Multimedia Tips: The ideal video player

You can find the option for this under Tools/Settings. To read a downloaded skin file, select Use Custom Skin under Appearance. Otherwise leave Use Native Style checked. Just below you can set other useful options according to your taste, Figure 1.
Tip: The Show All button under Settings in the lower-left corner gives you a variety of additional options. While most of these are rather specific, they may be of interest to some users.
After that, you should customize the various control bars of VLC. To do this, close the settings and click on Tools/Customize interface. You'll see a somewhat cluttered menu with four tabs and lots of little icons.
Use the four tabs to choose which interface elements you want to customize. The main toolbar is at the bottom of VLC in windowed mode. Just above that is the time toolbar, which by default only consists of times and a time bar.
Advanced widget represents an additional bar that can be activated via View/Advanced Controls. Lastly, in the Full Screen Controls tab, adjust the floating interface in full screen mode. To add an item to the bar, simply drag it from the list below to the desired row. In the main toolbar, you mostly work with line 2, since line 1 is only displayed in rare cases, Figure 2.


As an inexperienced user, leave the default settings. Simply select a profile that suits your needs from the drop-down menu. When in doubt, H.264 + MP3 (MP4) is a profile that should work pretty much anywhere. Pros can further customize each profile. To do this, click on the wrench icon to the right of the profile selection.

Create clip

Therefore, open the Tools and Customize Interface menu. Now either drag the red record button from row 1 to row 2 or find record in the list and drag the option to row 2. Of course you can place the button somewhere else if you are sure you will find it comfortable then .

Record desktop

In this area, too, VLC is a good choice for simple tasks. VLC's screen recording isn't particularly sophisticated and offers few settings, but it's good enough for simple things. Operation is also easy. Open the Media/Open capture device menu. Again, you are in the same menu as for converting and streaming.
Under Capture mode, select Desktop and set the frame rate. 30 f/s is sufficient for most applications, but 60 f/s is better for shots with a lot of movement, such as games. Other values are rather unusual in this area, Figure 6.
Then comes the big hurdle: By default, the button at the bottom shows Play. Click on it, your desktop will be mirrored in VLC. But that's not what we intend to do. Therefore, do not click on the button, but on the arrow next to it. Choose Convert.


More tips

Create Snapshot


VLC's settings menu is extremely comprehensive, especially in the advanced view. Ideally, go through all the settings the first time you use it. If you don't have time for that, we'll show you a few highlights here. We use the All setting for this, Figure 10.

*Luca Diggelmann is an author at

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