VLC Media Player is the go to media player for most of the users, be it on a Mac or a Windows PC. Simple UI coupled with support for an exhaustive range of media files means that VLC Player is one of the very first applications we tend to install when assembling together a brand new computer. However, one of the most overlooked features about VLC Media Player is the number of shortcuts that the player provides to help us not only save time and energy but also helps us to make our whole experience of watching or listening to media all the more immersive.
It is next to impossible to memorise all the shortcuts that VLC provides, and if we wanted we could have jotted down at least 50 of them, but what is the point of giving out impossible to remember shortcuts which you will forget in a day or two. So, here are ten shortcuts that actually are worth the space in your memory permanently.
Use Spacebar to Play/ Pause the Video or Audio:
When we are inside a media player no doubt we play and pause the multimedia file more than doing anything else. It is a cumbersome task always going to the toggles and either pausing or playing. Just hit the spacebar and the file will either play or pause without you having to press any toggle.
Press A to change Aspect Ratio:
Aspect ratio is basically the length to height ratio of the rectangle in which your video is playing. You can switch between 16:9 or 4:3 or other aspect ratios to best fit the video that you have downloaded and wish to view. Pressing the key ‘A’ will cycle you through the various available aspect ratios so that you do not have to make do with those ugly black bars.
Press S to disable the subtitle track:
Subtitles while really being useful when you are watching a film in the language you do not understand can be a real pain because they take your attention away from the more important visuals that are going on. Toggle between disabling or enabling the subtitle track simply press the key ’S’.
Cmd Plus +/- to increase or reduce the playback speed:
What if you are sitting through a Hindi movie and are being barraged with gallons of dumb songs? You simply want the scene to go as fast as it can. You can do that, simply press Cmd and +/- keys to help you increase the playback speed or reduce it based on your interest in a scene. The fastest Playback possible is 64X on your computer, but it will totally ruin the picture.
Press T for Elapsed/ Remaining Time stamp:
Do you want to quickly know how much time has elapsed of the movie and how much of it is left for you to enjoy or endure? Simply press ’T’ when you are playing the video and look up at the top right corner of the screen. For a second you will see a stamp telling you the elapsed time versus the remaining time count.
Cmd Plus Up/ Down key to toggle volume:
If you want to increase or decrease the volume of the video or audio being played, simply press cmd and up or down directional keys. The increment or decrement of volume is done in steps of 5% and it is worth noting that it changes the VLC Player Volume and not the System Volume.
Press Z to Zoom:
Do you want to really zoom in and look at your favourite artist up close and personal, or maybe you hate him and want to stay far away. Press Z to zoom in. VLC allows Zoom up to 2:1 and you can keep pressing Z to keep toggling zoom and eventually zoom out to about one quarter of the original scale.
Cmd Plus Z to toggle Random/ Shuffle:
Are you playing a long Playlist of songs and cannot really make up your mind whether to have random on or off? Well, you can do it easily by tapping on Cmd+Z. This would turn random on or off for your selected Playlist.
Cmd Plus E to turn Video effects on:
Do you think the video is too bright on your screen and you would like to add in some effects to make the whole scene look a little less bright and punchy? Go ahead and press Cmd+E while the video is being played and you will be taken to the Effects screen where you can even rotate or crop out or change the geometry of the playing window.
Press E to see the next frame when watching a video:
If you are the kinds who likes to pay attention to each and every frame, then go ahead and press ‘E’. It would pause the playback and show you the immediate next frame in the video that you needed to check out for greater details in still.
Cmd Plus N to open a Network Stream:
Some of us use VLC Media Player to run streams from a particular web address. You can simply press Cmd+N and input the URL of the stream that you wish to watch right that. You can also change the tabs and select the file that you wish to play in the player.
Just for a clarification, we would like to mention that we tried out these shortcuts on the VLC Media Player Version 2.1.2 Rincewind (Intel 64bit) for a Mac. While the shortcuts for Windows PC will be similar, we do urge you to try them out. In most cases though, you simply will have to replace Cmd key with Ctrl key, but that may not be the case always. Is there is any shortcut that we may have missed out that you use very often? Let us know in the section below or on our Social Media Profiles.