Some celebrities (and wannabes) like to pimp out their rides with 20-inch rims, ground effects and pretentious sound systems. But geeks don’t ride around on dubs. For a geek, our ride is our computer.
I knew a guy who pimped out his computer with a liquid-cooling kit, custom aluminum case and dual video cards. The setup was so sublime that it would have made Deamworks and Pixar blush.
The computer was a veritable masterpiece of human engineering and must have cost more than a small commercial aircraft. It was amazing. But this is the thing:
Sometimes we don’t want to overhaul our computers. Rather than spending a fortune on new gear, we just want a tip or two for getting more value out of the software we use everyday. That’s why today I’m going to show you my top three extensions for everyone’s favorite media player: VLC Player.
Let’s kick off our extension list with VL Sub.
1 VL Sub
The speakers on my laptop suck.
My wife tells me I have big ears but my ear canal is tiny and that’s why I seem deaf. I usually dissent with her opinion and tell her it’s because I’m tall. Since I’m 6 foot 4 inches, it takes the sound waves longer to reach my eardrums – haha – okay well that’s a load of BS I know but it sounds credible for a second doesn’t it?
Anyway, VLSub is great for viewing subtitles in your movies. But it’s not just for foreign films. Sometimes there are scenes with soft dialog and it’s hard to make out what the actors are saying. Other times, there’s a lot of ambient noise in the movie and it’s hard to discern the actors speech amid the dissonance.
VLSub is there to translate the audio to text so you can read along. It does this by sending a request to opensubtitles.org using the movie title or a hash as the query string.
To get started, download the extension from addons.videolan.org.
Next, open the archive and drag vlsub.lua to your VLC Player Extensions directory.
Where is that you ask?
Press the Windows logo key + r and then paste in the following path to find your extensions:
I know these program paths might look a little weird. I actually wrote a related post a while ago explaining why Windows has both a (x86) Program Files folder and a normal one without that 86 business. But the short story is that the (86) folder is for 64-bit computers running in 64-bit mode.
The regular %ProgramFiles% is for 64-bit computers running VLC Player in 32-bit mode. Believe it or not most applications running on 64-bit systems still run in 32-bit mode.
Use the last path, the %APPDATA% path, if you installed VLC Player for the current user (rather than all users).
Once you find the Lua directory look for another directory called Extensions. If you don’t see it, feel free to create it.
(By the way, it’s called Lua because the VLC extensions are designed in a scripting language of that name)
Once you get it in there, open VLC Player, go to Tools and choose Plugins and Extensions from the drop down menu.
After clicking Reload Extensions in the lower left corner of the Plugin and Extensions window you should see VLSub pop into the Extensions box.
Now in the VLC Player main screen, if you click the View menu and choose VLSub you can search for subtitles by name or hash.
2. Click screen to Play/Pause
This one does exactly what it says.
Think about Youtube or Vimeo. You can easily toggle play and pause with each click in the main window.
Sure, you could just click the Play button and the Pause buttons in VLC Player (or even hit the Spacebar if you like shortcuts) but this extension still makes it easier to control video playback because you don’t even need to touch the keyboard.
You can grab VLC-clickpause from 3demax.github.io/vlc-clickpause/
Incidentally, currently VLC Player 2.1 doesn’t play this extension so I had to downgrade to VLC 2.0 to make it work. Fortunately the process took less than 3 minutes to complete so it wasn’t too bad.
After downgrading VLC Player to 2.0, it works perfectly.
In the graphic below you see can see I’m watching the trailer for The Equalizer staring Denzel Washington. I simply clicked the screen to pause it for this screenshot.
Hopefully, VLC Player changes the API to allow the Click to Play extension to work in future editions.
3. Resume Media V2
A few months ago I showed you a trick for resuming video playback in VLC Player. You can use that if you want but there’s an extension you can try that might be a better option.
Resume Media V2 saves the playback position on exit. So when you launch VLC Player it remembers where you left off. You can use it for everything from audiobooks, podcasts, shows, movies and tutorials.
Go to the Resume Media V2 download page and click the download link to grab the file.
If you get redirected to a page with a bunch of code, select all the text, press Ctrl + c to copy it to the clipboard then open Notepad and press Ctrl + v to paste it.
Then save the file as resumemedia.lua in your VLC Extensions directory. Just make sure you change the Save as type to All Files (*.*)
Back in VLC Player, refresh the extension list in Tools, Plugins and Extensions and go to the View menu to choose Resume Media V2.
You’ll see all your stopped media positions in a table which you can turn into a playlist or sort according to your preferences.
The Bottom Line
Extensions such as VLSub, Click screen to Play/Pause and Resume Media V2 make VLC Player an even better choice for video playback.
Do you use any extensions that I didn’t mention? Please share in the comments section below!
By the way, you can view an exhaustive list of VLC extensions at http://addons.videolan.org.