VLC Is Streaming But There Is No Sound

By Theodora Pennypacker

As a media player, VLC is optimized to open and stream digital media files. But if you load a supported digital media file into the application and it does not stream sound, there are a few things you can check to re-enable the audio track.

Background

VLC is a free media player that is developed by the open-source VideoLAN project. The application is available in Mac, Windows and Linux editions. VLC supports playback for a wide range of digital media formats. The program can open digital audio in the MP3, M4A, WMA, WMV, OGG, RA and WAV formats and digital video in the MOV, MP4, M4V, 3GP, MPG, TS, VOB, ASF, AVI, WMV, MKV, RM, DV and FLV formats.

Application Settings

If VLC ever fails to play the audio on a digital media file, you should immediately check the application’s settings. Examine the speaker icon on the program interface, this is the player control that manages volume levels. If the icon displays a red “X,” then the loaded digital media file is muted. To turn off mute, simply click the speaker icon and the red “X” will disappear. But if this does not resolve the issue, go to the “Audio” tab on the program menu and select the “Audio Track” option. If audio playback is set to “Disable,” then choose from one of the available audio tracks to activate sound on the digital media file.

Codec Compatibility

All digital media files are products of a process that is referred to as compression. During compression, media streams (e.g., audio and video tracks) are written with codecs. A codec is a special algorithm that translates digital information into a readable format. Once the media streams are encoded, they are combined into a single file through the use of a multimedia container. Even if VLC supports a digital media file’s format and it has the proper settings to stream sound, it cannot play the audio track if your system lacks support for the audio codec. Nonetheless, you can confirm whether or not your system has the right components to read the audio codec by loading the digital media file into a codec identification tool like GSpot or VideoInspector. Not only can these free utilities identify a digital media file’s audio codec, but they can also direct you to download any missing components. These tools can also confirm if a problematic digital media file was compressed without an audio track. If this is the case, then this issue cannot be corrected within VLC.

Bugs

Any kind of glitch can prevent a program from completing a task that it is otherwise equipped to do. If VLC fails to stream sound on a loaded digital media file, then a software bug can be to blame. While re-installing the media player may solve them problem, you can save time by checking for software updates. To do this, go to the “Help” tab on the program menu and select “Check for Updates…” Follow the on-screen instructions to obtain the latest version of VLC. In addition to bringing your application up to date, this process can repair performance issues like unsuccessful audio playback.