Things you didn’t know VLC media player can do

For most people, VLC is the favorite media player because it plays everything they throw at it without hiccups. No hunting for codec. But VLC can do a lot of other things as well. Find out how many of these listed below you knew, and how many you did not.

1. Rip DVDs: VLC includes a basic DVD ripper. You probably would never use it when there are better DVD rippers available, but it helps to know that you can in fact, get a decent quality DVD rip with VLC. To rip a movie follow these steps:

  • Go to the Media menu and choose Convert/Save. Click on the Disc tab.
  • Here you can adjust the Starting Position and rip only specific titles or chapters.
  • Enter file name making sure to end with .MPG, and start ripping.
  • Click Save.

2. Record videos: With the new VLC, you can record videos during playback. The record button is hidden by default. To see it, click on View>Advanced Control. The record button will now appear. Clicking on the button while playing a movie or video will start recording. Clicking again will stop recording.


3. Play RAR files: Do you know VLC can play videos zipped inside RAR files? They play like normal video files and you can even use the seek bar. If the RAR file is split into several files, no problem. Just load the first part (.part001.rar ) and it will automatically take the rest of the parts and play the whole file.

4. Play in ASCII mode: VLC media player has an amusing ability, to playback movies in ASCII art. To enable ASCII mode, open VLC media player and click on Tools>Preferences. Open the section “Video” section and under “Output” select “Color ASCII art video output” from the drop down menu. Save it. Now play any video file to enjoy the ASCII art.


5. Listen to online radio: VLC includes hundreds of Shoutcast radio stations. You just need to enable it through Media>Services Discovery>Shoutcast radio listings. Now, open the Playlist and browse through the stations.


6. Convert Audio and Video formats: In VLC you can convert video and audio files from one format to another. Several different formats are supported like MP4, WMV, AVI, OGG, MP3 etc. To access the converter:

  • Go to Media>Convert/Save.
  • Load the file you want to convert using the Add button and click Convert.
  • Now choose the output format and output file location.

7. Download YouTube and other online videos: First grab the URL of the YouTube video page. Now click on Media>Open Network stream. Paste the URL and click Play.

Once VLC starts streaming the video, click Tools>Codec Information and at the bottom of the window you will see a Location box. Copy the URL and paste it on your browser’s address bar. The browser will now download the file which you can save it to your hard disk. Alternatively, you can record the video. (See #2).

This Article Has 35 Comments
  1. Anonymous Reply

    Now, this is not a player. It is a weapon. Shoutcast TV listings too!

  2. Anonymous Reply

    3. & 7. are not working 😀

  3. Anonymous Reply

    Wow … Had this player for quite some time and had no idea I could rip and record DVD's … WHOO! This player is amazing …

  4. dobermanmacleod Reply

    VLC rules, and this article is great! Thanks:)

  5. JJ Reply

    GREAT GREAT GREAT article , I love you

  6. arungande Reply


  7. Unknown Reply

    It is even possible to play ZIP files, but seeking is quite slow, looks like it has to unzip everything before the sought destination time.

    Thanks for the article, I was mostly looking for the RECORD button feature. It would be nice if the record button recorded also couple seconds from past, when I hit it to contain the stuff that made me press it in the first place.

  8. Daboodah Reply

    So how do we find a "recorded" file? I've Googled it and searched for any explicit answer, but can only find people talking about recording a stream. I want to know where the file is saved when I use the Record button.

  9. Unknown Reply

    for me it winds up in the my videos folder within my documents…..i did not find a setting to tell vlc where to put it

  10. Unknown Reply

    Crikey, I've used VLC for ages on both Windows and Linux and didn't know 80% of these – what a chump! Thank you for the info.

  11. Anonymous Reply

    really good, clear and precise. Thanks

  12. Roshan Reply

    The RAR thing blew my mind!! Thanks! Good post!!

  13. Anonymous Reply

    Dose the recorded dvd's let you play them on dvd players?

  14. Anonymous Reply

    Please let me know the download link of this player. Thanks.

  15. Anonymous Reply

    Great work dude such a mind blowing work keep it up i love youuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuu.

  16. Anonymous Reply

    how can we improve video quality??

  17. rade.rade Reply

    Thank's a loot . Vlc is my prefered "weapon" . I'm using it for many years , I now about recording , converting , streaming , etc , but have no idea about the rest .

  18. Deepak Banka Reply

    when i m playing youtube videos from vlc,it is getting crashed

  19. Ron Karim Reply

    Still, No one answered the question ( or knows ) the answer ( except for the coder, maybe )…where the recorded files are saved .

  20. Anonymous Reply

    the trolling download button is the best

  21. Anonymous Reply

    i like pi

  22. islandantoinette Reply

    The person kenweinberg is correct they are recorded in My Videos folder.
    However I want to RECORD the playing movie to my DVD player to make a DVD is this possible? As he/she said there is not a setting to tell VLC where to record it to!!!! Darn!

  23. Anonymous Reply

    But it can't remember and resume position when you close a movie.

  24. Anonymous Reply

    Amazingly said: "VLC is not a player, its a WEAPON!!!"

    Indeed, You don't know what all can it do!
    (Nice article BTW)

  25. Anonymous Reply

    I simply can't make it download Youtube.

  26. Anonymous Reply

    I just pissed my pants

  27. Anonymous Reply

    to change the record folder you want your recorded files to be stored , do this:
    Open VLC
    Tool ->Preferences -> Imput & Codecs ->Files -> Record Directory or Filename and click on Browse… and now choose the location where you want your recorded files from VLC to be stored on the Hard Drive !!!

  28. Anonymous Reply

    Thank you kind sir.

  29. Anonymous Reply

    How do you save visual effect changes made to videos?

  30. Kaushik Patowary Reply

    You can't save the visual changes.

  31. Roy B Reply

    One person says you can't save visual changes, which is a great shame if true. Does anyone else have a more hopeful answer?

  32. Unknown Reply

    Re : Downloading youtube videos:
    I got upto the step of pasting the location in the browser, but after that what should I do to download the video?

  33. Anonymous Reply

    Just perfect man. Simple and perfect. That's my style too. I was looking for hours and tried various useless instructions on "how to rip a dvd with vlc", and there came you and your simple text instruction. Just my style. Thanks a lot.

  34. Den Reply

    VLC can replay audio files at a slower pace but when I hit the record button they are recorded at normal pace. How can I record the audio file at the slower pace? Just in case you are wondering it is because I am learning to play the drums and I can pick up the drum piece easier when the track is playing slowly.

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