Control VLC on your Mac from your iPhone

Here’s how to control VLC from your iPhone without having to buy a commercial iPhone application for it. There are beautiful commercial applications in the iTunes store that to the task, but if you’re happy to use a simple interface, you don’t need that.

The applications from the iTunes store use VLC’s web interface to connect to VLC. We will do exactly the same, but we’ll use the Safari browser of your iPhone.

To make the web interface available to other devices on your network, simply choose Web Interface from the Add Interface submenu in the VLC application menu.

The web interface can be accessed by entering the IP address of your computer in Safari. Usually, you can find the IP address in the Network preferences panel of the System preference.

Open the System preferences by choosing “System Preferences…” from the Apple menu (in the top-left of your computer screen). Click on the Network symbol. Click on the Airport item in the column on the left. Click on Advanced to see more info and click on the TCP/IP tab in the next window. Next to “IPv4 Address” you will find the IP number, for example 169.254.01.64.

Now open Safari on your iPhone. Create a new Safari window and enter the IP address of your computer followed by “:8080”. This means that now have an address similar but probably unequal to 169.254.01.64:8080.

The VLC control panel will now appear in your Safari browser on your iPhone. If you have dragged a number of files into the file list of VLC on your computer, then you will see these files appear as links in Safari. Click on one of the links to play the corresponding file on your computer.

You can now save this address as a bookmark or shortcut by pressing the + sign at the bottom of your Safari screen to make sure that you have it available when you need it.

This trick also works with any iPod Touch or iPad with WIFI or 3G connection.

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