The setup is basically the same as for VLC Remote or similar apps.
If you used one of these already you should be able to connect to VLC easily.

Quick Steps

  • VLC: In ".hosts" file remove # from private addresses. (Re)start VLC, then View -> Add Interface -> Web
  • Computer: If you have a firewall open all incoming TCP ports for vlc.exe
  • Phone: Connect to your network, start the app, and go to Menu -> Connect -> Scan

Where is the ".hosts" file?

  • Windows: C:\Program Files\VideoLAN\VLC\http
  • Mac OS X:
  • UNIX/Linux: /usr/share/vlc/http/.hosts

Detailed Steps

  • Install VLC media player (1.1.11 / 2.0.[0/2/3/5/7/8] are recommended)
    [2.0.1 / 2.0.4 may crash; 2.0.6 has garbled audio]
  • Open the file "\lua\http\.hosts" in a text editor.
    Remove the hash sign (#) in front of the 6 lines below "private addresses".
    Save the file.

    Windows 7:
    Note: If you are using the VLC installer package for Windows your ".hosts" file is located in "C:\Program Files\VideoLAN\VLC\lua\http" and you may need Admin privileges for saving your changes. Alternatively you can download the zip package of VLC media player and unpack it to another folder on your computer.

    Keep in mind that all computers from the allowed networks will be able to browse your hard drives!
  • Start VLC and from the menu select View -> Add Interface -> Web.

    Windows 7:
    If a "Windows Security Alert" pops up select all networks and click "Allow access" (administrator privileges required).
    You can also configure your firewall manually under Start -> Control Panel -> System and Security -> Windows Firewall -> Advanced settings -> Inbound Rules -> New Rule...
    Create a new rule for VLC media player and allow all local TCP ports (at least 8080, 8081, 5554). Set remote addresses to restrict access to VLC.

    VLC Web Interface is now running in the background. You can check the current status in your web browser:
    (If you replace with your computer's local IP address you shall be able to open this page from your computer and phone as well)

    In case of problems check that no other media player or server is listening on port 8080 or use another port for VLC.
  • Now you are ready to connect from your phone in one of many ways:
    - android-wifi-tether app to turn your phone into a hotspot and connect from your computer via Wi-Fi or Bluetooth
    - "Tethering & portable hotspot" on Android 2.2 (Froyo) for connecting from your computer via USB or Wi-Fi
    - PdaNet app to connect from your computer via USB or Bluetooth (Windows, Mac)
    - Connectify for Windows 7 to create a Wi-Fi hotspot and connect from your phone
    - Wireless home network (if phone and computer are connected just scan your local network from the app)
    - Outside your home network (you need to know your external IP and configure port forwarding on your router)

    Start the app, press the menu button and open the "Connect" dialog.

    Make sure there's at least one local network listed. Select a network and press "Scan". If everything is set up properly you will see a notice "VLC server found" and the IP address or hostname of your computer will be filled in. You can press "Connect" now.

Starting VLC from command line

On Windows you would create a simple batch file (e.g. "vlc-http.bat") with a text editor and add the following line:

vlc.exe --extraintf=http
vlc.exe --extraintf=http --http-host= --http-src=http/

For debug logging (with file output) add these options:

vlc.exe --extraintf=http:logger --verbose=2 --file-logging --logfile=vlc-log.txt

There's a second web interface in VLC using the Lua scripting language:

vlc.exe --intf=lua --lua-intf=http --extraintf=logger --verbose=2
vlc.exe --intf=lua --lua-intf=http --lua-config="http={host='',dir='lua/http'}" --extraintf=logger --verbose=2
vlc.exe --intf=lua --lua-intf=http --http-host= --http-src=lua/http --extraintf=logger --verbose=2

Other useful options are:

  • --http-album-art (not yet supported by the app)
  • --fullscreen
  • --no-interact (suppress dialogs)
  • --language=en

More help can be found here:

You may even add the batch file to your Windows Startup/Autostart folder.