You have to turn on mouse gestures
One of my frustrations running Windows apps on touch screen computers or tablets is that the touch interface of programs is immature compared with Android or even iOS. This is a surprise, given that Microsoft has worked with tablets for twice as many years as either Google or Apple.
So I love using MX video player on Android, because it has touch-size controls, and touch-sensible controls. For example, to change the volume, I swipe up or down on the right half of the screen; to change the brightness, I do the same but on the left half. The important play-pause and screen aspect ratio buttons are large enough for inaccurate finger touches. Not so for similar programs running on Windows 8.
VLC is probably the most popular video player for Windows, and this week I found that it has Mouse Gestures hidden in its settings and documentation. No matter; they work just fine for touch screens. Now watching movies on my Windows 8 tablet is no longer painful.
Here is how to enable and then use Mouse Gestures.
Turning On Mouse Gesture Mode
To use gestures on a touch screen computer, you first have to turn on Mouse Gesture mode, like this:
1. In VLC, choose the Settings menu, and then click Preferences.
2. Open the Interface node, and then the Control Interfaces node.
3. Turn on the Mouse Gesture Interface Control option. (See Figure 1.)
4. Click Save.
Mouse Gesture Gestures
OK, so mouse gestures are available, but what are they? Here you need to consult the VLC documentation, which is online. Problem is, clicking the Help button does not help, because I could not find a reference to mouse gestures. This is probably because VLC is a volunteer effort.
My solution was to use Duck Duck Go to search for "vlc mouse gestures," which got me this page: https://wiki.videolan.org/Mouse_Gestures. As the page admits, mouse gesture support is rudimentary. For instance, we cannot customize gestures. Nevertheless, the available ones are sufficient to make movie viewing on Windows tablets tolerable.
Here are the gestures I use:
- Double-tap = toggle between full screen and windowed screen
- Right-left drag = play or pause
- Right drag = skip forward by 10 seconds (cannot change this time)
And Figure 2 has the full list:
Figure 2: Full list of (un-customizable) mouse gestures for VLC