Interface Basics

Software name : VLC
Software version  : 0.8.6

The nice thing about VLC is that it looks the same and functions the same across Linux and Microsoft Windows and looks similar in MacOSX.

Linux Interface 


Windows Interface 


OSX Interface


In the case of OSX the menu items are located not on the software itself but in the general OSX 'finder'. 

Interface Elements

The main elements are :

  • File
  • View
  • Settings
  • Audio
  • Video
  • Navigation
  • Help 

Lets look at them briefly, one at a time.

File Menu 

You use the File menu for opening files and media.


option action
Quick Open File Open a file quickly from your computer
Open File This gives a much more complicated menu than the above. This  option essentially gives you the opportunity to open any kind of media from a disc, across the net, or from you computer.
Open Directory This will open a directory and play each file one after the other.
Open Disc Open a disc. This can be a DVD, audio CD, VCD etc
Open network Stream Open a file on the internet (usually a live stream).
Open Capture Device If you have a webcam or other camera/sound device, connected to your computer then you can see/hear it via this option in VLC.
Wizard This is used for creating streams, or converting media formats (transcoding). This is really for the more advanced user.
Exit quit VLC

View Menu 

The View menu allows you to see various VLC information windows. 


option action
Playlist If you have loaded many items to play in VLC then you can see and manage the playlist here.
Messages Messages on the operations of VLC are displayed here including useful error messages.
Stream and Media Info Information about the media playing now.
VLM Control VideoLAN Manager - allows you to send several streams at once through vlc. This is really an advanced function and shouldn't be attempted by those with weak hearts.

Settings Menu

All the settings and preferences are set here.


option action
Switch Interface VLC has more than one graphic user interface type and you can choose your favourite from this list.
Add Interface Apart from the graphical interface, VLC can be controlled through many other methods including through its very own webpage, and through the command line. To use these features you'll need to be a bit of an 'advanced' user.
Extended GUI Beyond the default interface you see when you open VLC there is an extended interface available with more options. These options allow you to control the color (brightness, hue, contrast etc) of the video played, as well as the quality and volume of the audio.
Bookmarks Bookmark your media like you would bookmark a webpage with a webbrowser.
Preferences All the preferences for every function.

Audio Menu

This allows you to control the audio played back when listening to a media file. Nothing will appear in this menu unless something is being played back.

Video Menu

This allows you to control the video played back when watching to a media file - the most interesting feature is the fullscreen video mode. Nothing will appear in this menu unless something is being played back.


Usually empty.


Basic information about VLC.