Fixing out-of-sync audio in VLC

Sometimes you play a movie file and video and audio are out of sync: You either see someone talk before you hear them or vice versa. This post explains how to fix this on the cross-platform movie player VLC.

There are two ways to specify a delay for the audio:

  • Preferences → All (features, as opposed to “Basic”) → Audio → Audio desynchronization compensation: a value in milliseconds.
  • Keyboard shortcuts: Guessing a correct value and entering it via the preferences can be incredibly tedious. Thankfully, VLC has keyboard shortcuts that let you adjust the delay while playing the movie (source: John Gillespie). You press just the key, no modifier key such as control or command.
    • Mac: F and G
    • Windows: J and K
The value being a delay, you choose a positive value if the sound comes before the video (you hear what happens before you see it). And a negative value, otherwise.