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Rely on VLC as your primary media player? It’s a more powerful media player than you might realize.

For many users, VLC is one of the first applications in line to be installed on any new machine The Best Windows Software The Best Windows Software Windows is swimming in a sea of free applications. Which ones can you trust and which ones are the best? If you're unsure or need to solve a specific task, consult this list. Read More . It’s a great choice for a free, no-nonsense media player — but it also has plenty of tricks 6 Cool VLC Tips & Tricks You Might Not Know About 6 Cool VLC Tips & Tricks You Might Not Know About VideoLan's VLC media player is a real box of tricks and is just as effective on a Windows operating system as it is on Mac or Linux. Those of you who are already using VLC... Read More up its sleeve, if you’re prepared to dig below the surface.

Here are some more things you can do with VLC 7 Top Secret Features Of The Free VLC Media Player 7 Top Secret Features Of The Free VLC Media Player That VLC pretty much plays everything that you throw at it is old news. It is also a media genie when it comes to other things apart from playing movies. We looked at some of... Read More , including some functionality that you might never have thought possible from a humble piece of media player software.

Control Playback Speed

Ever been listening to an audio file or watching a video clip and found yourself struggling to keep up? If you have any experience transcribing audio, or you’re a student who records your lectures Back To School? iOS Tips & Apps To Ease You Into Student Life Back To School? iOS Tips & Apps To Ease You Into Student Life Going back to school after an endless summer holiday is harder than the Einstein solid, but your iPhone can help make term time easier. Read More , you may very well have had this problem — and it’s something easily fixed by VLC.

Click on Playback in the VLC toolbar and then select Speed. You’ll be given options to increase or decrease the speed of playback by a little or a lot, or to return to the default speed for whatever content you were playing.

playbackspeed

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Alternatively, you can simply use the square bracket keys [ and to amend playback speed on the fly. This can make it a little easier to take in every single word of an important audio file, or let you watch movies and listen to podcasts in record time Let's Talk Productivity: 7 Podcasts You Should Listen To For Working Awesomely Let's Talk Productivity: 7 Podcasts You Should Listen To For Working Awesomely Let us talk about productivity -- or let these seven life hackers talk about the little things we can do to work awesomely. Plug in...sit back...and listen. Read More — if you’re willing to put up with higher pitched voices, that is.

Record Online Radio Streams

VLC is well-known as a method of listening to Internet radio, but it’s also very capable of recording radio streams for you to listen to at a later time. It’s a great way of stocking up on content for a long trip, or just keeping up with a show that airs at an inconvenient time for you.

To get started, select Media from the toolbar, then click on Open Media. Enter the address of the content that you want to stream, then click on the small arrow next to the Play button to open a dropdown menu — select Stream from those options. Click Next on the screen that follows, then Add on the next screen to ensure that you save your desired content as an audio file and enter an appropriate file name for your audio clip.

radio_recording

On the next screen, uncheck the box that reads Activate Transcoding and click Next. Don’t change anything on the Miscellaneous Options screen, and click on Stream to start your recording. Then, just click the stop button once you’ve recorded everything that you need. Note: it’s illegal to record some radio streams, so it’s worth checking out what the regulations are regarding your desired broadcast.

Add Logo Watermarks

If you’re publishing your own video content to the Internet, you may well want to watermark it to prevent unauthorized use without your consent Is Your YouTube Cover Song Legal? Is Your YouTube Cover Song Legal? A popular method for those desiring a quick-and-easy rise to stardom is by posting cover songs of popular music on YouTube. But consider this: what are the legal ramifications of covering a song? Read More . There are plenty of ways to do this, but one of the most straightforward solutions is to do it directly from VLC itself.

First, you’ll need to have your logo ready to go — and it needs to be sized appropriately. Then, just open the video you want to watermark in VLC, click on Tools in the toolbar and navigate to Effects and Filters.

watermark

Head to the Video Effects tab, then the Overlay tab. You’ll be able to select your desired watermark 3 Ways to Watermark Your Videos 3 Ways to Watermark Your Videos Are you afraid that someone might rip your video and claim it as their own, potentially stealing away viewers and revenue? Read More in the Logo field, adjust where it will appear on the screen pixel by pixel and make other adjustments like how transparent you want your watermark to be.

Watch Video Using Your Oculus Rift

Early adopters are always hungry for more Oculus Rift content to experience Oculus Rift VR Simulations You Have To See To Believe Oculus Rift VR Simulations You Have To See To Believe You've seen the Oculus Rift, but you haven't seen some of the insane uses it's been put to. Check out these awesome Oculus Rift demos from around the world. Read More using the game-changing device. While games and video created specifically to take advantage of the technology will always make for the best experience, there are workarounds that can allow VLC to display standard video files in a way that uses the Oculus Rift headset.

The most popular method is called Side by Side 3D or SBS 3D — a process where two videos play simultaneously side by side to give the illusion of depth. It won’t match up to the best that the Rift has to offer, but with some tweaking it can yield decent results.

oculus-rift-in-the-classroom

Oculus offer some of their own documentation on how to get the best results out of SBS 3D, but the specifics might vary depending on what equipment you have available to you. VLC is an ideal media player for this sort of usage because of how easy it makes playing the files, as well as its strength in displaying HD video.

