From VideoLAN Wiki
(Redirected from ActiveX Controls)
Jump to navigation Jump to search
This page contains example code.

The Windows build of VLC includes an (optionaly installed) ActiveX control. The ActiveX control enables VLC to be embedded in web browsers and third-party applications.


The API described in this page only reflects VLC ActiveX controls prior to This API will be removed soon.

It is not advised to use this JS API any longer.

Please use the VLC ActiveX v2 interface as described in the new documentation.

The new JS API interface is exactly the same for Internet Explorer, Mozilla/Firefox and Safari. Thus easing the maintenance and developing of webpages for the VLC browser plugins.


The ActiveX control includes the following properties:

name type get or set description
Length Integer get Returns length of the current clip.
playlistCount get Returns the count of items in the playlist
playlistIndex get Returns the index of the current item in the playlist.
AutoLoop Boolean get/set Determines if the player should automatically loop when it finishes the current playlist.
AutoPlay Boolean get/set Determines if the player should start playing a new file/playlist immediately upon being loaded.
Volume Integer get/set Current volume (scaled from 0 to 100)
MRL String get/set Presumably returns the MRL of the currently loaded file.
Time Integer get/set Time elapsed in seconds playing current MRL, 0 for live feed
showdisplay Boolean get/set show/hide control viewport
Playing Boolean get Returns whether some MRL is playing
Position 'real' get/set Playback position within current MRL, scaled from 0.0 to 1.0. Live feed returns 0.0
VersionInfo String get Returns version and build information.

Note: In Visual Basic, type "Long" should be used for properties listed with type "Integer".


The ActiveX control includes the following methods (functions):

name type description syntax (VB)
setVariable method Assigns a value to a variable that is defined in libvlc.c controlname.setVariable name as String, value
getVariable method Returns the contents of a variable that is defined in libvlc.c x = controlname.getVariable(name as String)
pause method Pauses the currently playing clip controlname.pause
play method Plays as in the normal player, if a clip is not loaded, does nothing.
playFaster method Makes the currently playing clip play faster. controlname.playFaster
playSlower method Makes the currently playing clip play slower. controlname.playSlower
stop method Makes the currently playing clip stop. controlname.stop
shuttle method Moves the playback position a specified number of seconds in either direction. controlname.shuttle(seconds as Long)
playlistClear method Clears the playlist controlname.playlistClear
playlistNext method Goes to next item in the playlist controlname.playlistNext
playlistPrev method Goes to previous item in the playlist controlname.playlistPrev
addTarget method Adds a uri to the current playlist or replaces the current playlist with the uri. controlname.addTarget(uri as String, options, mode as VLCPlaylistMode, Position as Long)
toggleMute method Toggles between the muted/unmuted state of the embedded player. controlname.toggleMute
fullscreen method Toggles between fullscreen and non-fullscreen modes. controlname.fullscreen


The addTarget method accepts most of the command line options; including, but not limited to, the following :

  • :audio-track=index
  • :vout-filter=output-filter (deinterlace for example)
  • :deinterlace-mode=mode (linear for example)




VideoLAN is not a good source for the installation of VLC through an ActiveX control. At some point, Microsoft Internet Explorer stopped allowing the installation of ActiveX controls unless:

  • they were signed to associate the software vendor's name with the file containing the ActiveX control, or
  • they resided in an "trusted site" (from the user's perspective, running Internet Explorer)

The second option is only feasible where both server and client infrastructure are managed under the same umbrella, i.e. where the server providing the ActiveX control can be declared "trusted". This is not feasible in the open web. In a web configuration, a Certificate Authority needs to digitally sign the ActiveX control. This comes at a cost which the VideoLAN project is not able to bear. The solution is to create one's own ActiveX control distribution, which in turn can be digitally signed by a Certificate Authority of your choice, if necessary.

Creating an VLC ActiveX Distribution

The following requisites are required:

  • CABSDK by Microsoft to create a Cabinet File (.cab-file) containing the relevant ActiveX control and VLC files. MSDN has a good description how to package an ActiveX Control, including a link to the CABSDK download page.
  • The .cab-file is a special form of a .zip file, consisting of:
    • axvlc.inf - The INF file, which would be called manifest in the modern age
    • axvlc.dll - ActiveX DLL which bootstraps the VLC setup file
    • vlc-0.8.6e-win32.exe - VLC setup file (refer to your version)

I am using the following code in the INF file:

; Version number and signature of INF file.





Again, refer to your version of VLC.

You can extract axvlc.dll from the binary distribution of VLC. This is a zip file on VideoLAN's download page, version 0.8.6.e here.

The regular VLC setup file is the "featured" download on VideoLAN's main page; a copy resides in the same directory as axvlc.dll, the VLC setup file of version 0.8.6.e here.

With CABSDK installed and the three components in place, you can create the .cab-file using the CABARC tool from Microsoft's CABSDK, using the following command from a command prompt:

> CABARC.EXE N axvlc.inf axvlc.dll vlc-0.8.6e-win32.exe

This assumes the PATH has been set to CABARC.EXE's directory. If you need to sign the .cab-file, you need to use the -s switch to allocate space for your digital certificate.

.cab-file Integration

The .cab file is integrated as described in the samples above, using the <OBJECT> element in the case of HTML, for example. When the ActiveX Control is called for the first time, i.e. prior to VLC installation through any means, the setup program should start up. Unfortunately, users have to click through a few dialogs, "allow blocked contents" or deal with other inconveniences, depending on your configuration and the user's security settings of Internet Explorer. The user must have proper rights to install VLC on the user's computer; identical to a regular installation of VLC as required by the VLC setup program.

See Also