Best VLC Media Player Features You Don’t Know

I bet that when most of you look at the image above, you immediately think of VLC Media Player. The media player which was once the prince of the lake is now the king of the ocean. The point is that today, VLC is almost everyone’s first choice. And why not that be? Its one of the few player, which can literally play almost any media file you throw at it. But did you know VLC is more than just a media player? Don’t you believe me? So head on and check not 1 but 5 VLC Media Player features you don’t know.

Fun Fact: VLC’s full form is VideoLAN Client, VideoLAN being the creator organization.

5. Find and Download Subtitles Directly with VLC

Did this ever happen to you that you started watching a movie or a TV episode, but figured out that you need its subtitles? You would have to open a browser, search on google for subtitles, open the link to different sites for a correct one, download the file, and then load that subtitle file to watch the movie. Kinda boring right? Well, VLC understands your boredom and already has a tool to automatically download all subtitles you need. And it literally takes just 4 steps. Find out how:

  1. As usual, open the video file you need the subtitles for with VLC.
  2. In the menu bar on the top, go to View -> Download Subtitles.
  3. After clicking, a new box should open up. You should see few options – Subtitle Language, Title, Episode. Generally, VLC should automatically fill up everything and all you have to do is to click “Search by Name”.
  4. Once clicked, VLC automatically searches for the related subtitles. Click the one that suits you and hit that “Download Selection” button at the bottom. And then the old saint said, “Time is Money, Ommmmm...”😊.

4. Play Media from Compressed Files with VLC

Do you ever download a movie or a tv-show content from the internet? Well sometimes, websites provide them in a .zip or .rar format. Now instead of uncompressing them first and then playing them, VLC provides a better alternative. You can play those directly with VLC without any uncompression at all. All you have to do is just open them with VLC. VLC will automatically scan for media contents inside the compressed file and add them all in the playlist.

3. Convert Videos with VLC

When I first heard about this feature, I was like “Nah… That’s not possible, video conversion is a big thing and VLC never talks about this anywhere”. But to my surprise VLC actually has this feature. Now I won’t say it is the best video converter in the world, but it should do a fair job for any general user. Let’s see how we do that!

  1. Start by launching VLC media player. Then in the top menu, select “Media” -> “Convert/Save”. You should see a new box pop up.
  2. Under the “File Selection” section, click on the “Add” button to select the media file to convert.
  3. Then click the “Convert/Save” button at the bottom. Another box should pop up.
  4. In this new box, under the settings section, there should see many options. Your main concern though should be the profile drop-down menu. Select the profile you sit fit. Alternatively, there is an option to create a profile of your personal preference(fps, bitrate, file format, etc) or edit the pre-set profiles.
  5. Under “Destination” section at the bottom hit “Browse” to set the destination folder. Finish by clicking “Start” button.

2. VLC as a Screen Recorder

As awkward as it might sound for a media player to record a computer screen, VLC is fairly good at it. However, you don’t get any fancy features here. You CAN’T record audio. VLC just records the whole screen. The only option is that you can set the frame rate you would like it to record. But anyway, let’s get started on how to do it.

  1. Open VLC and in the top menu, go to “View”-> “Advanced Controls”. After you click it, the interface should change a little with more advanced controls.
  2. Now in the top bar, go to “Media”->”Open Capture Device…”. Once you click it, a new box should open up.
  3. Here, in the capture mode drop-down, select “Desktop”. Some options below may change immediately once you select it. In the “Options” section, set the frame rate as desired.
  4. Now click on the “Play” button, VLC should start streaming your current screen. To start recording, just hit red dot button from the advanced controls and minimize to the desktop screen.
  5. All recorded videos are stored in Windows default “Videos” folder.

This feature is great but VLC doesn’t record audio with the video. So you will have to record audio seperately. There is an option however to play an audio synchronously with the video. To do this tick the “Show more options” in the 3rd step, tick “Play another media synchronously(extra audio file, …)” and select “Browse” to set the audio file.

1. Watch & Download Youtube Videos with VLC

Yeah! You saw it right! VLC has this feature as well. And you won’t believe me how simple was that. Let’s cut all the BS and move straight on how do we do that.

  1. First, you need to get the link to the youtube video you want to watch or download. For this, use any of your favourite browsers and copy the link of the video.
  2. Now open VLC, go to “Media”->”Open Location from Clipboard”. A new box should pop up, just hit “Play”. The video will start playing, as simple as that. But what about download?
  3. To download, do you remember the record button in the “Advanced Controls”(from VLC as a screen recorder)? Of course, you do. Just hit that button at the beginning of the video and it will start recording. Likewise, the downloaded video will be saved in Windows default “Videos” folder.

This feature also has its limitations.

  • Videos can only be played and downloaded in 720p and no other quality.
  • VLC’s record feature is still not upto the mark you would expect it to be. Like if the video pauses for buffering, the recording goes on. Better to have a good internet connection for this.

I definitely don’t think that this is the end of all the crazy features that VLC can offer you. Don’t worry this list will be updated as we gather more of such crazy stuff. Well, why don’t you help me do that? Spam the comment section with your thoughts or any crazy VLC feature you know. Slap that share button to share it with your friends. Till then…


About Abhishek

This guy is completely stupid, literally. This guy fantasizes every single piece of tech he sees, from giant super smart cars to a tiny piece of software. He likes (I mean loves) it all.

View all posts by Abhishek →

5 Comments on “Best VLC Media Player Features You Don’t Know”

  1. shud hav xplained d diff btween search by hash or by name while looking out for srt files…
    n nice touch wid d last word boss….srsly it took abt 10 secnds pata karne ki bhai das vidaiyan likha hai….

    1. Well, I just wanted to convey what actually works most of the times. Sometimes, VLC takes a little time to generate the “Hash” for a video and the results are not always successful. So, better search by name instead. And yeah Dasvidaniya hi likha h :D.

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