Find out how to Allow VLC’s Finest Hidden Options

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Illustration: Lifehacker

VLC is well one in every of our favourite media gamers (and yours too). Whereas it might probably deal with practically each film you throw at it, it might probably additionally do a lot extra. You don’t should be an influence consumer to know all of its unbelievable, built-in options; you simply must know they exist. And we’re completely happy to point out you the whole lot wonderful VLC can do in your desktop PC.

1. Find out how to obtain YouTube movies with VLC

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There are many third-party apps, browser extensions, and web sites you should use to obtain YouTube movies. You additionally don’t want any of them, since you are able to do this instantly by VLC:

  1. Discover a video on YouTube—like this one—and duplicate the URL out of your browser’s the handle bar.
  2. In VLC, head to Media > Open Community Stream.
  3. Paste the YouTube hyperlink within the field and click on Play. You might need to attend a while for the video to begin. (If it’s not working, or not loading after a protracted whereas, you would possibly wish to do this repair to see if it helps.)
  1. Below Instruments, click on Codec Data.
  2. Within the field that claims Location, right-click the block of textual content and click on Choose All. Copy this textual content to your clipboard.
  3. Return to your browser and paste the hyperlink within the handle bar. This can open the supply file instantly on YouTube’s servers.
  4. Proper-click the video because it performs and choose Save Video As.

2. Find out how to report video clips with VLC (Home windows)

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Screenshot: David Murphy

  1. Load up a video—it may be something. Hit pause earlier than it begins.
  2. Proper-click on the video and click on View. Then, click on on Superior Controls.
  3. Begin enjoying your video, and press the purple Document button within the participant itself. When its background turns blue-ish, you’re recording.
  4. Press the purple Document button once more to cease recording
  5. Go discover the clip you created. In fashionable variations of Home windows, that’ll be in your “Movies” consumer folder.

3. Find out how to seize your desktop with VLC

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It is a nice trick if you happen to’re making an attempt to point out somebody directions for doing one thing on their Home windows or Mac techniques—particularly if you happen to don’t have the flexibility to share your display screen over an online assembly.

  1. Below Media, click on “Open Seize System.”
  2. Click on the “Seize Mode” dropdown and choose “Desktop.”
  3. Modify the body price. 15 f/s will most likely be adequate for desktop recording, although 30 f/s could also be required for extra fast-paced motion.
  4. Click on the dropdown arrow subsequent to “Play” and choose “Convert.”
  5. Within the “Profile” dropdown, select MP4—both h.264 or h.265.
  6. At this step, you’ll be able to click on the software icon to change the settings of this profile. Right here you’ll be able to modify issues like decision or bitrate. We’ll use the default settings for now, however you’ll be able to come again right here later if you must tweak the ultimate product.
  7. Within the Vacation spot field, select a location to put the completed file.
  8. Click on Begin.

VLC will now seize a feed of your desktop behind-the-scenes. Let it run when you report your workspace. While you’re completed, you’ll be able to click on the cease button within the participant controls to finish the recording.

4. Find out how to convert video recordsdata with VLC

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VLC additionally has a fairly first rate built-in video converter, if you happen to want a fast repair and don’t have time to fuss with one thing like HandBrake.

  1. Below Media, click on “Convert/Save.”
  2. Add the file you wish to convert within the File Choice part.
  3. Click on “Convert/Save.”
  4. Within the Settings part, decide the file sort you’re changing to beneath the “Profile” drop-down. (We suggest an .MP4, h.264 or h.265.)
  5. Give the file a reputation and site beneath Vacation spot.
  6. Click on Begin. If you would like, you’ll be able to watch the conversion’s progress (and get an estimated period) inside VLC itself.

5. Find out how to report your webcam with VLC

Flattering, I know.

Flattering, I do know.
Screenshot: David Murphy

Your webcam might need include software program to take footage and report movies, however VLC might be higher. Not solely are you able to select a number of several types of codecs for the recordings you make, you may also tweak quite a few fine-grain settings as wanted—probably greater than your webcam’s software program would natively enable.

  1. Below Media, click on Open Seize System.
  2. Within the “Seize mode” drop down, DirectShow needs to be chosen by default. If it isn’t, choose it.
  3. For “Video system title” select your webcam.
  4. For “Audio system title” select your microphone—which could even be your webcam, if you happen to aren’t utilizing a separate one.
  5. Click on “Superior choices.”
  6. If you wish to use the software program that got here along with your system to regulate enter settings, select “System properties.”
  7. In any other case, enter a worth for “Video enter body price.” 30 is an effective rule of thumb for clean video, although you should use much less if you happen to’re not involved about high quality.
  8. Click on Okay.

At this level, you’ve got two choices. You possibly can click on Play to play reside video by VLC and report segments as wanted by urgent the purple Document button (as talked about beforehand). You can too select “Convert/Save” from the dropdown menu and choose the place you prefer to the recorded file to go.

