6 hidden features of VLC media player you probably don’t know

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VLC media player is a plethora of features. Apart from playing wide range of video and audio files, it offers many amazing things. Using the player, you can record a running video and audio file, take snapshots, add logo and subtitles to a video, and do hell lot of things. We’ve discussed all these in detail in our previous blogs, here are the links for those

  1. Add subtitles to video using VLC
  2. Take snapshots of video using VLC
  3. Rip audio from video using VLC
  4. Cut video using VLC media player
  5. Add logo to video using VLC

Today we’ll digg-out some unknown things, some hidden features that you probably haven’t used yet.

1. Watch videos directly from YouTube and MetaCafe

YouTube is a tank of awesome videos. But do you know that VLC can play videos (and audios) directly from internet. Yes, you can run any video/audio file from sites like YouTube, MetaCafe, Vimeo, Last.fm and others directly in VLC.

To do this, goto Media>Open Network Stream in VLC. [CTRL+N]

Copy the url of the video and paste in the input provided. Click ‘Play’ to start playing the video.

watch video from youtube in vlc

VLC first buffers the video/audio and then start playing it, so there can be some delay in playing video.

Liked this? If not, check the next one.

2. Add a complete folder in VLC playlist

Some of you would know this, but not all. Adding each and every song in playlist can sometimes be gruesome. This task can be made easier by including a complete folder to the playlist.

To do this, goto Media>Open Folder. [CTRL+F]

Select the folder and hit ‘Open’. That’s all! All files will now be include in the playlist. Enjoy the songs!

3. Run and record webcam video in VLC

Looking for software to record and take snapshots of webcam videos? Wait a minute. VLC can do this for you. It can play, record videos directly from webcam. Also color, contrast, brightness etc can be controlled pretty easily.

To see webcam video in VLC, goto Media>Open Capture Device. [CTRL+C]

Select your webcam in ‘Video Device Name’. Click ‘Play’ to see webcam video in VLC frame.

play webcam video in vlc

Still not on your toes? You’ll now be after seeing the next hidden feature of VLC.

4. Automatically close VLC and then shutdown computer

You can easily close VLC by clicking the close [X] button. But learning a unconventional, tricky way isn’t a bad idea, or Is it? In case you still don’t think that learning this idea is worthy, then how about closing VLC and then shutting down computer automatically.

Here is how you can do this,

1. Closing VLC automatically after finishing a playlist is simple. All you need to add vlc://quit in the block that appears after opening Media>Open Location From Clipboard.

Next click ‘Enqueue’. This will close VLC soon after last song in the playlist finishes.

quit vlc and shutdown computer automatically

2. Next part is to add shutdown action after closing VLC. To do this, make a notepad file and name it as ‘sdown.bat’. Paste the following LOC to it and save.

START /WAIT C:\"Program Files"\VideoLAN\VLC\vlc.exe %1 vlc://quit
shutdown -s -t 30

Now drag the playlist you’re intended to play onto the ‘sdown.bat’ file. This will first play the songs in playlist, then close VLC as soon as playlist finished and finally shutdown computer after 30 seconds. Everything is done automatically. You just sit back and do other important things.

5. Fun in ASCII mode

This is practically of no use, but there is no harm in knowing some interesting thing.

Goto Tools>Preferences>Video. Select Output as ‘Color ASCII ART video output’ and hit save.

Close VLC and play any video. You should see graphics with ASCII codes.

fun with vlc, play ascii code in video

As said before, this is of no use but something different to show to your friends.

6. Bookmark video and audio files

If you think that the word ‘bookmark’ is coined only for browser then you’re very wrong. VLC also allows you to bookmark favorite songs.

To do this, press CTRL+B and hit create when the box appears. This will bookmark the currently playing song.

bookmark songs in vlc

One thing to note here is that before exiting VLC the playlist must be saved to keep bookmarks. If its not saved, the bookmarks would be lost. To save playlist, press CTRL+Y.

That’s all for this blog. You can always know more things when you start tinkering around with something. If you’ve found something that very few know, tell us in comments and we’ll add to the list.

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