VLC Media Player: Tips to Get the Most Out of the VideoLAN Client

VLC Media Player tips

VLC Media Player can be regularly found in editorial lists designed to provide program recommendations and basic software for your PC. And many users often install VLC after reinstalling Windows. The reason is the broad compatibility of LAN client video formats. The creators of the tool implement all the important codecs – unlike Microsoft, which does not provide them for the operating system’s own Windows Media Player. As a result, VLC Media Player plays files in all major audio and video formats. A double click is enough, alternatively you can upload files to the VLC interface using drag and drop, or touch the DVD video with a command on the menu bar.

The popular VLC Media Player does much more than just play videos: with these tips, you can turn the program into a multimedia center, save clips and convert them.

The program has a thin user interface and is economical in terms of resource consumption. The playback tool should be able to handle even corrupted files. MP3, MP4, AVI, MKV – no problem, in addition to videos stored in containers, you can even play images in a rudimentary slideshow mode. In addition, VLC fixes the playback of faulty files in which the sound precedes the image or vice versa. Below you will find the most important tips on how to take full advantage of a functional jack-of-all-trades with many possibilities hidden behind a simple facade.

VLC Media Player: tips to use media player on maximum

VLC: Play file

To play an audio or video file in VLC Media Player, drag an item from the desktop or Windows Explorer to the program window. Or open the VLC interface and select “Media > Open File”; You can also access an open dialog box with Ctrl-O. When VLC Media Player is associated with a file format, the easiest way to play it is to double-click on it. You can also drag the file to the VLC shortcut on your desktop. If you want to fast forward, use the mouse to move the controller to the bottom of the window.
Click on the symbol with two lines at the bottom left to pause, click on this symbol again (then it will change to a right arrow) and continue playback. The pause and resume actions are especially fast with the spacebar. Double-click to switch to full screen mode and see only video content, but not the Windows taskbar.

VLC: DVD video playback

Starting with Windows 8, Microsoft dropped the MPEG-2 codec, so Windows Media Player no longer plays DVD videos; they are encoded in MPEG-2 format. In the absence of this codec (decoder), you are dependent on third-party video players such as VLC. To enjoy your movie, go to Media > Open Media or press Ctrl-D. In the window that opens, the letter of your optical CD/DVD drive should appear in the Drive section.
If so, then the name of the movie that is on the disc is indicated there. For example, specification: “G:\ – “. Click the “Play” button below. If you’re having playback problems because the drive letter is incorrect, correct it before clicking the Play button.
By the way, the VLC app for Windows 10/11 is not suitable for DVD playback. The program has a big name, but technically lags behind its more mainstream older brother. Fans of VideoLAN Client will certainly want to try the touch app as well. But in most cases, it is better to ignore them and choose the appropriate VLC media player. At the very least, it is possible to install a desktop program and an application in parallel.

Volume and playback speed

Press (during pause or during playback) the plus or minus button to adjust the playback speed. Extreme playback tempo is useless and does not run smoothly. To save time, experiment with 200 percent tempo. Adjust the volume using the colored slider in the lower right corner.
You can set it up in a particularly subtle way by rotating the mouse wheel (you don’t have to hover over the control panel beforehand). The maximum volume is 125 percent. Older versions of VLC appear even more: VLC 2.0.8 allows a maximum of 200 percent, versions from 2.1.0 limit it to 125 percent. However, this at least prevents overloading due to too high levels.

Accompany the music with visualizations

Unlike videos, music files such as MP3 and WAV do not contain images. Visualizations offer something for the eyes. Windows Media Player has them, and VLC comes with them – right-click to activate in the VLC window. In the context menu, hover over Audio > Visualizations. From the drop down menu, select Spectrometer, Bandwidth, Spectrum, Level Meter, Goom, projectM, and 3D Spectrum.

Start with default volume

Content plays at 100 percent volume. Optionally, VLC starts at the previously configured lower or higher level. Activate this via “Tools > Options”. In the configuration dialog, go to the “Audio” area at the top. Check the “Always reset the initial audio level to” checkbox and move the slider from 0 to 125 percent. Confirm by clicking on the “Save” button in the lower right corner.

Fine tune the sound with the equalizer

Through “Tools > Effects and Filters” (or using Ctrl-E) you get into the dialogue with the equalizer. You can use it to adjust the audio output by moving the various sliders. To make them available and not grayed out, first check the box next to “Activate”. Once this is done, the “Preset” drop-down menu in the top right corner will no longer be greyed out. Expand it, choose between different presets and effects for specific slider positions.
Presets optimize your sound system for music genres or speakers. Options: Linear, Classic, Club, Dance, Full Bass, Full Bass and Treble, Full Treble, Headphones, Great Hall, Live, Party, Pop, Reggae, Rock, Ska, Soft “. “, “Soft Rock” and “Techno” are ready.

Adjust Hue and Contrast in Video

Will a different color tone and different brightness value look good in a video file played in VLC? Want to adjust contrast, saturation, and gamma? With these options, start by clicking “Tools > Effects & Filters” (also accessible with Ctrl-E) in the menu bar. In the window that opens, go to the “Video Effects” tab and check the “Image Adjustment” box.
Now move one or more sliders. There is also a Sharpness option in the right pane, there is a checkmark there, move the Sigma slider under it and you will get more visible outlines when the slider is in the right position.

Eliminate video distortion

You can fix the distorted video image by right-clicking in playback mode. Go to “Video” in the context menu and hover over “Aspect Ratio” or “Cropping”. Navigate to the entry in the corresponding cascading options list menu, for example “16:9” for the aspect ratio.

Correct image and sound offset

Does the image precede the sound, or does the speaker in the video sound before the corresponding visual sequence occurs? Fix both: In VLC Media Player, call “Tools > Sync Tracks”. Change the Sync Audio Track value. If you are satisfied, leave the window with “Close”.

Flip Image Content Upside Down

You shouldn’t be at fault when people pose upside down in videos: you may have filmed them incorrectly or downloaded relevant material from the Internet.
To fix it, select Tools > Effects & Filters and go to the Video Effects > Geometry tab. If you check the box in front of “Rotate”, it will work to move the point in the circle below it. This is accompanied by rotation of the image of the footage. Confirm by clicking Close.

Best Alternatives to VLC Media Player

  • Itunes
  • MediaMonkey
  • Media Player Classic
  • SMPlayer
  • RealPlayer


There are hardly any programs that can keep up with VLC in terms of . However, there are alternatives that do the job well (partially with a different functional focus): iTunes, for example, manages music and copies it in just a few clicks. The range of supported formats is weaker, but dealing with MP3, for example, is not a problem. Syncing data such as PC music to iPhone, iPod touch and iPad can be the main motivation for many users to install iTunes.


MediaMonkey also knows how to synchronize. The program transfers MP3s, for example, to a mobile device if you drag them to the input of an iPod touch connected via USB. Music playback and control are other applications. Especially in regards to control functions, VLC is stagnant; iTunes and MediaMonkey are better here.

Media Player Classic

Media Player Classic: thin and simple. Do you need a clear API with less resource consumption? Try classic media player.

SMPlayer with tablet mode

VLC takes the top spot because of the many possible formats, and SMPlayer also comes with numerous audio/video codecs. A nice addition is the tablet mode, thanks to which you increase the size of the button with one click. They are then easier to press with the mouse and (on touch screens) with your fingertips.

RealPlayer with internet access

Manage and play your music and video files with RealPlayer. More forms converter, YouTube uploader and slideshow maker.

VLC Media Player tips
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