VLC probs

Hey Linux folks I am now having some probs with the streaming in VLC. Forgive my lack of knowledge and perhaps using innaccurate computer speak but I’ll do my best to explain what’s happening. My bro gave me a hardrive with vids on - some are in mp4 format some are mkv. The mkv are especially problematic- the images keep smudging into big pixel squares. The mp4s run ok except for when I want to scroll back or forward then the sound goes off. Do I need to re install VLC? Or can it be the vids themselves- my bro did them on his Mac. Thanks guys!

I am on Mint.

When you say a hardrive what exactly do you mean is this an external drive you plug into a USB port or do you have it installed inside your PC, if it’s an external USB drive it might be worthwhile copying the movie files over to your PC and seeing how they run from a local source, I doubt re-installing VLC will make any difference but it might also be worth trying another media player just to see

Good luck


Yes it’s a portable one. I am keeping as little as possible on my netbook as it has very small disk space. I got it second hand and the Linux group guys found that the previous owner had taken out the original disk and replaced it with a very small one! At some point they are gonna put a new one in I got from a pc repair man I know. Maybe it is due to my small disk?

I don’t think it would be due to the small disc as you’re running the files from their own disc space but do you have enough space on your HDD to copy over even 1 movie file you know is problematic just to test it ?

I should imagine I would have enough space to copy one and test it Emegra. I’ll try that and see how it runs…

Nope- says there is not enough space! I will just have to watch them all funny til I get to my next Linux meeting in September- those guys will know what to do- I think one has to look at the system to know what’s exactly up. It was running fine at first! Might just be that I didn’t install VLC properly- it had all sorts of files that came with it and I didn’t really know which ones to install.

How big are these mp4’s?

Try installing kplayer if you’re on KDE or mplayer if you’re on some Gnome thingy.
I’ve had occasions when VLC has not performed too well (on a fat box with loads of RAM etc). Kplayer (a front end to mplayer) has been an acceptable replacement.

On one folder of the mkv files:

26 items, totalling 44.5 GB

I am not savvy on GBs so don’t really know if that is a lot or not! I don’t know what Gnome or KDE are either sorry- not up on systems. I will have a look at the package manager. I’m on Mint on a small dell netbook.

I think salparadise is right it would definitely be worth trying another media player but you may already have one available if you click Menu/Sound & Video you’ll see what media players you have installed if there’s another one there try that.

I don’t know what version of Mint you’re running but I used to use Mint/Cinnamon and gave up on it because of glitchy video streaming from a remote location

I didn’t have any except ones for music. I have upgraded VLC seems a little better, but I think it is the mkvs ( maybe they are better on Mac) that are at fault. The mp4s play fine- the main prob there is scrolling- getting the sound to come back on.Anyhow, I will ask the Linux group guys to look at it all next meeting. I have very little space on my system, so that might be the problem til the new hardrive is put in.

Before messing with other media players … what happens if you copy the mp4 and mkv file to the local hard drive and attempt to play them in VLC ?

Can’t do that Mark- not got enough disk space free on my netbook.

Can't do that Mark- not got enough disk space free on my netbook

Try clering up some space as your OS needs to breathe. :slight_smile:
To see how much space you got:

df -h
sudo apt-get autoremove


sudo apt-get clean

then see how much you cleared up:

df -h

Thanks- that’s way over my head all that- wouldn’t have a clue how or where to do that. My computer qualifications are ECDL circa 2007 Microsoft system! The last Linux meeting I went to they cleared disk space and said it’ll cope until I get the new hard disk installed.

Do you know how to open the Terminal in Mint?
If you do then just copy and paste each of those lines (waiting for the previous to finish first) and hit enter to run.

After doing what SeZo suggests … if they still won’t play, can you try running an mp4 in VLC, and in VLC hit Ctrl+J
(as SeZo suggests … you need to have some free disk space as it no doubt buffers the file to the local drive to some extent)

then report back what it says the Video and Audio Codecs are … and I’ll try find a small test file for you to download.


To do as SeZo suggests … hit Ctrl+Alt+T to open a terminal.

then one at a time enter the commands SeZo gave you, and hit enter to run them

the commands that start with “sudo” will prompt for your password … just enter it and hit enter.
(be aware, when entering your password nothing will be echoed to screen … not even *******)

I know the terminal is under system…ok will try that thanks.

Hi SeZo

In case Melissa follows your instructions you may want to correct the typo on the 3rd instruction

“29.1 MB disk space will be freed.”

I have no idea what all those codes meant! VLC isn’t any better though. Thanks for your help guys- next step is to get the new hardrive installed and I bet it will run better.

I know the terminal is under system...ok will try that thanks.

You normally find the terminal under “Accessories”