Synchronize media players for group viewing with Syncplay
Syncplay is a free tool which syncs media players over the web, allowing a scattered group of friends to watch videos together.
To get started you must specify a server and choose a room name, something unique which represents your group.
You’ll also need a compatible media player (VLC, mplayer2, MPC-HC and mpv are supported). If the video isn’t available on a streaming URL which your player can handle then everyone must have a local copy of the file.
VLC Media Player users might even be able to sync DVDs, but this feature is "experimental" right now.
These details may be saved for instant recall next time, though, and once you’re up and running the program is reasonably straightforward. A "Notifications" panel lists users as they connect to the server, you can start play with a click -- once everyone is ready -- and if anyone pauses the player, maybe steps back a scene or resumes, then everyone else’s playback is synced automatically.
This isn’t quite as easy to use as it should be. When choosing a server you might expect the program to display a list, for instance, but no -- you have to open a browser window at the syncplay.pl site to see what’s available.
Syncplay handles its core task well, though, and overall it’s a fun way to enjoy more social video viewing, even when your friends are scattered around the world.