Watch videos with your friends even if you’re under quarantine or lockdown at home!

Let’s face it – staying at home under quarantine and lockdown due to COVID-19 is not fun at all. You might want to watch some videos in sync with your loved ones. You can take the silly and manual way and say – 3,2,1, PLAY! That may work, but if someone needs to pause, you’ll need to go through that silly 3,2,1 again! What if there are tools to help you out?

Turns out, there is Syncplay Syncplay is a free tool that allows you to synchronize what video you’re watching, even if you are miles away. It works with modern playback tools; I’ve tested this tool with VLC and it was great.

Let’s set it up! -Firstly, go to and download your version. In my case, we’ve tried it on both Windows and Mac and it was great. Once you’ve downloaded it, fire the app up. You’ll need a server so that everyone can connect and play. Syncplay provides free servers to connect to, here’s a list:

  • pl:8995
  • pl:8996
  • pl:8997
  • pl:8998
  • pl:8999

Fill out the following fields:

  • Server Address -> Pick one from the list above
  • Username -> Just your name so your friends can know who is who
  • Default Room -> This should be unique so that only your friends can join. Just pick a fancy name which is unique to you.
  • Path to media player -> Here, we’re telling Syncplay which application to use to play videos. I’m using VLC – find the path of the application and save it.
  • I also recommend “Enable shared playlists” but this is completely optional.
Syncplay – configuration and connection

Once you’re done – hit “Store configuration and run Syncplay”. If all goes well. Syncplay will show the below screen, and your media player should start. In my case, we’re two people in the room.

Two people int the same room

To start playing a video, go to Syncplay -> File -> Open Media File -> and navigate and load your file. Make sure that everyone loads the same file with the same name. You’ll get a notification if the file is not the same, such as the below.

File name, size and duration is not the same; you’ve loaded a different file.

If the same file name with the same length is opened, you’ll see the below.

Files are the same – just waiting for people to be ready

Once you’re ready, from Syncplay, press I’m ready to watch!

Checkbox to show you’re ready

When everybody is ready, you can proceed and play! Any one person can play and pause video for all the other users in the room. Enjoy synchronized playing!

You can also comment during playback and it will appear in both VLC and Syncplay – it’s like you’re almost next to each other!

Chat appearing both in VLC and Syncplay

There are many other features you can explore in Syncplay:

  • Loading and Sharing a Media Directory
  • Loading a network stream
  • Creating Playlists

Enjoy and stay safe during these turbulent times!

Run your C# code instantly in Visual Studio (2015 and up)

A lesser known trick introduced in Visual Studio 2015 (Update 1) is the fact that you can instantly run C# code without having to create a dummy project. The new Roslyn compiler has introduced C# Interactive Shell; a REPL engine. The REPL engine provides instant feedback to the user according to the input provided. This means that you do not need any main method or any other magic; just pluck in your C# code and get feedback immediately.

In order to fire up the C# Interactive Shell, go to View -> Other Windows -> C# Interactive.

Firing up the C# Interactive Shell

The C# Interactive shell equipped with many features that we are accustomed with when using Visual Studio such as Syntax Highlighting, Code Completion, Intellisense and such.

Sample code running in the C# Interactive shell

When you run the C# Interactive shell by default, it does not take into consideration the code that you’re currently editing; it’ll behave like a basic REPL engine; nothing more. Visual Studio provides functionality to run the shell in the context of the currently loaded project. To do that, right click the desired project and press “Initialize Interactive with Project”. Doing this will allow the C# Interactive shell to work directly with the loaded project.

Initialize Interative with Project

The C# interactive shell provides a lot of functionality such as making use of the async features seamlessly. One must note that obviously, code will still run synchronously. It also has several other features, which have been thoroughly documented on Roslyn’s Github page.

One must note that this is NOT a replacement for the immediate window. Whilst debugging a process, it seems that the only way to interact immediately with the process is through the immediate window; the Interactive shell does not work. To be honest, it makes sense since the C# interactive shell is intended to run C# code instantly without requiring a running solution, unlike the immediate window.

This feature is an ideal addition to any developer who need to run some experimental /dirty code quickly, without any headache whatsoever. I used to use tools such as LINQPad (it has other uses too through) or sites such as RexTester to try out something quickly. With this tool, such tools are not needed anymore!

Edit: Thanks for spotting the typo Christopher Demicoli!