VideoLAN, or VLC, is the quintessential media player that everyone should be using. Although some may not know it by name, surely it sounds familiar to all of us because it is the player with the orange cone, a totally free and open source program capable of playing any type of multimedia file without problems, codecs or configurations. However, although it is excellent as a multimedia player, this program hides many other uses, mostly unknown, that make it a Swiss army knife that we should always have at hand.
When we set up a computer, one of the first things that most of us usually do is download and install VLC in order to have a media player up to par. However, if we only use it to play multimedia files, we are missing out on a large number of extra functions that can not only be useful to us, but will even help us not to install so many programs on the PC by delegating certain functions to it.
Let’s see some of these interesting secret uses.
Convert any video to any format
One of the hidden functions that we can find in this multimedia player is that of being able to convert videos to other formats without having to resort to other programs. To do this, what we have to do is go to the “Media> Convert” section, and we will see a new window from which we will be able to select the video that we want to convert.
Immediately afterwards we can select the codecs that we want to use, the format to which we want to convert. And, when saving the video, we will create a new copy already converted. It is a simple and basic video converter, but it will surely get us out of more than one bind.
Download YouTube videos
Surely we have ever found a YouTube video that we were interested in downloading to save it on the PC and avoid, for example, its deletion from the platform over time. There are many programs and websites that allow us to easily download YouTube videos. However, we can also do the same, in a very simple way, with VLC.
Just open the program, and open the Media > Open network location section. We paste the URL of the video, and VLC will automatically start playing it. What we have to do now is go to the “Tools> Codec Information” section, and in the window that appears, at the bottom, we have the “Place” option.
We paste the URL that appears there in the browser and we can download the video.
See the DTT on the computer
Without the need to have a TV antenna on the computer, we can use VLC to watch all DTT channels completely free of charge. To do this, all we need is the station’s URL, which we can easily get from websites like TDTChannels .
We simply have to open the “Media> Open network location” section and paste the URL of the channel. VLC will connect and start playing the DTT channel in question.
Listen to any radio station in the world
In the same way that we have done to watch a DTT channel, we can do the same to listen to any radio station , or podcast, in the world. We simply need to have the URL of the station (which we can get on many websites) and paste it in the open network location section. VLC will connect and the station will start playing.
Of course, we must take into account that the image will appear in black, since the radio, or the podcasts, do not have video.
Send videos to a Chromecast
Finally, but also very interesting, VLC allows us to turn the PC into a multimedia center for our television. In this way, if we have a Chromecast at home, we can take advantage of this hidden functionality of VLC to send content to TV directly from the PC. To do this, we simply have to start playing any video, and enter the Playback> Processor> section and select the cast device we want to use.