Each strategies have their benefits. The previous lets you preview your video and take clips briefly bursts. Nevertheless, this methodology requires headphones, as it might probably create a suggestions loop. It additionally additionally result in a extra sluggish recording on slower computer systems.

Utilizing the Convert/Save methodology avoids the suggestions downside, nevertheless it additionally doesn’t present you a lot info on what you’re taking a look at or if you’re completed recording. You possibly can cease the recording by urgent Cease within the participant, however there’s no indicator that you’re nonetheless recording on the time.

6. Find out how to subscribe to podcasts in VLC

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Screenshot: David Murphy

You may not consider VLC as a podcast supervisor, however if you happen to use it repeatedly, it’s really fairly useful. So as to add a podcast, you’ll want the RSS feed of the present. For instance, we’ll use an RSS feed for Lifehacker’s The Improve podcast:

Copy that to your clipboard, then pull up VLC and carry out these steps:

  1. In VLC’s sidebar, scroll down till you see Podcasts.
  2. Hover your mouse over Podcasts and click on the plus signal on the correct.
  3. Paste the RSS feed URL of the present you wish to add.
  4. Click on OK.

Now, your podcast of alternative will seem within the Podcasts sidebar part. Click on on the title of a present and also you’ll see a listing of obtainable episodes. Double-click on any one in every of them to begin streaming.

7. Find out how to solid to your Google Residence audio system or Nest Hub utilizing VLC

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Screenshot: David Murphy

I simply discovered this one out the opposite day, and it’s one in every of my favourite little methods to stream audio from my computer systems to the assorted Google Residence audio system round my home. (Despite the fact that I can yell on the audio system to load a Spotify playlist, not all of my music—and none of my movies—is streamable by way of the service.)

To solid music or video round your home by way of VLC, pull up no matter it’s you wish to stream. From there, click on on the Playback menu and choose the Render possibility, after which decide from any of the obtainable audio system. It’s as straightforward as that, however you may not have thought to search for it beneath that awkwardly named possibility.

8. Find out how to repair subtitles that seem on the improper time by way of VLC

When you’re watching a film with VLC and the subtitles are all off—both too early or too late primarily based on every time characters are saying their dialogue—you’ll be able to repair this instantly inside VLC.

  1. Press Shift+H when an actor begins talking a sentence you realize you’ll acknowledge
  2. Press Shift+J when the related subtitle pops up
  3. Press Shift+Okay to repair the delay.

(If a subtitle pops up earlier than the sentence, swap steps one and two.)

9. Find out how to set movies as your desktop wallpaper in VLC (Home windows)

My ultrawide setup is a little funky, so ignore how this looks—proof of concept, nothing more.

My ultrawide setup is a bit funky, so ignore how this seems—proof of idea, nothing extra.
Screenshot: David Murphy

If you wish to kick your Home windows 10 wallpaper as much as the subsequent degree, give this a attempt:

  1. Open VLC
  2. Click on on Instruments > Preferences
  3. Click on on the Video part on the high
  4. Below “Output,” choose “Direct3D9 video output”
  5. Shut and reopen VLC
  6. Load a video and begin enjoying. Proper-click on the video and choose Video, then “Set as wallpaper”
  7. For greatest outcomes, be certain that your video’s measurement (or facet ratio) matches your desktop’s.

10. Find out how to watch all of your movies in ASCII (Home windows)

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Impress your geeky pals at your subsequent social gathering by placing a video on within the background…in ASCII.

  1. Load a video in VLC
  2. Navigate to Instruments > Preferences > Video
  3. Within the “Output” dropdown menu, choose “Shade ASCII artwork video output”
  4. Delight in your nerdiness

For what it’s value, I couldn’t get this to work in any respect on my 64-bit model of VLC in Home windows 10. You might need higher luck with the 32-bit model, or on totally different video varieties, however I wouldn’t set up a unique model of VLC on a 64-bit system simply for this little trick.

11. Find out how to customise looped video on VLC (Home windows)

Time to go back to Advanced Controls!

Time to return to Superior Controls!
Screenshot: David Murphy

When you solely wish to loop components of a video and never the total factor, you’ll be able to customise begin and finish factors inside VLC:

  1. Open your video and navigate to wherever you need your loop to begin. (Faucet “e” to go ahead frame-by-frame.)
  2. Proper-click on the video and click on View. Then, click on on Superior Controls.
  3. Click on on the little A/B icon as soon as. That units your begin level.
  4. Navigate to wherever you need your loop to cease, after which click on on the A/B icon once more. You’ve now set your finish level, and the loop will begin enjoying and rewinding robotically.
  5. Click on on the A/B icon one final time to delete the loop.

This story was initially printed on 11/4/14 and was up to date on 8/5/19 to offer extra thorough and present info.

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