VLC Tutorial

VideoLAN Project   |   Media player

Finding the right media player in the past was extremely difficult. There were decent music players like Windows Media Player, and iTunes, there were also other efficient programs for video playback, but there was nothing that fully integrated both options. After 2001, VLC was released, and this program became an overachiever for music and video playback.


VideoLAN Client (VLC) Media Player, is one of the most popular and widely used media player softwares available. This program was developed by the VideoLAN project, as a portable, free, and open-source media player to be used by users on different platforms like iOS, Android, Macs, Windows, and more.

What is VLC?

VLC is one of the best players available. This program is better than most due to its decoding and encoding libraries, which allow users to play most video and audio formats found online. By including this library, users do not require the installation of plugins to play their favorite media.

This program was first developed as an academic project by students from École Centrale Paris. VLC was supposed to work as a server and client to stream videos via satellite dish all over the École Centrale Paris campus, but VLC’s potential was much larger than that.

While VLC was first developed in 1996, the program was rewritten in 1998 to become a media player. The program was then released in 2001, after the VideoLAN team and contributors worldwide united to create one of the best media players available.

VLC features

VLC is one of the most versatile media players available. This program includes a wide variety of features for both video and audio playback, alongside media streaming. Here are some of the best features that you will be able to use when using VLC.

1.      Video converting

VLC allows you to convert videos between two formats supported by this player. You can check all the supported formats on VLC’s website.

2.      Internet radio and podcast player

If you have a favorite internet radio station or are a podcast lover, you can now play your favorite ones via VLC. The best thing is that after adding the link the first time, you can just open the radio station the next time you want to listen to your favorite radio station or podcast.

3.      Subtitle downloader

With VLC, you can download subtitles for the movies and TV shows that you love to watch. This program includes an extension that allows you to look for subtitles in different languages.

4.      Video playback from files, discs, and webcams

With VLC, you can play videos and audios from files, discs, and even your own webcam. You can also use this to stream the videos via the internet.

5.      Stream video playing

VLC includes the feature of streaming videos, including YouTube videos, and even download some of them. If you also add a torrent plugin to VLC, you can even stream “.torrent” files and magnet links directly via VLC, being able to stream your favorite TV shows and movies.

6.      Cross-platform installation

VLC is available on a wide variety of platforms. You can install VLC on computers with Windows, Linux, and Mac OS computers. You can also install this program on smart devices that use iOS or Android.

7.      Plays a wide variety of audio and video formats

VLC includes a wide library of codecs. Because of this, you can play your favorite videos and audios in MKV, mp4, AVI, and most formats available. This program even plays x265 codec videos which produce the lightest and best quality video files.

How to use VLC

VLC has a wide variety of features that will make it one of the best apps for you. Here we explain how to use some of the best VLC features.

How to add subtitles to your video

Adding subtitles to video playback is quite easy, and it will allow you to watch foreign movies or TV shows, it is also very convenient for hearing impaired persons. Here are the instructions for this.

  • Open the video you want to add the subtitle to. If you want to, pause the video.
  • Then click the “View” option on VLC tool’s bar.
  • After that, click “VLsub”.

  • The VLSub plugin will open. Here you have many options to look for subtitles. First, choose the language for the subtitle and then the “Title”. If you are looking for a subtitle for a TV show (series), write the number of the season and then the episode. After adding the information, click on “Search by name”.

  • If you properly added the information, you will see different subtitle options on the VLSub window. Here you have to choose the right subtitle for your video and click on “Download selection”. After you have downloaded the subtitle, this will be automatically added to your video. Now you only have to close VLSub and enjoy your movie with subtitles.

How to play streaming videos

Playing streaming videos is one of the best features of VLC. This program allows you to stream different types of videos online, including YouTube videos and many others. Here is how you can play them:

  • Click on “Media” in the VLC tool’s bar.
  • Choose “Open Network Stream”.

  • The “Open media” window will open. Here you have to choose the “Network” tab.
  • On the box, input the link for the video you want to stream and hit “Play”.

  • After hitting “Play”, the video should start streaming. Now just sit and enjoy your stream.

How to add podcasts and internet radio stations to VLC

Aside from playing and streaming different types of videos and music, VLC allows you to play internet radio stations and podcasts. To do this, you only have to follow these instructions:

  • Open VLC’s main window.
  • Look for the “Internet” subheading and click on the “+” icon next to “Podcasts”. The “+” will only appear after you move the pointer on top of the “Podcasts” option.
  • A window will appear. Add the link to the internet radio or podcast station and hit “Ok”.

  • Your podcast will now appear on the VLC Podcast list.