Thanks to LifeHacker for pointing out a very cool and interesting feature of the latest version of the VLC media player (one of UMW’s favorite tools). By enabling the Advanced Controls under the View menu, you can now record a segment or an entire DVD as it plays in the VLC player window. As of now this is a Windows only feature, and not available on the Mac version. The resulting recording, which is placed in the Documents folder, can then be played back using VLC. This makes it much easier for educators to grab segments of a DVD for showing in class. The old way would have meant using a DVD “ripping” program and then editing down the segment to show. The file is a standard MPEG-2 video file, but neither QuickTime or Windows Media Player was able to handle the file by default, so VLC is neccesary to play back the file on a computer. I’ll be playing around with converting the files to other formats like MPEG-4 and Flash (FLV) in the near future.