How to Become a VLC Media Player Power User
In all likelihood, you already use VLC Media Player, available for Windows, the Mac and Linux, and one of the best open source applications of any kind. The application is famous for handling nearly any kind of video file format; 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.
A much improved version 2.0 of VLC Media Player arrived recently, and now a new version 2.01 is out, which primarily fixes some security holes. In case you're new to this fantastic open source application, here is our latest, updated collection of resources for using it and getting more out of it.
Broadcasting Basics. While the vast majority of VLC Media Player users use the application for watching video, it is also a fantastic video streaming server. There are many easy tutorials online that show how to do this if you're interested. This one is a particularly simple, screenshot-driven guide, and video tutorials are also easy to follow. You can find many more non-obvious uses for VLC Media Player in this post.
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 new version 2.01 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 showing how to rip DVDs with VLC. For many users of the application, this is a favorite capability.
Skin It. 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.
Finally, don't forget that there is ample documentation and there are tutorials available from the VLC Media Player site.
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.