How to Get the Most Out of VLC Media Player

Maximum PC Staff

A few awesome VLC tricks you may not know about

For most video-watching aficionados, VLC is an essential piece of software. The open-source app is well known for being a fantastic movie and music player, but there are a few clever tricks that can help you get a lot more out of the media player. We gathered seven fun and useful VLC features, that will help you get the most out of the media player.

Taking a screenshot:

You can take a screenshot with VLC by right clicking on the movie you are watching, then go to the Video Tab, at the bottom of the menu will be a Take Snapshot button, which you can click to take a shot of your current screen.

By default, the screen cap will be saved to your My Documents' Pictures library.

Re-skin VLC to make it look more modern:

VLC is a great media player, arguably the best, but why not spice up its looks a little with some skins? Here's how you can re-skin VLC.

Step 1: Click on the Tools tab, then click on Preferences .

Step 2: Once you click on the Preferences tab, this window will show up. Click on the "use custom skin" button then the VLC skins website hyperlink to go to the download page for getting custom VLC skins.

Step 3: This is what the website should look like. We decided to download all the skins at once by clicking on the Download all the skins here hyperlink (It is a 37MB file).

Step 4: After you download the skins and unzip them, choose which skin you want by clicking on the Choose… button. After you do this, click save and restart VLC.

Step 5: You will need to restart VLC to load your new skin. Once you’ve re-launched it, the software should look like the skin you chose to change it too.

Set your movie as your wallpaper:

This feature might not be particularly useful, but there aren't many media players which let you use a running movie as your desktop background.

To set your movie as your wallpaper, right click on the movie and then go to the Video tab and click on Set as Wallpaper .

The end result will look something like this:

Rip a movie:

Want to rip a movie so that you can play your DVD media on other devices? Here's how you can do it:

Step 1: First click on Media, then click on Convert/Save…

Step 2: This window will show up next. Click on the Disc tab, then click on Convert/Save .

Step 3: This window will appear next, and you can start ripping the movie by clicking on the Start button. The Profile menu will let you select the video output file location you would like the video to be ripped to. If you wish to change where the file is saved to, click on the Browse bar.

Play a movie in ASCII mode:

Have a desire to play your video file in those funny retro ASCII characters for whatever reason? Well, there just happens to be an ASCII mode! Here’s how you enable it:

Step 1: First click on the Tools tab and then click on Preferences .

Step 2: In the Preferences menu click on Video , then click on the Output Selection drop-down menu and select Color ASCII art video output. Once you’ve selected this, click the Start button to save the selection.

Step 3: Re-launch VLC for the changes to take effect and play a movie. The movie will look like the two images below.

ASCII: Image

Download Podcasts using VLC's Playlist Manager:

Did you know that you can use VLC's playlist manager as an RSS Feeder to download your favorite podcasts? Here's how you can do it!

Step 1: Click on the View tab and then click on Playlist .

Step 2: Scroll down the playlist menu and click on the + button to add a podcast to VLC media player.

Step 3: Copy in the URL to the podcast’s RSS Feeder, then click OK . For reference, Maximum PC’s RSS Feeder URL is *wink*.

Step 4: The podcast will then show up in VLC like this, and you can begin downloading your favorite podcast episodes.

Convert Music and Video files to different file types:

Step 1: Click on the Media tab and click on Convert / Save…

Step 2: Click on the Add… button and select which media file you would like to convert. At the bottom of the page select Convert from the drop-down located at the bottom of the window.

Step 3: This window will now show up. Under the profile section you can choose what file type you’d like to convert your audio or video file to. Once you have your desired format, click on the Start button and the conversion process will begin.

Well, that about wraps up our VLC guide. Know of any other useful features in VLC? Let us know in the comments below!

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