VLC Media player is probably the best and most versatile media player available for PC’s, due to its capability to play a huge amount of codec support. While a normal user might use VLC just as a simple video player, while power users know that it is capable to do things you couldn’t have thought off. You can say that VLC is the Swiss Army Knife of media players with tons of features hidden under the hood and unknown to the normal user’s.
Video recording, playing Internet radio and youtube videos, simple video editing, are just a handful of features. To go through the all hidden features VLC would’ve got its own entire [Wiki ##fa-wikipedia-w##] section (which it does). So instead of pointing you to the the incredibly complex wiki, we have gathered the best 20 Awesome VLC tips and tricks you may have not know.
1. Record A Currently Playing Video/Audio
If you want to record a small part of a video, VLC has an option to do so. The recordings will be saved in the respective folders in your windows library folders. Videos will be saved inside videos library and audio will be saved in Music folder.
To enable this option, in the menu bar, click View > Advanced Controls. Some extra buttons will appear on the bottom of the player. To capture the media while playing a media file, click on the Record button to start recording and press again to stop. On the Mac version of VLC, go to the menu bar and click Playback > Record or use the keyboard shortcut [CMD + ALT + R]
2. Record Desktop
VLC is also able to act as a screen recorder, to record a video of your desktop, .
To enable desktop recording, go to Media > Convert / Save. Then go to Capture Device tab and from Capture mode drop down menu, select Desktop. You can also select frame rate of videos you want to record, under Desired frame rate for the capture and click Convert / Save. At last select your codec and the destination where you want to save your video and click Start. To stop recording, simply click the Stop button.
3. Record Webcam
VLC can also capture a video feed from your webcam. To get this option Go to Media > Open Capture Device and in Capture mode drop menu select DirectShow. From here you can select the video or audio source device from where it will capture your feed. After setting things up Click Play and VLC will start to capture stream from your webcam. If you want to record this stream you can use VLC’s ability to record currently playing video(See tip no. 1).
4. Play/Download Online Videos
You can use VLC to play and download online streaming videos.
To start an online streaming video, go to Media > Open Network Stream. Press the Network tab, enter the URL of the video and click Play. If you want to save this video then instead of choosing Play option choose Convert.
5. Play Internet Radio
VLC not only can play online streaming videos but it also play Internet Radio channels on its Playlist sidebar for you to browse and search for online radio stations. If you don’t like the provided radio stations, you can manually enter the URL of your favourite radio channel using Media > Open Network Stream.
6. Video Wallpaper
Windows VISTA had an quite unique feature called Dreamscreen which used to let you save video, gif or other type of animations as your desktop background, but later in windows 7 the option was removed. Many users still like that feature so if you want to give it a try, VLC gives you the ability to experience the Dreamscreen feature.
To enable Dreamscreen Go to Tools > Preference. Click on Video and under the Output drop down, select DirectX (DirectDraw) video output. Save and restart VLC. The next time you play a video, an option will appear on the right-click menu under Video to play as a Set as Wallpaper. Choose it and the video will then start playing as your desktop background.
7. Play Video As ASCII Characters
Everyone likes to have fun VLC devs are no different, For a bit of fun vlc team allows you to display a video in ACSII characters. Oldies like us like to call it the matrix effect(for obvious reasons).
To enable this fun feature, go to Tools > Preference and click on Video. Under the Output drop down, choose color ASCII art video output. Your video will now be displayed entirely in ACSII. Now try watching ‘The Matrix’ like this(watching Matrix in the Matrix is quite an experience).
8. Play Media Contained In Archive Files
If you have a huge library of small 5mis videos and you are having a hard time handling them, You can archive them inside an ZIP or RAR, And then you can directly play them inside VLC without extracting the archive. Simply open them with VLC and the player will play all of the files contained inside your zip archive.
9. Fast Or Slow Down The Playback Speed
This feature is incredibly useful when you are watching a media file primarily for the content, such as podcast, audiobooks, recorded lectures, etc. To start, press ] to fast forward by 0.1x for each press. To slow it down, press [ instead. On the Mac, there is a slider to control playback speed, located in Playback.
10. Add Subtitles to videos
If a video you have, don’t have embedded subtitles inside the file itself you can add your own subtitles by finding an subtitle.SRT file for the video and add it in.
To add custom subtitle in the video, play your video and in the menu bar go to Subtitle on the and click Add Subtitle File. If you want VLC to automatically add/choose the subtitle file every time you play the video, place both the SRT file and the video inside same folder and make sure the subtitle.SRT have the same file name as the video file. (i.e. if the video file name is camera002.mp4 then the subtitle files name must be camera002.srt)
View second page of the post for next hacks & tricks of VLC player
11. Take A Snapshot
Ever want to take a snapshot of a video? VLC can do it in jiffy. Simply use the keyboard shortcut [Shift + S] on Windows and Linux or [CMD + ALT + S] on OS X. The picture will be saved in respective pictures folder of your operating system.
12. Scrobble To Last.fm
If you are a Last.fm lover, you can scrobble the music you play through VLC.
