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[Fixed] VLC loading time is long

Submitted by Noaven on January 17, 2010 - 3:45pm

hello my friends!!

my VLC needs more than 15 seconds to open !

i have try re-installing and re-setting but nothing

any idea about what is wrong??

win7 64bit
intel quad core 2.6
8GB ram

Tim Clark's picture

That is actually perfectly normal for me.
It just takes a long time


Things have got to get better, they can't get worse, or can they?

i forget to say that im running it from the hard drive and not a usb!

is it normal 15 seconds for a pc like that???


the portable version of VLC from softpedia - cnet - [illegal site removed]

opening in less than 1 second!!!

Tim Clark's picture

I forget to say that I am running it from the hard drive and not a usb as well, [and] my machine is not as good as yours :/

And Yes, I think it is normal for my pc.

I know nothing about the version you mentioned.


[edit: I should have said above but instead of and]
[also, I'm XPSP3 32bit and only have 1GB of ram]

Things have got to get better, they can't get worse, or can they?

you are asking about a portable VLC that you downloaded from some place other than this site.

[quote]the portable version of VLC from softpedia - cnet - [illegal site removed][/quote]

That may be your issue. and if it is then we cant help because we do not support portable vlc programs from other sites.

Please read more carefully : he's saying that VLC bundle is far more slower than other site's bundle.

I haven't checked the load time differences but have to admit Portable VLC takes a long time to load. (and I installed platform & sofware on my local hard-drive)

That's why it's one of the software I still install locally (with Clamwin Antivirus, Winmerge, TrueCrypt, PDFCreator, TortoiseSVN for different reasons).


Gizmokid2005's picture

Running from an external hard drive here, vanilla install from loads from click to usable in 6 seconds or less for me.

Win7 Ultimate x64
AMD Phenom II x4 2.9GHz
4GB Ram

Might be specific to your configuration.

NathanJ79's picture

VLC is a slow loading program. It always has been. On a flash drive on a single-core box, loading times of up to a minute are normal. 15 seconds is good.

15 seconds is also about what I get loading it off my hard drive at home (also the one) and I only have a single-core 2GHz Athlon64 3200+ with 2GB of RAM, so your quad with 8GB RAM isn't doing you any favors when it comes to loading VLC. No, the bottleneck is somewhere else.

The app directory (all you change when you reinstall) might not be the problem, it might be your config. VLC configuration can be wonky sometimes. If you don't have some custom stuff set up, try deleting the whole directory and reinstall. Seems like you should get better performance with it. But VLC is always gonna be slow.

horusofoz's picture

I'm not technically inclined so I could be wrong but I though 32 bit applications (such as VLC Portable) often have performance issues running on 64 bit architecture. If I remember correctly it was something to do with translating the 32 bit instructions for the 64 bit CPU to execute.

Do other PortableApps or 32 bit applications start slowly or lag on your PC? Advocate

NathanJ79's picture

No, if that were remotely close to accurate, the 64-bit versions of Windows would be a lot less popular.

When I built my computer in 2005, 64-bit was relatively new for consumers and 64-bit XP was a huge problem. 64-bit consumer procs were new and largely untested, and their advantages were mostly few and far between.

Now it seems like every processor supports 64-bit mode even if it is not a dedicated 64-bit processor. Both Vista 64 and Win7 64 come highly recommended in tech circles, though it is noted that the 64-bit versions chew through a bit more RAM. But if you have the RAM, as the TC does, it's said to be the better experience.

No, if 64-bit Windows had problems with 32-bit apps, there would be a lot of controversy. What it can't run is 16-bit apps. But there's Windows XP mode for that and for the few 32-bit apps that have problems (Delphi 6 is a noted problem).

Matter of fact, a week or so ago I asked over on Ars Technica's forums if there was any reason to even use 32-bit Win7 nowadays. The topic derails to talk about processors after a while, but after the topic is pretty much resolved. Some good tech talk; I'm DarkReality there. Click here if you'd like to read it.

vlc portable from cnet

open in less than a second

vlc portable from softpedia

open in less than a second

vlc portable from [link to illegal software site removed by mod JTH]

open in less than a second

vlc portable from

open in more than 15 seconds Sad

-Re-test them all
-re-download it and reinstall it
-changed portable folder
-reset the config

The problem is here!
i think something wrong with vlc and

NathanJ79's picture

1. Install VLC from (I think). How long does it take to open?

If it takes more than a second, those other portable VLCs are doing something to speed it up and this might be worth investigating, but I don't think that will be the case.

2. Reinstall the VLC Portable if you don't have it installed. If you do don't worry about it, but go into the directory, then APP, then VLC and start vlc.exe manually. How long does that take to open?

