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Hidden Features In VLC Media Player You Never Knew Existed

VLC, which is also known as the “Swiss Army Knife” of media players is one of the most popular media players around the globe. It is an open-source cross-platform multimedia player that supports most of the multimedia formats. It is also able to play various streaming protocols.

Besides playing digital videos and music, there is much more you can do with VLC Media player. It doesn’t matter if you’re using it on Windows, Mac or Linux.

Media Converter

VLC Media Player is capable of converting media files between different formats that it supports. You can use this feature to extract audio from video, resize a video for mobile device and convert media from and unsupported format to a one that your device supports.

To use this feature, click the “Media” menu and select Convert/Save. Load the file that you want to convert and select your desired format. To access the video encoding settings, you may use the “Edit Selected Profile” button.


Record Your Desktop

You can use VLC Media Player as a screen capture software. You can also broadcast a live stream of your desktop across the internet with an in-built stream feature. No additional software is required to use this feature.


Here is how it’s done. Click the “Media” menu and select “Convert/Save”. Click the Capture Device tab. Under the Capture Mode box, select “Desktop”.


Select your desired frame rate and click the “Convert/Save” button. A frame rate of 15.00 f/s is usually selected for a smooth video. You can also select your destination folder and adjust the resolution and video codec.


After you’re done with settings, click the Save button and select “Start”. You’ll get the streaming notification and recording will start. Press the stop button when you’re done.


You can also live-stream your desktop over the internet through the “stream” option.


Watch Youtube Videos


To watch Youtube videos on VLC Media Player, click the “Media” menu and select “Open Network Stream”. Paste the link of the Youtube video into the box. VLC media player will start playing the video on your desktop.


Play Internet Radio

You can use the VLC media player to listen to various radio stations present in its searchable directory. Just open the Playlist and look for the “Icecast Radio Directory” under the “Internet” button. Search for the kind of music you’d like to listen to and click play. You may also listen to the radio stations not listed in the directory by going to their official website and looking for a “listen” button. Once clicked, the radio will start playing on your desktop through VLC media player.


Applying Audio and Video Effects.

You can use the VLC media player to apply interesting audio and video effects to your media files. To do that, click the “Tools” menu and select “Effects and Filters”. From here, you may apply different video effects such as cropping, overlaying, rotating and colorizing a video. You can also use the equalizer for audio effects. By using the “Synchronization” feature you can fix the audio and videos streamline in case they are out of sync.


Video Playback in ASCII

While this may not be a very useful feature, it definitely is an amusing one. In ASCII playback mode, your videos will be displayed as ASCII characters. It’s an interesting hidden feature which you may use to impress your geeky friends.

To activate this feature, click “Tools” and select “Preferences”. Look for a video icon. Click the “Output” box and select ASCII art video output. Once you save your settings, restart the VLC media player and play any new video. Voila!


About Ehtesham Hussain

Tech enthusiast. Internet Sherlock Holmes. I report social media and communication technology.

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