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How to Stop a VLC Media Player From Skipping

VLC Media Player most often skips during playback of "streaming" file types such as DVDs, high-definition video on your computer, Internet videos or digital satellite broadcasts, as VLC needs to "buffer" video files before it can play them. Although problems with skipping are commonly associated with Internet streams, you may also experience problems playing DVDs. The two easiest ways to fix these problems are to make sure you are running the latest version of VLC Media Player and to increase the Caching Valu" -- or your buffer time -- in VLC's preferences for the file type that is skipping.

Visit Videolan.org and click the "Download VLC" button in the middle of the screen to update VLC to the latest available version. Double-click the ".exe" or ".zip" file to unarchive the program's contents and begin the installation process. Follow the on-screen prompts to install VLC to your hard drive, replacing your current version, if prompted. Agree to the program's terms of use and launch the latest version of VLC Media Player.

Try reopening your file. If you still experience skipping, stop playback. Click the "Tools" tab at the top of the screen and select "Preferences."

Click the "All" button in the "Show Settings" field in the lower left corner of the screen to display VLC's advanced preferences.

Click the "Input/Codecs" drop-down arrow and select "Access Modules." Click the type of file you are having trouble playing. For example, click "HTTP(s)" if Internet playback skips, a "DVD" option, or "File" if having trouble playing a video on your computer.

Click the "Caching Value (ms)" "up" button to increase your caching value. VLC's default settings for local file and network settings should be at 300 milliseconds, or 0.3 seconds. Try doubling your caching value to 600 milliseconds, or 0.6 seconds, and double your "Extra Network Caching Value (ms)" from the default 900 ms (0.9 seconds) to 1800 ms (1.8 seconds).

Click "Save" to save your changes and exit the "Preferences" window. Try replaying your video. If you are still experiencing skipping, reopen VLC's "Preferences," click the "Video" tab and select "Output Modules." Click the "Video Output Module" drop-down box and select the "DirectX" output option. Press "Save" to save your changes.

Tip

If DVD playback is still choppy, your CPU or system may be too slow to "decode" the frames at its playback speed. First, exit out of all other programs. Second, try turning on the "DMA" for your DVD device by reopening all of VLC's "Preferences." Scroll down and click "Advanced," right-click your DVD player and click the "DMA" box so a check mark appears. Click "Save." Your "Advanced" panel may also be called System or Hardware Manager.

Warning

Adding caching value(buffer time) may increase the time it takes to begin playback of your file, as VLC needs more time to load the file.

Things You'll Need

  • Latest Version of VLC Media Player
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About the Author

Andrew Schrader has been a professional writer and filmmaker since 2004. He works as a writer and director, holding a Bachelor of Arts in film and media studies from UC Santa Barbara. Schrader specializes in writing about technology and computer software.