If vlc.exe directly opens in a short amount of time, there is something with the launcher and you're right. If not... I don't know. But the answers to those tests will be important to the more technical people here in troubleshooting the problem.

PS -- and Softpedia are giving you VLC 0.8.6. gives you VLC 1.0.3. The older version might just be faster. But keep in mind if that is the reason, you're using older software that was updated for a reason. Oh, it might work fine and it might be ideal to stick with that version for your particular usage scenario. But keep in mind that's a difference right there.

VLC 0.8.6 uses wxWidgets, VLC 0.9+ uses Qt. There's been a **huge** increase in loading time when migrating from the first to the second. So yeah, nothing wrong with the portable version, it's just a "feature" (but it's improving, notably in version 1.1.0).

John T. Haller's picture

Try copying the local version of VLC from C:\Program Files\VLC into X:\PortableApps\VLCPortable\App\VLC.

I think in a recent version of VLC, a few of the DLLs have issues with being compressed so while we compress VLC for smaller space and quicker read from and install to flash drives, one or two of them are slowing launch.

Sometimes, the impossible can become possible, if you're awesome!

Darkbee's picture

I've had this problem for ages. VLC takes well over 1 minute to load on two completely separate computers both from hard drives. My only conclusion is that it's some combination of software installed on both machines i.e the virus scanner (AVG) and/or other "anti" products, and disk fragmentation or general system performance.

I've tried re-installing VLC Portable, completely removing and starting again, but always the same results. One thing I haven't tried is installing the regular version to see how long that takes to open.

I've pretty much given up and just come to accept that I have time to make a cup of tea when opening VLC. If I just want to play a small media file then I just open MPlayer instead which takes no more than 3 seconds to open.

It's one of those things that really baffles me and I'd dearly love to know the cause of the problem, but alas I think some things in life are just meant to remain a mystery.

On my hard drive, VLC takes 14 seconds, which is faster than open office which takes 18. Those two are my slowest opening apps, but I don't think that's too slow...
I remember back in the 90's when it took that long to open a web page. Sticking out tongue

Toshiba is better to the environment than a lot of common electronic companies. Check out Greenpeace's Guide To Greener Electronics Cool

I hadn't started VLC in a while. When I tried it last night, it took forever and finally Zone Alarm came up asking for permission. After I granted permission, each time I tried VLC came up behind the splash screen. Check to make sure your firewall is not slowing down the loading.


Darkbee's picture

One thing you have to be careful of is that Windows caches apps each session (at least it seems to, I think this is an advance performance setting). So that if you open VLC, the first time will take forever, but if you close it down and immediately reopen, then it will open a lot faster. This is what happens on my computer/s. However, if you then restart the machine, or shut it down altogether and turn it back on, once again VLC will take forever to load the first time.

I'll check the internet access option, I'm guessing this is the "collect statistics" option under advanced options.

Just for laughs I installed VLC Portable on my work laptop. It took 10 seconds to load, which seems more in line with what other users report. So I know that it's something about my computers at home. I still think AVG is the culprit, I should try disabling it (although I'm sure I have tried that before).

John T. Haller's picture

I've double checked the 1.0.5 portable release. Running it with and without UPX compression results in the same speed launch, about 5 seconds. Running the local version (standard VLC, no launcher) also starts in about 5 seconds.

This was based on multiple starts without being pre-fetched by Windows on a Windows Vista 32-bit machine running a typical consumer antivirus (Avira Antivir Free).

I'm going to mark this as fixed unless we get additional feedback.

Sometimes, the impossible can become possible, if you're awesome!

Is it possible that it's an effect of compression with upx or some other such compression tool, it's my understanding that loading on files compressed with such tools sometimes takes longer, presumably to uncompress it to a useful mode. Another possibility is how vlc uses or doesn't scan for plugins depending on --no-cache-plugins, etc. You might try adding that to the additional parameters of the vlcportable.ini file.

I shoulda read a little further, apparently not the compression, possibly the scan for and cacheing of plugins?

Incidentally 1.1.0 is out.

John T. Haller's picture

UPX only increases load time by a few percent since it's CPU-limited. However, it increases load time off a flash drive because it is bandwidth limited. So, overall, it seems to improve load time (except with certain antivirus products).

Sometimes, the impossible can become possible, if you're awesome!

I have Vista 32bit loaded on my machine. I have been trying to figure out what is going on with VLC loading so slowly, and I finally figured it out. Its Microsoft Sivlerlight that caused the problems. After uninstalling Silverlight VLC loads fast stand alone or linked to file associations. Hope this helps..