Organize Your Podcasts

Podcasts can offer up some excellent entertainment for free, no matter what your tastes are — but making sure you’re up to date with your favourite series can sometimes be a little overwhelming. It’s a good idea to use a program that automatically downloads new episodes to make sure you don’t fall behind, and VLC can hold its own against the very best tools available What Is the Best Podcast Manager For Windows? What Is the Best Podcast Manager For Windows? A desktop application is still the best option to play podcasts on your Windows PC. Whether or not you have an Apple device, you'll find a great solution in this roundup. Read More .

podcasts

It’s as easy as having the feed URL of the podcast that you want to listen to. Once you’ve got it, click on View in the toolbar and then select Playlist. There should be a Podcasts playlist already included under the Internet subdivision on the left hand side of your screen.

Hover over that playlist and you’ll see a plus icon appear; click on that, and you’ll be presented with a field that you can enter the feed URL in. From there, you’re set — VLC will keep an eye out for new episodes Bored Of Podcasts? Listen To Old Time Radio Instead! Bored Of Podcasts? Listen To Old Time Radio Instead! There's a ridiculous amount of free media content available from the Internet Archive, and the most interesting downloads are often the oldest ones. With masterpieces like Alfred Hitchcock films, gunslinging John Wayne westerns and reels... Read More , and have them ready for you when you want to listen. We all know how great VLC is at delivering media content, so it’s something of a no-brainer to let it organize your podcasts for easy access.

Record What’s Happening On Your Screen

Professional-quality screen capture software can be very expensive, but sometimes it’s much better to show someone what you’re doing Screenbird: Easy-To-Use Online Screen Recording Tool Screenbird: Easy-To-Use Online Screen Recording Tool Read More rather than tell them about it. VLC offers screen capture functionality, and it can offer up some pleasing results — if your computer can handle the task.

To begin, navigate to Open Capture Device under the Media section of the toolbar. Select Desktop as the Capture Mode, and then select what frame rate you want to record at. A higher frame rate will make for smoother footage, but file sizes will be larger and it’ll be more taxing on your computer. Once things are set up, click the downward facing arrow on the Play button and select Stream from the dropdown menu.

screencapture

Don’t make any changes to the Source settings and move on to Destination Setup. Here, leave the dropdown menu set to File and click Add, adjusting the file name however you see fit. If you want to make changes to the Transcoding settings, you can do so at the next screen — but the defaults will suit most purposes. Then, simply click Stream and you’ll begin recording; hit the stop button to end your capture.

Do you have your own great tips and tricks for use with VLC? Let us know about them in the comments section below.

  1. useof
    March 5, 2015 at 1:14 am

    This is a good article but the features I would like most are the ability to save custom equalizer & compressor defaults -- yes its already a feature but seems to be broken. But VLC is still the best media player because it supports so many different media types which the proprietary media players purposely ignore. There are many file & live stream formats that bloated apps like iTunes or WMP simply refuse to process. They wont allow you to save or stream or play whatever you want, but VLC works for YOU. This is the 'swiss army knife' of media players--the user interface is not really polished, but the app is loaded with features that you will never find in a closed-source, proprietary media player... and dont forget the add-ons.

    • Tina
      March 8, 2015 at 8:51 pm

      Which add-ons are your favorite?

  2. David Brke
    February 12, 2015 at 9:54 pm

    This worked great for me on ZorinOS/Ubuntu. Can you record sound along with the video?

  3. Fondleburg
    February 12, 2015 at 7:43 am

    I had to replace VLC because I can't get it to play video on my second monitor while playing video games on my primary monitor. All other media players have zero issues doing this.

    • Tina
      March 8, 2015 at 8:49 pm

      That's a weird issue, wonder what's causing it. What operating system are you using?

  4. Dima
    February 11, 2015 at 11:57 pm

    I used Spreed to read this so maybe I missed this one. You can customize your toolbar in VLS to include a record button and/or snapshot button. Then you can specify the folder in which to save. This makes it convenient to take a picture or capture part of a video/audio and save it. I hope people try it out because it is a nice feature.

    If you are in need of slowing down or speeding up audio/video VLC has your back but the more you stray from 1x speed the more distortion your get. I believe they offer pitch correction but thus far I haven't found anything better than Transcribe or TheAmazingSlowDowner.

    • Brad Jones
      February 12, 2015 at 3:54 pm

      That's a great tip, Dima. I imagine it makes it much easier to get a specific snapshot. Thanks very much for sharing.

  5. Mike the Mechanic
    February 11, 2015 at 9:41 pm

    VLC is my first choice for media player :)
    Nice article - there are also quirpte nice color and rotation features, but actually didn't realise there is "capture" feature :)

    • Brad Jones
      February 12, 2015 at 3:53 pm

      VLC is still my first choice too. I've dabbled with others, but I keep coming back because it's easy to use, but has a very wide range of features. As you mention, the color settings can be very useful if you want to go really in-depth.

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