use

How to record a live stream on a Mac with QuickTime

If hotkeys are not your cup of soup or you do not have Mojave, you may wonder how to record streaming video on Mac for free. Well, it's still relatively easy, and you do not need to download any tools. QuickTime Player, which comes free with your Mac, will do.

Here's how to record a live stream on your Mac:

  1. Open QuickTime Player.
  2. Select New Screen Recording – on the QuickTime Player icon in your dock, right-click and select New Screen Recording.
  3. A screen recording box will appear on the screen.
  4. To access more features such as using an external microphone or built-in microphone for audio, click the white arrow pointing down.
  5. It is important to note that using external audio devices disables the audio in the video.
  6. Depending on the intended use of the video, select whether mouse clicks should appear.
  7. Click the Record button once you are ready.
  8. Drag the marquee to the area you wish to target if you're recording part of the screen
  9. Click on Record again to capture the screen.
  10. To finish recording, click on the QuickTime player icon and select Stop Recording.
  11. Save the recording to the desired folder.

Pros:

  • No need to download software for OS X
  • Easy to record live streaming video on Mac

Cons:

  • Limited features

How to use an online streaming video recorder on a Mac

Besides the built-in options enabling you to capture a streaming video on Mac, you can use online and downloadable tools. These can be especially suitable if you need professional-like quality or specific features. One such tool that's highly reliable is Apowersoft Online Recorder.

With this tool, having Java Applet is not necessary. However, you must first install a launcher to use it. From there, you can record all types of actions on your screens, such as video streams, chats, self-demonstrations, and others. There's also no limit as to how much you can record your screen.

Go to the Apowersoft Online Recorder website

To capture streaming video on Mac using Apowersoft Online Recorder, you should take the following steps:

  1. Download and install the launcher.
  2. Use your favorite browser to access Apowersoft Online Recorder.
  3. Click the Start Recording button to activate the screen recording feature.
  4. Select the region of the screen you want to capture and the recording mode, then start recording.
  5. Save the video to the desired folder or upload it to YouTube, RecCloud, etc.

Pros:

  • Easy to use
  • Flexible screen recording
  • Wide range of features

Cons:

  • You have to download and install a recorder to use it
  • Being an online tool, you need an internet connection to access it

If you prefer capturing live streams on Mac from the internet without the need to download an installer or software, Screencapture.com is the ideal solution. This is a purely online tool that you can use to copy anything displayed on your screen. Once you've accessed the website, everything is readily displayed, making It easy to begin recording.

Visit the Screencapture.com website

You can either choose the free version or the paid one. With the free version, your recordings will have a watermark. For the premium plan, you will only need to pay $4.95 monthly. Along with capturing your screen, it also enables you to grab webcam feed and sound. All you need to do is hit Start Recording and set the parameters. Other incredible features of Screencapture.com is the ability to draw on videos, show mouse clicks and keystrokes.

Nonetheless, Apowersoft Online Recorder is a reliable tool with many features you can learn more about from the review below.

Techradar's Apowersoft Online Recorder review

How to record a live video with a browser extension

When it comes to recording live streams on Mac, there are many options to choose from. However, most tools can be a little bit complicated. If you want something simple to use, a browser extension, Loom, in particular, maybe your best option. Another excellent feature with Loom is that you can instantly share your files using links. As such, you do not need to worry about sending or storing large files on your computer.

One of the best aspects of Loom is that it supports collaboration as multiple people can use the platform simultaneously. Although it has a trial version, you will have to pay a monthly fee of $5 for each user. Loom has a wide range of features and is highly functional. Out of ten, a fair rating for this tool is 9.

To learn more about Loom's features, follow the link below.

Loom for Chrome

Take the following steps to use Loom to capture streaming video on Mac:

  1. Install the Loom app on your desktop.
  2. Click on the Loom icon to run the recorder.
  3. Create a Loom account and sign in.
  4. Select your recording settings and choose what to capture.
  5. Select Screen to record the screen only.
  6. To record your screen and camera, select Screen + Cam.
  7. Select Cam Only only to record your camera.
  8. Select your audio and camera should you opt to include your camera and audio in the recording.
  9. Click Start Recording.

After you finish recording, the files will be easily shareable via links.

Pros:

  • Relatively cheap
  • Realtime editing
  • Easy to use
  • Supports collaboration
  • Files are shared via links

Cons:

  • Training is only available via documents

Conclusion: what to look for in a screen recorder

Hopefully, this guide has helped you decide what to look for in a screen recorder. To recap, here are a few essential things to consider when you are choosing a screen recording program.

  • User-friendliness: some programs can be very complicated to operate. Look for one that matches your experience level. Extra features can be useful, but they can also make a program more complex and create a steeper learning curve.
  • Supported formats: make certain the program you choose creates videos in the format you want to use.
  • Features: look for a screen recorder that offers all the features and functions you need, like video editing, cloud storage, or export options.
  • Price: find a screen recorder within your budget. If possible, choose one with a free trial, so you can make sure it works for your needs before you commit.
  • Support: check to see what kind of help is available if you run into issues with your chosen program.
  • Reviews: check out some user reviews and professional product reviews to see what other people who have used this program have to say about it.

Frequently asked questions

Can I record a live stream on my Mac?

Recording live streams on Mac is possible, and the process is fairly straightforward. There are five methods you can use to capture streaming video on Mac. With the first two, you do not need to install anything on your MacBook Pro. You can Screenshot, which comes with your operating system. With Screenshot, you'll need to become familiar with the hotkeys. Alternatively, you can use QuickTime, the preinstalled media player, to capture screen recordings.

The other methods involve using an installable recorder such as Movavi Screen Recorder, an online recorder, or a browser extension.

How do I record a streaming video on Mac for free?

One of the best tools for recording your screen is Movavi Screen Recorder. Being an installable software, you'll first need to download it for Mac OS X 10.9 or higher. Run the app and set the screen recording parameters. Set the timer for the recording if you will not be present to monitor it. Press REC to initiate recording.

With editing features, Movavi also allows you to make adjustments to your files as you please or convert them to other formats.

What is the best streaming video recorder?

When it comes to the best tool to record live streaming video on Mac, there are several excellent options to choose from. Ultimately, the best tool depends on factors such as the features you need, functionality, and preference. In this regard, Movavi Screen Capture is an ideal option as it offers a wide range of features and is highly efficient. This comparison table will help you determine which tool is best for you.

Jump to the comparison table