How to Open Two Videos Side by Side in VLC Media Player

There might arise a need when we have to open two videos side by side using VLC Media Player. We might have to open two videos simultaneously to compare them. Or, we might need a mashup where we use the audio from one video and the visuals from the other one. With the modern version of the VLC, it can natively open and synchronously play two media files. Before, the same result was achieved by opening two instances of VLC and aligning them to share the screen and play them. So, an extra media file (video or audio) will load and play at the same time. We can add a third or even a fourth video. Doing it might be a bit tricky and the results achieved might differ in different versions of VLC Media Player. But if everything is done correctly, we will have two videos playing in sync in VLC Media Player.

Here are the steps to open two videos side by side in VLC Media Player:

  • Go to Media > Open Multiple Files [CTRL + SHIFT + O].
  • Click on Add to browse and add the first video.
  • Check the ☑ Show more options checkbox.
  • Click and check the ☑ Play another media synchronously (extra audio file, …) checkbox.
  • Click on Browse next to Extra media.
  • Press Add to locate and add the second video.
  • Hit Select.
  • Finally, click on Play.

Opening Two Videos in VLC Media Player

Now, if you have the right version of VLC Media Player, it will work. Otherwise, you should go to Video > Video Track and choose Track 2. It should work for most of us. Some people have reported that the feature works in VLC 2.2.* but from VLC 3 onwards.

Additionally, the third and more videos can be added by manually adding additional path information to the Edit Options field. It should follow the format-

:input-slave=file:///D:/Ashish/Desktop/second.mp4 :file-caching=300#file:///D:/Ashish/Desktop/third.mp4 :file-caching=300

17 thoughts to “How to Open Two Videos Side by Side in VLC Media Player”

  1. I don’t have the options shown and discussed – VLC Version 3.0.18 Vetinari (Apple Silicon). I managed to get two instances to open, but they are playing the same video. I am unable to add an additional MRL for the second video. Any suggestions?

  2. Has anyone done this successfully with two rtsp streams – it would be great to have two streams run side by side / split-screen?

  3. After, selecting video track 2, then jogging on the timeline the videos play in sync. They will not loop though, am I missing something?

  4. Works well, thanks, ideally there would be a way to split the window vertically or horizontally to be able to do easier comparisons.

  5. None of the above options worked for me, on windows 10 and the latest vlc (3.0.12). Finally this worked – tools-preferences, disable “only one instance” (uncheck both boxes). Then open the files by starting 2 separate copies of vlc from file manager.

  6. no problem to get the two videos to play in sync. but they won’t loop. is it possible to get them to loop ?

  7. Does not work with:
    VLC media player 3.0.8 Vetinari (revision 3.0.8-0-gf350b6b5a7)
    VLC version 3.0.8 Vetinari (3.0.8-0-gf350b6b5a7)
    Compiled by buildd on lcy01-amd64-014.buildd (Sep 11 2019 11:39:37)
    Compiler: gcc version 7.4.0 (Ubuntu 7.4.0-1ubuntu1~18.04.1)

    1. So this is really weird. To get both tracks to show up you have to seek somewhere in the file. Don’t ask me why but yeah.

      1. Wow, yup, worked for me too, only I needed one more step. Just seeking didn’t do it. However, if I went to the video menu and switched to the second track, and then did a seek, it seemed to work consistently.

        I’m on dual monitors and the other video appeared on the other monitor. Maybe related?

        1. Not related, he forgot to write that step (or it was maybe true for a previous version). I’m on a single monitor. Even I have to change to track 2 first then seek.

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