Watch movies in ASCII art with VLC

Nov 7, 2009 - 3 Comments

movie in ascii art

Ever wanted to watch a movie in ASCII art? What’s that? You haven’t even thought about it before? In what might be the single most useless feature to ever grace a video player, VLC allows you to output any video playback as… ASCII art. Yes, the kind of ASCII art that was quite fancy on BBS’s in 1988. Other than the humor and prank value, I don’t see much point to this, but it is entertaining so here’s how you can watch movies in ASCII art with VLC player. BTW this tip is cross platform for all VLC players, Windows, Linux, and of course, Mac OS X.

Watch movies in ASCII art

* Go to VLC menu and to Preferences
* Click on the Video icon
* Click on the “Output Module” drop down, and select “Color ASCII art video output”
* Restart VLC, open a movie file, and be amazed

The screenshot above shows the visually stunning movie The Fall in visually ridiculous ASCII mode. Wow.

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Posted by: Paul Horowitz in Fun, How to, OS X Apps


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  1. Dave Taylor says:

    Hi there. Any idea how to export video after I have converted it?

  2. William B Williams says:

    I just gave this a go and VLC crashes right after opening the file…not sure what to do now!
    I tried updating VLC, tried avi ,wmv, its just a big old mess

  3. Rob Levinson says:

    Worked perfectly for me! Very cool novelty.

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