Chrome Unboxed | Guest Contributor
VLC Media Player is an open-source video player that is available cross-platform and is perfect for playing videos that may not run natively on your Chrome OS. If you’re looking to watch a video directly from a thumb drive, hard drive, or SD card, VLC can give you that ability along with a handful of useful extra features.
If you still have old DVDs or personal files stuffed away on discs or on media storage devices, there aren’t a lot of options for you to consume them on Google’s operating system. Thankfully, VLC Media Player launched a Chrome extension in 2015 and subsequently added compatibility to Chrome OS.
Being that VLC has a plethora of in-built codes that can’t be found on your device when you buy it from the store, the Chrome Extension can add some serious video versatility to your Chrome OS device. For example, some files exist in a well-known format called MP4, while others come in AVI. However, many others appear in MOV, Ogg, FLAC, TS, M2TS, Wv, and even AAC. VLC can play all of these with no issues whatsoever. Add to that the fact that it’s highly customizable, VLC is probably the best third-party media player available for Chrome OS.
Just a heads up though – you can’t use this app or extension to play DVDs directly from a disc. The file browser built into the extension used to allow you to play TS files directly from a DVD player connected to your Chromebook, the feature was stripped out years ago. To continue with this type of content, you’ll need to own a digital copy before you get started. With that being said, let’s go ahead and take a look at two ways that you can install and use VLC Media Player on your Chromebook!
Install via the Chrome Web Store
Both methods for installing and using VLC on your Chrome OS device are quite simple. First, let’s take a look at the Chrome Web Store route. Just follow the instructions below. Offered by: VideoLAN
- Visit the Chrome Web Store
- Type “VLC Media Player” in the search box found on the top-right of the page
- Select the “Apps” filter on the left-hand sidebar
- Click “VLC” – it will be the third option and is offered by VideoLAN
- Click the blue “Add to Chrome” button and wait while it’s installed
- Click “Add app” on the dialogue box after reviewing the permissions it’s requesting
- You can find your new VLC app in your Chromebook’s app launcher via the ‘Everything button‘
Pro Tip: There’s also an extension that allows you to open videos from the web directly in VLC using the app extension you just installed. This “Open in VLC media player” extension offered by yokris.dev adds an option to the right-click contextual menu on your device. It can be a nice bonus if you’re looking to extend VLC’s functionality throughout your OS.
Install via the Google Play Store
While you can’t install the traditional Windows application for VLC Media Player on your Chromebook, and the Chrome Web Store extension above can be useful, you may find that you either can’t run it on certain devices for compatibility reasons or you simply want a more straightforward approach.
Luckily, nearly all Chromebooks now have the Google Play Store installed on them, and you can easily install VideoLAN’s app with a few clicks! To make this easy, simply click the link below from your Chromebook to be taken directly to the store in order to install it. Otherwise, you can follow the instructions found below as well.
- Tap the ‘Everything button‘ on your Chromebook’s keyboard. It’s the magnifying glass or “search” icon found where Caps Lock used to be
- Type in “Google Play Store” or locate it manually
- Click the Play Store icon to launch your app store
- Using the magnifying glass “search” icon at the top-right of the store, type in “VLC”
- Click the first result titled “VLC for Android” – it’s got an orange cone and is offered by Videolabs as seen above
- Click the green “Install” button
- The Install button will change into a green “Open” button. Click it to launch the app. Alternatively, you can find VLC in your Chromebook’s app launcher via the Everything button!
Once you’ve completed this process and have VLC Player open on your Chromebook, simply go through the steps using the orange buttons to grant it permission to see your device’s internal and external storage. If you’ve done everything listed above, any media files you have will now appear on the VLC app window, and clicking on them will cause them to begin playing!
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