5 Resources for Getting Much More Out of VLC Media Player
In case you don't already use it, VLC Media Player, available for Windows, the Mac and Linux, is one of the best open source applications of any kind. I find that it consistently plays video file formats that other players have problems with, and there is much more under the hood in this open source media player than many people realize. For example, you can use it to broadcast your own video content, you can use it as a video transcoder for converting video file formats, and you can listen to and manage podcasts with it. VLC Media Player is so powerful, though, that it could use better documentation.
In this post, you'll find our newly updated collection of good tutorial resources that can introduce you to some of the many useful VLC Media Player features that may not be immediately apparent. This is well worth digging into--and a lot of fun.
A Visual Guide. FLOSSManuals, which offers many free manuals on open source applications and platforms, has a good, concise, free online guide to installing and using VLC Media Player on Windows, Mac OS X, or Linux, found here. The instructions are good for introducing you to VLC Media Player's main functions. You'll find individual "chapters" on how to perform various functions along the left rail of the guide.
Tips and Tricks. ThinkDigit has a very good collection of tips and tricks on VLC Media Player, found here. You'll find tips on how to do non-obvious things like taking snapshots of video, streaming video across a network, overlaying logos and adding effects, and using VLC as a video transcoder.
Get the Portable Edition. VLC Media Player Portable is downloadable here. It's a lightweight version of the version 1.0 application that you can even carry on a pocket USB flash drive for playing and working with media anywhere, on any computer.
Ripping DVDs. Many people love VLC Media Player for ripping DVDs (you can also watch them with it--which I do on airplanes). The How-To Geek has done a nice visual tour shoowing how to rip DVDs with VLC. For many users of the application, this is a favorite capability.
Skin It. Finally, not everyone realizes it, but you can skin VLC Media Player to look much more slick than it typically does. Check out this tutorial for step-by-step instructions on making the application look great.
Spend a little time getting to know aspects of VLC Media Player that you may not be used to. It will be worth your while.