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*Film

A guide for research related to film studies

VLC Media Player

 

 

 

The VLC Media Player is a free, open-source cross-platform multimedia player that runs on Windows, Mac OSX, and Linux. VLC can be used to play DVDs, Audio CDs, and most types of video files you are likely to come across.

VLC is an excellent media player for engaging critically with film and media. VLC offers a high-level of compatibility with many different file formats (much more than most proprietary media players like Quicktime), disc-encodings (i.e. DVD regions), and also allows other functionalities useful to scholars such as screenshots and creating excerpts from video sources.

Copyright Notice
Use of limited portions of copyrighted works for the purposes of criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship, or research are permitted under the Fair Use Doctrine presented in Section 107 of the US Copyright Act of 1976. Any other use of copyrighted works without the permission of the rights holder is unlawful. Refer to FSU's Copyright Policy for more information and to the Society for Cinema and Media Studies’ Statement of Fair Use Best Practices for Media Studies Publishing for a more comprehensive treatment of Fair Use.

There are two methods to creating a screenshot using VLC.The first is to use the "snapshot" function built into the player, and the second is using whatever functionality is built into your operating system (Windows, OSX, etc.). Concise explanations are available online for these latter methods using either Windows or Mac OSX. The following instructions will walk-through how to use VLC's "snapshot" functionality.

Note: The following images feature VLC 3.0.6 Vetinari (updated January 2019) running on Windows 10

Step 1 - Open VLC and the video file or disc you wish to view. Media (file or disc) can be opened using the "Media" menu in the top toolbar.

Video program with "Media" tab open and circled in red.

Step 2 - Once your media is playing, right-click in the lower tool-bar and navigate to "View > Advanced Controls." This will activate a new set of controls just above the Play, Stop, etc. buttons.

Video program playing with red arrow pointing to "Advanced Controls."

Step 3 - Navigate to the image you wish to capture and pause the playback. Click the camera icon. This will create a time-stamped screenshot of the image and automatically save it to a directory on your computer. In Windows 10, this is the "Pictures" directory that comes included with the operating system.

Video program playing with red arrow pointing towards the camera icon.

You successfully created a screenshot! This image can now be incorporated into Powerpoint, Word, or other publication platforms.

File explorer showing the video screen shot in folder "Pictures" within "This PC."

Copyright Notice

Use of limited portions of copyrighted works for the purposes of criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship, or research are permitted under the Fair Use Doctrine presented in Section 107 of the US Copyright Act of 1976. Any other use of copyrighted works without the permission of the rights holder is unlawful. Refer to FSU's Copyright Policy for more information and to the Society for Cinema and Media Studies’ Statement of Fair Use Best Practices for Media Studies Publishing for a more comprehensive treatment of Fair Use.

Including short video excerpts in presentations or digital publications is often helpful in illustrating a point or referencing some specific aspect of a work being analyzed. Although there are certainly more robust tools for editing video such as Adobe Premiere and Final Cut Pro, the VLC media player offers a quick and easy way to create short clips from any video (it doesn't have to be a file on your computer--you can make excerpts directly from a DVD being played as well). The following will walk through how to create a such an excerpt.

Note: The following images feature VLC 3.0.6 Vetinari (updated January 2019) running on Windows 10

Step 1 - Open VLC and the video file or disc you wish to view. Media (file or disc) can be opened using the "Media" menu in the top toolbar.

Video program with "Media" tab open and circled in red.

Step 2 - Once your media is playing, right-click in the lower tool-bar and navigate to "View > Advanced Controls." This will activate a new set of controls just above the Play, Stop, etc. buttons.

Video program playing with red arrow pointing to "Advanced Controls."

Step 3 - Navigate to where you'd like your excerpt to begin and Pause the video. Click the red Record button. Recording will begin when you click Play, and stop when you press the red Record button again. This will create a time-stamped .mp4 file of the excerpt and automatically save it to a directory on your computer. In Windows 10, this is the "Videos" directory that comes included with the operating system. Note: If your video source includes an audio track, VLC will automatically capture the audio.

Video program playing with red arrow pointing towards the camera icon.

You've successfully created an excerpt of your video! This clip can now be incorporated into your presentation, digital publication, or imported into other editing software.

File explorer showing the video clip in folder "Pictures" within "This PC."

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