Simple VLC Snapshots with Timecodes 2

Update: 2017-05-16 The latest version of VLC player (3.0+ I think) may have made this trick no longer possible. However, it is possible that the VLC team may in the future make another change to fix it. 

I have very few complaints about VLC, but one thing that irks me every time I install VLC I have to change the snapshot settings to something useful because the default settings are disappointing to say the least. (VLC developers if you are reading–please make the following the default!)


  • Save snapshots in the same folder as the video.
  • Save snapshots with a time code (timestamp of where in the video the snapshot can be found)


  1. Go to Tools > Preferences > All > Search > Snapshot > Video
  2. Set ‘Video snapshot directory’ to /$N-$T.png
  3. Set ‘Video snapshot file prefix’ to be EMPTY.


Taking a snapshot inside of lesson_08_ruby_on_rails_tutorial_3rd_edition.mp4 at 55 minutes and 55 seconds will result in a snapshot (in the same folder as the video) named lesson_08_ruby_on_rails_tutorial_3rd_edition.mp4-00_55_55.png.  Finally. Beautiful and useful snapshot names. This is simply brilliant and a simple solution to some obvious VLC design constraints.

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2 thoughts on “Simple VLC Snapshots with Timecodes

  1. Reply chg May 16,2017 3:49 pm

    Hello, thank you for the post.
    The settings you published don’t work for version 3.0.0-git Vetinari (revision 2.2.0-git-10582-g9eb9eb0bd2),

    # Video snapshot directory (or filename) (string)
    snapshot-path=/$N_$T.jpg #I want to delimit video name and time code with underscore

    # Video snapshot file prefix (string)

    # Video snapshot format (string)

    # Display video snapshot preview (boolean)

    # Use sequential numbers instead of timestamps (boolean)

    with those settings, snapshots can’t be generated and no preview is displayed.
    with default settings, snapshots are generated under ~/Pictures and previews are displayed on every occasion.
    The OS is Fedora 25 x86-64.

    Could you give any fix or corrections.
    Thank you.

    • Reply Justin Reinhart Jul 26,2017 6:34 pm

      I am afraid you are correct. The VLC team appears to have hard-coded something that prevents using relative directories for placement of the snapshot file. I have not been able to find a workaround.

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