Using VLC
Movie time
The VLC program interface is similar to most media players, including the standard buttons for playback and rewinding/fast-forwarding in the VLC Controller (available under the “Window” tab at the top of the screen). The title window includes a helpful timeline indicator, with a diamond shape indicating the present location of the film in the timeline. Dragging this diamond allows the viewer to “seek” another point in the video easily. The “playlist” icon in the VLC Controller keeps track of recently viewed files, and users can quickly backtrack to previous clips using this list. VLC’s “Playback” options allow users to slow down or speed up video playback (and this slow play option is especially helpful for screen captures, as we will see later). This tab also allows users to quickly skip chapters and titles within a DVD without returning to the main menu screen. Full-screen playback, adjusting aspect ratios, and cropping capabilities are accessed under the “Video” tab.
Perhaps the most valuable aspect of the VLC Player is the “Snapshot” function, available under the “Video” tab or by using a shortcut command. The “slower” play option in the “playback” menu makes it easy to capture the exact moment you want in the screen snapshot. The screenshots produced are saved in the user’s desktop or documents folder under the filename “vlcsnap.” This one-click option for saving screenshots is invaluable for teaching film or visual composition in a course, allowing instructors and students to examine visuals in greater depth. Other options such as the “Extended Controls” let users adjust the video in a number of different ways, including adjusting the hue to demonstrate the effect of color changes on viewers.