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Frequently Asked Questions

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Graphical Interface

Many people who want to use vlc on the Mac under OS X will be intending to use the standard graphical interface that is provided by vlc. The standard interface consists of the eight menus in the menu bar and the 'VLC - Controller' window that opens up by default. This section outlines what vlc can do for you (at V0.8.6a current active is V3.0.12) and will be completed as I check the use of menu options.

The eight menu bar options are listed below along with the main interesting capabilities under each menu item:

  • VLC which allows you to check for an updated application, to access the preferences and to add an interface.
  • File which allows you to open a media file or an associated file such as subtitles. It also has a wizard to allow the streaming of video or the capturing of a streamed video to a file.
  • Edit which does nothing vlc specific.
  • Playback allows you do do all the things you might expect from a videoplayer, some of these features are duplicated graphically in the 'Controller' window.
  • Audio allows you to control the audio level as well as the output device and the audio track to use from the input.
  • Video allows you to control the video display on your screen as well as which device to display on and which video source to show in that display.
  • Window allows you to display seven helper windows that will display information about vlcs activity and control more detail of that activity.
  • Help gives access to the help that came with the installation, the help info on the VideoLAN site and access to interaction mechanisms with the vlc developers.

In general, for many users, they find that they can get what they want from vlc 'straight out of the box' and have very little need of the menu options until they have been using vlc for a while and now what to try something 'more fancy'.

Keyboard Shortcuts

You can find most of the keyboard shortcuts by taking a look at the menus. Additional hotkeys are defined in the section "Hotkeys" of your VLC preferences.

Some handy key combo's are:

  • You can use the spacebar to start/pause the video.
  • When playing video, holding down the Apple key and pressing the F key enters and exits fullscreen. When in fullscreen you can also use the escape key to exit the fullscreen state.
  • When playing video, holding the Apple and Shift keys and pressing the left/right arrow keys, jumps the video backward/forward about a minute.
  • When playing video, holding the Apple and Ctrl keys and pressing the left/right arrow keys, jumps the video backward/forward about ten seconds.
  • When you are watching a DVD and the video window is the front-most window you can use the arrow keys and the enter key to navigate the DVD menus.

Latest developments

Streaming Wizard

A streaming wizard is available since the VLC media player 0.8.4 release. This is available under the "File" menu.

Command line

You can run VLC on Mac OS X using a terminal application (for example in /Applications/Utilities) with the following command: ./ [your options, "--intf=rc" for example].

This option can also be activated from the "VLC" menu.

No Dock

Note that you can replace the "VLC" at the end of the path with "clivlc" to suppress the launch of any Mac-like interface. VLC won't even appear in the Dock then.

When transcoding, clivlc should be used if running VLC from the command line crashes with a Bus error.

Need Help?

View the FAQ on MacOSX only issues or the Common Problems pages.