If your computer is loaded with all kinds of media files, you may want to play them on your phone or tablet. VLC player is a free and open source cross-platform multimedia player that can play almost all major video and audio files. It can also help you stream music and videos from computer to other computers or mobile devices in a local network or even the internet. To stream media files in your home network using VLC player is very straightforward. You can firstly broadcast a stream in VLC player on your computer, then connect to the stream using VLC player on another computer or mobile phone in the same network.
Setup music and video streaming on your computer
Download VLC app from previous linked page in the opening paragraph. Install the free media player on your computer. Then use it to play the music files and/or movies you like to stream to make sure they are playable using this player.
Click Media menu from the top left corner, select Stream from the drop-down menu. The Open Media dialogue opens where you can select local music files and movies and add to VLC player to stream them. Hit the Add button to load the media file from your computer hard drive to VLC. After that click the Stream button to proceed to the ‘Set up media sources to stream‘ pane. Press Next button to continue.
The Destination Setup screen shows up. VLC can use a variety of protocols for streaming. We recommend the video/audio streaming via HTTP as it is easier to setup and also easier for other computers or mobile devices to connect to the stream broadcasting computer.
Select HTTP as the new destination and click the Add button. You will then find the options to customize the HTTP streaming settings. You can change a different HTTP port or specify a custom path in the HTTP address URL. These are optional. You can leave them to the default without any change.
VLC can automatically transcode your video or audio to lower quality for fast streaming speed and saving your network bandwidth. For media streaming in your local network, you do not need to activate the transcoding option, unless the video file to stream is very big.
Click Next button to continue to the Option Setup screen. You do not need to change anything here, just hit the Stream button to start streaming from your PC.
Connect to media stream on another device
You can watch the stream from another computer, smartphone or tablet. To connect to the streaming server on a different computer. Install and run VLC on the computer, click Media button, then select Open Network Stream from the drop-down list. The Open Media dialogue opens where you can enter the network streaming URL with the port number. Click the Play button to start playing the audio/video stream.
If you want to connect to media stream from computer on an Android or iOS device, download the VLC player for mobile on your device. For Android users, whenever you want to stream a media file from your PC to your Android phone, launch the VLC player on your phone. Touch to open its side menu and select “Stream”. Enter the network streaming address to start playing the stream.
Media streaming alternatives
Except VLC, you can actually make use of the Windows Media Player to turn your computer into media server, then access the photos, videos and music on the media server from other computers and devices. Check out following guide to stream photos, videos and music from PC to Android via VLC player. If your smartphone comes with the apps that can access media servers to fetch and play content from it, you do not even need VLC player or any other third party streaming apps. For instance, you can stream music and movies from PC to HTC phone without any third party apps.