Load External Audio Track for a Video in VLC

In VLC for Windows, it’s possible to add a separate audio track to a video that either has no audio stream or that has one, but you want to play a different audio.

With that said the process is a bit long-winded compared to doing it on PotPlayer or MPC-HC. The steps are as follows:

  1. Open VLC and on the toolbar go to Media > Open Multiple Files... or press Ctrl+Shift+O.
  2. Browse and select your video file by clicking the Add button. You can also load a video by dragging it inside the window.
    A screenshot shwoing the VLC open media window.
  3. At the bottom of the window, check the Show more option setting.
  4. Next check the Play another media synchronously option then click the Browse button beside the Extra media box.
  5. Browse and add the external audio (e.g. aac/m4a, ac3, mp3, ogg/opus etc.) file by clicking the Add button. You can also select another video to use its audio stream as the external audio. Click the Select button when you’re done.
    A screenshot showing the extra media options in VLC.
  6. Click the Play button to start playback, or Enqueue if you need to add other files to play.
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Having a Problem Loading External AAC Audio?

I’ve noticed VLC ignores the external audio track if it’s in AAC (filename.aac). To solve this issue, change the extension of the audio file to M4A (filename.m4a) and try again.

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M4A and AAC are technically the same audio file format so this shouldn’t affect playback of the file with other media players.

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Kelvin Muriuki is a web content developer that's passionate about keeping the internet a useful place. He is the founder and editor of Journey Bytes, a tech blog and web design agency. Feel free to connect with him regarding the content appearing on this page or on web and content development.

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