VLC has several interfaces:
General Interface Description
VLC has several main interfaces:
- A cross-platform interface for Windows and GNU/Linux, which is called Qt,
- A native Mac OS X interface,
- An interface which supports skins for both Windows and GNU/Linux.
Below are screenshots of VLC on various interfaces. Despite these different interfaces, VLC's functions essentially work the same on all operating systems.
Windows and GNU/Linux (Qt)
The interface shown below is the default interface in VLC 2.0, the Qt-based interface. More features can be displayed, by selecting them in the View menu.
See also VLC Interface 2.0 on Windows 7
Mac OS X
The following interface was the default for VLC on Mac OS X until VLC 1.1:
Starting from 2.0.0, the interface has been redesigned - see OSX 2.0 interface.
Starting VLC Media Player
To start VLC Media Player:
- Select Programs from the Start menu.
- Select VideoLAN and select the VLC media player.
- Type in your console vlc
When you start VLC media player, the application appears on the screen and a small icon appears in the taskbar. Click on the icon in the taskbar to show or hide the icon in the taskbar. Hiding the icon does not amount to quitting the application. It does run in the background even when you hide the interface.
Stopping VLC Media Player
When VLC media player is running, its icon appears in the taskbar. Click on the icon in the taskbar to show or hide the icon in the taskbar. Hiding the icon does not amount to quitting the application. It does run in the background even when you hide the icon. Basic operations such as opening, playing or stopping a media file, or changing a track can be done from the menu obtained by right clicking the taskbar icon. The main interface contains a couple of sections:
- Menu bar - The buttons below the track slider contain all the basic playback features.
- Track slider - The track slider is below the menu bar. It shows the progress of playing the media file. You can drag the track slider left to rewind or right to forward the track being played. When a video file is played, the video appears between the menu bar and track slider.
Note: When a media file is streamed, the track slider does not move because VLC cannot know the total duration.
- Control Buttons - The buttons below the slider help in controlling the media currently playing.
At the bottom of the interface we can find information regarding name of the media file being played, the relative speed at which it is being played, and the elapsed and total duration of the file are displayed. There is an option to increase or decrease the speed of the track.
Streaming Media Files
Streaming is a method of delivering audio or video content across the network without downloading a file before it is played. You can view or listen to the content as it arrives. The advantage is that you need not download large files to watch a movie or listen to music. VideoLAN is designed to stream MPEG videos on high bandwidth networks.
VLC can be used as a server to stream MPEG-1, MPEG-2 and MPEG-4 files, DVDs and live videos on the network in unicast or multicast.
Unicast refers to a process where media files are sent to a single system through the network. Multicast refers to a process where media files are sent to multiple systems through the network.
VLC is also used as a client to receive, decode and display MPEG streams. MPEG-1, MPEG-2 and MPEG-4 streams received from the network or video from a camcorder can be sent to one machine or a group of machines.
To stream a file:
- Select Open Network Stream from the Media menu. Then the Open Media dialog box is displayed. The Network tab is selected by default.
- Type the network URL in the user input box
- Click on the Play button to begin playback of the stream.
Note: When the streaming is being done, the slider moves to show the progress.
For more information, refer to the VLC usage page
Converting and Saving a Media File Format
VLC media player is the best option for multimedia conversion. It can convert different media formats to the format of your preference. To convert a media file
- Select Open File from the Media menu. The Open dialog box is displayed.
- Select a media file and click on the Open button and then the media file will be played.
- Select Convert/Save from the 'Media' menu and the Convert box is displayed.
- Choose the Destination File and the Profile and click Start.