Remote Control VLC Media Player using Smartphone Browser

VLC Media Player can be controlled from a remote smartphone or any other devices like laptops and desktops. The software isn’t required to be present on the second device. All that is required is VLC’s web interface to be activated and a simple setting configured to allow remote access. Once activated, it allows us to type a distinct URL like localhost:8080, or into any web browser. It loads what is called Lua Web Interface.

The interface on the browser controls the desktop/laptop software. That means, media can be played and controlled as required without touching VLC’s menus and buttons. The player has all the controls like play, pause and next. It will also load up the time slider to navigate through the currently playing media file. There’s also a volume slider for setting the media volume. It even has advanced controls like playlist management, library management and the equalizer. It has almost all the important controls present in the software itself.

The software can be installed in a desktop or laptop computer. The web interface can then be loaded up in a smartphone or even another personal computer. Using it, control VLC without touching it. Use this awesome feature to watch videos or play music while staying at a distance from your computer. This feature is meant to allow users to control VLC Media Player installed in one system via other devices like smartphones. Think of it as having the ability to control the player with a smartphone as a remote. Watch movies and listen to music from a distance while having the controls in your phone.

Web Interface Activation

Here are the detailed steps to activate the web interface:

  • Go to Tools > Preferences [CTRL + P] from the menu.
    VLC Tools Preferences
    Simple Preferences will show.
  • In Show settings, switch to the radio button that says All.
    Switch to Full Preferences
    Advanced Preferences will be displayed.
  • At the left, scroll and navigate to Interface > Main Interfaces.
    Main Interfaces
  • From Settings of the main interface, under Extra interface modules check the box that says Web.
    Activate Web HTTP Interface
    The text http will appear automatically.

Restricting the access control using password:

  • In Advances Preferences, navigate further into the settings Interface > Main Interfaces > Lua.
    Lua Interface Settings
  • Under Lua HTTP, input a password in its respective text box.
    Lua Interface Password
  • Hit Save and restart VLC Media Player.
    Save Settings

If prompted by Windows Firewall, give VLC the access to public and private networks. The feature has been activated successfully. To test it, go to the browser in the current system and type “localhost:8080” without the quotes in the address bar. Input the password that was set while leaving the username as blank.

Web Interface of VLC Media Player

If everything was configured correctly as shown in the steps above, it will load the Lua Web Interface (Pictured Above).

Accessing Remotely

From VLC Media Player 2.1.0 onwards, setting the Lua HTTP password has simplified the access control. It allows devices connected to the same network or Wi-Fi to input the local IP and port to get to the web interface. No more editing the .hosts file to give access to a limited number of devices. The only thing that we should know is the local IP of the system which has VLC installed.

To find out the local IP and remotely access the mobile interface:

  • Go to start and type cmd. Run cmd.exe.
  • In command prompt, enter ipconfig/all.
    Detecting Wireless LAN IPv4 Address
    It will display information about your LAN or Wireless adapter. Scroll through it and find the exact adapter information. Identify the build of your network adapter by its description.
  • Look for IPv4 Address. In this example it is seen as It will be different in your case.
  • Taking an IP like this one, go to your smartphone’s browser and type [LocalIP:8080].
  • It will prompt for the User Name and Password, enter in just the password while leaving username blank.
    Authentication Required Dialog Box
  • Tap on Log In and the mobile interface will load up.
    VLC Mobile Web Interface

Use it to control what is playing. Browse through music and video files, play or pause it, cycle through them, and do whatever you prefer. Just enjoy your own smartphone as a remote for VLC Media Player.

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