To enable it, got to Tools > Preference. On the Show settings radio box, click All. Click Interface > Control interfaces and tick the check box for Submission of played songs to Last.fm. Then, under Interface > Control interfaces > Audioscrobbler, enter in your Last.fm credentials and done now every time you will play last.fm on vlc the music will automatically be scrobbled.
13. Convert Media Files
Did you know that you have wasted so many hours searching for the best media converter to convert your media file so you can play them on your handheld device, while VLC was all along under your side. You you heard it right VLC can convert your media files into a wide variety of formats. The app lets you choose exactly how you would like to convert them or you can also use the presets.
To start converting your media files, go to Media > Convert / Save, add a file and click Convert / Save. From here you can select the desired format to convert your files into.
14. Rip A DVD
As i said above, you have wasted your time searching best tool to do the job, While VLC can rip your CD/DVD’s in no time.
To rip a DVD through VLC, Go to Media > Convert / Save and click on the Disc tab. Under Disc Selection, click on the radio button of the media disc you are using and check No disc menu. Make sure the selected Disc device is correct and click Convert / Save. Choose the codec you wish to save in and save it with the extension that is compatible with your codec.
15. Remote Control VLC From A Browser
VLC gives you ability to control VCL playback right from the web browser, while browsing the internet. You can use your web browser as a remote control for VLC. so wont have to switch back and fourth while browsing the internet and listening your favourite music. This is incredibly useful when running VLC on a media centre PC, as you can control it using a laptop or your mobile phone.
To enable this feature, go to Tools > Preference, and under Show settings click the radio box All . Next, go to Interface > Main Interface and tick the Web check box. Then, under Interface > Main > Lua, set the Lua HTTP Password. Remote control through the browser should now be enabled.
On your browser with VLC installed, go to localhost:8080. It will ask for the password and after entering the password, it should display a remote control interface for VLC.
You can also use this and control VLC from another device, To do this you will need to find the IP address of your web browser. Add the address on your device’s browser with :8080, for example 126.96.36.199:8080.
16. Video And Audio Effects
VLC gives you a bunch of tools that allows you to manipulate the video and audio of currently playing media file.
To see the tools, go to Tools > Adjustments and Effects. You can see tabs that contain the A/V manipulation tools. For video files, you can adjust color’s, crop, rotate video, add filters, etc. And with audio, you get the equalizer to tune your music playback sound effects.
17. Subscribe To Podcast
VLC can be saviour if you are looking for a podcast subscription app, VLC gives you the ability to subscribe to your favourite video or audio podcast.
To subscribe to a podcast, got to the Playlist sidebar, under Internet, there is an option for Podcast . Hover your mouse cursor over it and a + will appear. Click on it and add the RSS URL for your podcast. On the Mac version of VLC, go to the Podcast option and press Subscribe to add the RSS URL.
18. Add Watermarks On Video
If you are making a video for your youtube channel or sending someone a important project video file, and you want to make sure you get the credits for the video or dont want it to get stolen, generally you would find a dedicated video editing software for the purpose. While you can add your own watermarks on a video through VLC. Do remember though that you will need to use VLC’s recording feature (Mentioned in the Tip 1 of this article) to save the video with your custom watermark.
To watermark videos with VLC, go to Tools > Effects and Filters. Click on the Video Effects tab and under the Overlay tab, you will get options to either add in your logo or a simple text to the video. Enter any of the both you want and play the video then record the playing video and save it.
19. Bookmark A Video
If you are watching a video and there is an important tip or information in it, you want to remember for later use, you can bookmark a part of a video so that you can return to it later.
To bookmark a video, go to Playback > Custom Bookmarks > Manage. Then the Edit Bookmarks window will pop up. Press the Create button when at a section of a video you would like to bookmark.
20. VLC Inception Trick
If you’ve already watched the movie Inception you know what headaches this move gives you. Wondering what’s inception here? Well, VLC Media Player can take screenshot of your current screen and the take screen shot of that screenshot and screenshot of the screenshot of a screenshot, few!! already feeling dizzy. VLC will keep on taking screenshots of the screenshots until you stops it.
So if you are ready to get some headaches, Open VLC Media Player, and press [Ctrl+N], Type [screen://] in the opened window and click Play.
21. Mouse Gesture Support
If you use an smartphone and it have a touchscreen then you will know that almost all of the video players comes with the touch gesture support where you can control the playback, sound and other things with the touch of your fingers, If you want same functionality in VLC media player you can do quiet same with your mouse
To enable mouse gesture, navigate to View > Add Interface and click Mouse Gesture option. You can see full list of supported mouse gestures [Here##external-link##]
22. Extensions And Plugins
If you use third party web browser(which i am 100% sure you do, who uses bloody buggy Internet explorer) you might’ve already heard about extensions and plugins, Which helps you to extend the functionality’s of the web application. Just like that you can extend the functionality and appearance of your VLC player with custom plugins. There are a vast number of extensions and skins available on the VideoLAN website. Take a look and see what appeals to you.
While extensions enable you to automatically get subtitles, as well as lyrics to songs, among other things. Skins, on the other hand, allow you to customize the look of VLC and there are hundreds of skins available for you to choose from.
Did you knew all these tricks before?, Do you have any VLC media player trick that isn’t listed here and you want to share with us, Tell us in comment section below and we will add it in the list with your name.