How to Enable All VLC's Best Hidden Features [2021 Guide]

By Wilson Kendal | Updated on Dec 28, 2020

Best VLC Hidden Features

VLC Media Player has been one of the most popular media players in the world. It is an open source software and requires no charge in using, and its high compatibility provides the ability to stream video/audio in most common formats. Despite this, with many hidden features, VLC allows users to handle video/audio content more conveniently. Today, this blog will bring you through all the best VLC hidden features. See these incredible functions brought by VLC now!

CONTENT 1. Download YouTube Videos
2. Convert Video Format
3. Record Video/Audio on Computer
4. Take A Snapshot
5. Create Audio/Video Effects
6. Rip DVD to Computer
7. Set Video As A Wallpaper
8. Play Internet Radio and Subscribe to Podcasts
9. Create Bookmarks for Later Playback

1. Download YouTube Videos

VLC Media Player provides hidden feature for those who want to save YouTube videos for offline playback. YES! To our surprise, VLC not only provides YouTube video streaming function but also offers embedded YouTube video downloader to help get YouTube videos saved in plain format such as MP4. The procedure is simple, and you just need 4 easy steps to use VLC to download YouTube videos.

STEP 1. Copy YouTube video URL from the platform, and then go to "Media" > "Open Network Stream" in VLC for pasting the URL there. Then hit "Play".

Paste YouTube Video URL VLC

STEP 2. Now, go to "Tools" > "Codec Information" and then copy the link in "Location".

Copy YouTube Video Location VLC

STEP 3. Then go to your web browser and paste the link to the address bar. After that, the YouTube video would begin to playback automatically.

STEP 4. Now you only need to right-click on the video, and select "Save Video as..." to download the YouTube video immediately.

VLC Download YouTube Video

2. Convert Video Format

Want to change an encoder for your video files? VLC also provides such a hidden feature for you to change the file format without using other third-party format conversion tools. Here is a guide for you:

STEP 1. Go to "Media" > "Convert/Save" in VLC Media Player, then you should choose the media file that you'd like to convert its format for adding into the software. Then click "Convert/Save".
STEP 2. Now, you can choose the output format you need in the format list of "Profile".
STEP 3. Finally, when you have selected an output format, click "Start" and the file encoder can be changed.

VLC Convert File Format

3. Record Video/Audio on Computer

Except for video downloader and converter, another very practical and helpful feature of VLC Media Player should be its embedded screen recorder. When you need to record your screen such as recording an online meeting, VLC can also bring help. Here is the way to enable this feature:

STEP 1. After opening VLC Media Player, go to "Media" and then navigate to the "Open Capture Device..." section.

STEP 2. Now, you need to change the "Capture mode" into "Desktop" version. Then you can also set a desire frame rate for your recording in "Options" part.

NOTE: If you need to record webcam, select "DirectShow" as the capture mode.

VLC Capture Mode

STEP 3. Click the down arrow icon next to the "Play" icon and then choose the "Convert" option. Then in the following step, you should select an output format and path for saving the recording. After that, you can hit "Start" to begin your recording process.

STEP 4. To end the recording, you only need to click the red "Stop" button, and the recorded video/audio files will be saved to your pre-set output destination.

VLC Hidden Recorder

4. Take A Snapshot

Sometimes when you are streaming a video in VLC Media Player, if you want to capture the snapshots of the video more perfectly, instead of using the Print Screen key on your keyboard, VLC also provides a hidden feature inside the program to do it.

You only need to right click the video while it is playing, then select "Video" > "Take Snapshot". VLC also offers shortcut to enable this feature quickly. Simply press "SHIFT+S" on Windows/Linux or "Command+ALT+S" on Mac, and you can take a snapshot of the video inside VLC directly.

VLC Take Snapshot

5. Create Audio/Video Effects

VLC also provides some simple audio as well as video effects for users to adjust the visual/sound effect of the media content. For examole, you can change the brightness, crop/rotate the video, or adding sepcial effects like Spatial blur to adjust it. You can even add watermark on video cause VLC also provides such tool! You can easily access to these effect editing tools in "Tools" > "Effects & Filters" by going to the toolbar of VLC Media Player.

VLC Adjust Audio/Video Effects

6. Rip DVD to Computer

To our surprise, VLC can even rip the video content from DVD to your computer so that you can have more convenient access to them at anytime on your devices. To get a DVD ripped with VLC, you only need to follow the steps below:

STEP 1. After opening VLC Media Player, go to "Media" > "Convert/Save".
STEP 2. Navigate to "Disc" part and then select DVD. After that, browse your computer and choose the inserted DVD disc you want to rip video from.


STEP 3. Now, move down and click the "Convert/Save" option. Then you need to choose the codec as well as output folder for saving the ripped DVD content.
STEP 4. Finally, hit "Start" and VLC will begin to start ripping the videos out of DVD for you.

VLC Select Format for Ripping DVD

7. Set Video As A Wallpaper

When you have a pretty video and you extremely want to set it as your computer's wallpaper, instead of opening the video and taking a snapshot by starting and pausing it all time, VLC offers a direct function to let you set your desktop as a playback screen with your wanted video. Directly go to "Video" in the toolbar of VLC and then select the "Set as Wallpaper" option, and you can easily set the video you like as your computer's wallpaper.

VLC Select Wallpaper

8. Play Internet Radio and Subscribe to Podcasts

Instead of streaming local media content and online videos, VLC can also be used to playback Internet radios for enjoying moore trending content. Except for this, it also allows you to subscribe for the podcasts that you are interested in for next-time streaming conveniently. This are how it works to play radio and subscribe to podcasts for you:

Play Internet Radio

STEP 1. Launch VLC Media Player.
STEP 2. Open the "Playlist" sidebar on the left side.
STEP 3. Go to "Internet" section, then all the Internet radio services will be available to you.

NOTE: If you want to play your wanted station's radio, just get its URL and paste to "Media" > "Open Network Stream..." in VLC, then press "Play" and you can start listening to it.

VLC Play Your Internet Radio

Subscribe to Podcasts

STEP 1. Open the "Playlist" in VLC Media Player and go to the "Internet" section under it.
STEP 2. Click the "+" icon and then enter the URL of the Podcasts you'd wish to subscribe for listening in VLC.

VLC How to Subscribe to Podcasts

STEP 3. Press "OK" for adding the Podcasts.

VLC Subscribe to Podcasts

9. Create Bookmarks for Later Playback

Sometimes when you need to leave the video playing in VLC Media Player for doing other things. But when you return, you have to spend time in finding the exact point you just left off. To avoid this troublesome thing, VLC enables you to create bookmark for the one part of the video then you can have a later playback directly. Here's how to add a video into bookmarks in VLC.

STEP 1. When you want to stop playing a video inside VLC and bookmark it, directly go to "Playback" > "Custom Bookmarks" > "Manage" from VLC's toolbar.

STEP 2. When the "Edit Bookmarks" window shows up, directly click the "Create" button. Then the certain section of the video can successfully be added as a book mark.

VLC Create Bookmarks

Here are the 9 best VLC's hidden functions that you may never know before! Except for its media streaming function, VLC provides more than you could imagine. After knowing these hidden features of VLC, you may find it can be used in more ways in the future so that you don't need to download many extra software again. Take this guide to help if you need!

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