VLC and wireless networks

I typically keep all my digital media on either my desktop at home or my server, but I like to watch it on the laptop while reclining in my papasan chair, or perhaps just kicked back in bed. The problem is that certain files will stutter occasionally during playback, even though the bitrate of the file is far, far low enough for the wireless network to handle.

The way I’m getting to the files is via an AFP mount. Thus, VLC is using the ‘file’ access module, as opposed to rtsp, http, or some other network-based module. Accordingly, VLC is treating the media file as if it were on a local disk, even though it’s not. As anybody knows, local disks are typically much faster both in latency and throughput than anything over the network. That’s probably why the default buffer for the ‘file’ access module is 300 ms, whereas the default buffer for http or mms is much higher (1.2 seconds and 5.7 seconds, respectively).

All we need to do to make VLC stop skipping is to increase the buffer time for the ‘file’ access module.

VLC's file access module preferences

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  1. Pingback: VLC question - AVForums.com

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