In the world of media players, VLC is kind of like the Godfather. It has a long list of features, it's very simple to use, has a no-frills user interface and, above all, is available absolutely for free.
However, that's not the reason why we like the VLC player. The main reason is that, despite being a free software, it offers many more functionality than any of the paid software out there in the market even today.
Of many things that the VLC player has to offer, Mouse gestures is something really awesome.
However, most users don't know about this feature. Similar to the keyboard shortcuts, with Mouse gestures, you can simply move a mouse around the screen and control the playback.
Open the VLC player and go to Tools > Preferences from the task bar.
Fun Fact: The VLC player uses a traffic cone logo because the inventor had a collection of traffic cones.
On the following screen, click on 'All' under 'Show settings' and navigate to Advanced settings.
Fun Fact: The VLC player originated as a part of an academic project in 1996.
Now, navigate to 'Interface' and from there move to 'Control interfaces'.
Once there, check the option that says 'Mouse gestures control interface'.
Fun Fact: The first ever public build of VLC was released on July 7, 2009
Under 'Control Interfaces', select the gestures tab and on the corresponding screen, choose the key that you would like to choose as the trigger key on your mouse. It can be the left, right or the middle key.
Once you are done, press 'Save' and exit the player. Restart the application to make use of the mouse gestures.
Fun Fact: VLC player is able to read data from Content Scramble System encrypted DVDs, even though IT lacks a CSS decryption license.
Similar to keyboard shortcuts, the VLC player has a number of mouse gestures and it will take you some time to memorize and learn all of them.
This might seem a bit difficult compared to the keyboard shortcuts at the start but once you get used to it, controlling media playback becomes very simple and the people, who are already using it, swear by it.
How to Use Mouse Gestures?
Do you remember the trigger key that you had chosen in Step 4 while enabling the mouse gestures? If yes, great! There are a number of gestures that you can use with the VLC player and all these gestures are categorized into simple and a bit Complex ones.
All the mouse gestures will only work once the trigger key is pressed because the player also has to understand when a gesture is being made.
There are some straightforward mouse gestures that are easy to learn. These include moving the mouse in one direction to trigger some basic playback controls.
Move mouse to left: Navigate 10 seconds backward
Move mouse to the right: Navigate 10 seconds forward
Move mouse up: Increase the volume
Move mouse down: Decrease the volume
More Complex Mouse Gestures
Once you have mastered the simple mouse gestures, you can move on to the complex ones. These include several movements at one go, followed with the trigger key.
If you manage to master all these, you'll never have to look at the player to control playback ever again.
Move mouse left and then right: Toggle play or pause
Move mouse up and then down: Mute volume
Move mouse left and then up: Slow down playing speed
Move mouse right and then up: Increase playing speed
Move mouse left and then down: Play previous track of playlist
Move mouse right and then down: Play next track in playlist
Move mouse up and then right: Switch the audio track
Move mouse down and then right: Switch the subtitle track
Move mouse up and then left: Enables full screen
Move mouse down and then left: Exit VLC media player
The Mighty Mouse
Although adding mouse gestures not only extends the usability of the VLC player, it also gives users a new way to interact with the software. The gestures, though a bit hard to grasp at one go, they definitely are worth a shot.