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 – https://syncplay.pl/. 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 https://syncplay.pl/ 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:
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.
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.
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.
If the same file name with the same length is opened, you’ll see the below.
Once you’re ready, from Syncplay, press I’m ready to watch!
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!
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!