15+ Cool VLC Tips and Tricks | More than a Media Player

VLC is versatile and powerful media player for all platform. Probably, because of its advanced settings, options, lightweight and response time. Most the people use VLC for playing video and audio file only. Let me tell you, it is more than just a media player and you are using only a tiny fraction of that. It has tons of hidden features and qualities. And the best thing is, it is absolutely free. You can download the software as well as source code from the official website. We are going to list few useful features to enhance your experience with VLC. Stick with and read cool VLC tips and tricks below…

Note: All these tricks are performed on Windows. 

18. Snapshot of Video

snapshot vlc

To take a snapshot of the video, go to Video>Snapshot

OR, you can use keyboard shortcut [Shift]+[S].

For snapshot settings, go to Tools>Preferences>Video. Set the storage location, prefix and image format.

17. Adjust Audio/Video Effect

video and audio effect

To adjust the audio or video according to your convenience, go to Tools>Effect and Filter.

Alternatively, you can use the keyboard hotkeys [Ctrl]+[E].

From here, you can adjust the brightness, hue, contrast, saturation, gamma, motion blur, waves, color, geometry and more.

16. Record a Video

record a video

To record a currently playing video or audio, go to View>Advanced Control. It will show you the extra buttons. Just click on the Record button to start/stop recording.

Recorded files will be saved in Video (for video) and Music (for audio) folder under libraries.

15. Listen to Online Radio

internet radio

To listen internet radio, go to View>Playlist and select from Free music charts, Icecast radio directory, Jamendo selection and channels.com. (On left sidebar)

Shortcut Key: [Ctrl]+[L]

14. Rip a DVD

rip a dvd

Do you know you can extract and convert the files from DVD, Blu-ray, audio CD or VCD through VLC player? Go to Media>Open Disk. Select the Disk type and check no disc menu. Now select the appropriate partition and click on convert.

Shortcut Key: [Ctrl]+[D]

13. Remote Access from a Browser

remote connection vlc tips and tricks

This option is really helpful if you want to control your Desktop VLC player through other local devices like smartphones, tabs etc.

Steps to enable this feature

  • Go to Tools>Preferences ([Ctrl]+[P])
  • Select “all” radio button (under show setting)
  • Navigate to Interface>Main Interface
  • Tick the check box named “web”
  • Now, navigate to Interface>Main Interface>Lua
  • Set the password under Lua HTTP and save it.
  • Restart the VLC player and allow the firewall if it prompts
  • Open the browser and type: localhost:8080
  • Leave the username empty and enter the password
  • It will display the remote interface of VLC
  • To use this on another device enter the private IP address of the device followed by :8080
  • Enter the password.
  • All done. Your VLC remote connection is ready

12. Play/Download Online Video

play online videos

You can play/stream/enqueue online videos, all you need to do is enter the URL. Go to Media>Open Stream Network and put the URL. That’s it. If you want to save the file, select convert option instead of play.

Shortcut Key: [Ctrl]+[N]

11. Convert Media Files

convert files

No need of media converter anymore. VLC allows you to convert media files like video to audio. Go to Media>Convert/Safe and Select the file.

Shortcut Key: [Ctrl]+[R]

10. Capture Desktop

capture the desktop

To capture your desktop screen, go to Media>Open Capture Device. From there, set the capture mode to desktop and select desired frame rate.

Shortcut Key: [Ctrl]+[C]

9. Bookmark a Video

bookmark a video

VLC allows you to bookmark a specific part of a video, in case you want to watch it again. Go to Playback>Custom Bookmark>Manage and create your bookmark at a particular section of video, which you would like to watch again.

Shortcut Key: [Ctrl]+[B]

8. Video Wallpaper

set as wallpaper

Before trying this option save your current wallpaper because you might need to revert back the changes when you are finished.

Go to Tools>Preferences>Video and select the output as “DirectX (DirectDraw) video output“. Save the setting and restart the player.

Now, if you play any video, it will show you the “set as wallpaper” option on right click (Right click>Video>Set as Wallpaper).

7. Record Webcam

record webcam

You can play webcam recording on VLC. Go to Media>Open Capture Device. Now, select the capture mode to DirectShow and play.

Shortcut Key: [Ctrl]+[C]

6. Put a Watermark


To add your own watermark on video, go to Tools>Effects and Filters>Overlay. From here, you can select the image or write your own text. Also, you can adjust the transparency and position of watermark.

You need to record the video to save it with a watermark.

5. Subscribe to a Podcast

subscribe to podcast

VLC has also an option to subscribe to podcasts. Go to View>Playlist. Now click on the podcast (on the left sidebar) and enter the RSS of your podcast.

Shortcut Key: [Ctrl]+[L]

4. Play Video in Color ASCII Characters

ascii character

This is a fun feature, go to Tools>Preferences>Video and select the output as “Color ASCII art video output“. Now you can enjoy the movie in ASCII characters.

3. Play Compressed Without Extracting them

play archive file

If you have downloaded a compressed media in ZIP or RAR format, you can actually play it without compressing them. The simplest way is to drag drop or open the archive file in VLC.

More drag and drop features

  • You can drag and drop the subtitles in VLC while the video is playing.
  • You can do the same with Image files.

2. VLC Extension

extension and skins

Just like Chrome, VLC has various extensions and skins to enhance its functionality and look.

Recommended: YouTube Tricks you might not aware of

1. Few More Useful features/shortcuts

1.CCrop Screen
2.PPlay from the beginning
3.VOn or Off subtitles
4.BCycle Audio Track
5.MMute or Unmute audio
6.E Forward Frame by Frame
7.[J] / [K]Decrease Audio Delay / Increase Audio Delay
8.[G] / [H]Decrease Subtitle Delay / Increase Subtitle Delay
9.[Ctrl] + [T]Goto Time
10.([)+(]) / ([)+(])+(-) /([)+(])+(=)Play at Faster / Slower / Normal speed
11.[Ctrl]+[1] / [Ctrl]+[2] / [Ctrl]+[3] Play Recent Media
12.[Alt]+[Left Arrow] / [Alt]+[Right Arrow] Jump 10 seconds forward
13.[Ctrl]+[Left Arrow] / [Ctrl]+[Right Arrow] Jump 1 minute forward
14. [Shift]+[Left Arrow] / [Shift]+[Right Arrow] Short Jump of 3 seconds
15. [Ctrl]+[Alt]+[Left Arrow] / [Ctrl]+[Alt]+[Right Arrow] Long Jump

Moreover, you can alter the hotkeys. Go to Tools>Preferences>Hot keys and change them according to your convenience.

Written by
Varun Kumar

Varun Kumar is an experienced science and technology journalist interested in machines, AI, and space exploration. He received M.tech degree in computer science from Indraprastha University. To find out what his latest project is, feel free to directly email him at [email protected] 

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