Increase efficiency when watching ACR Session Select videos

It has been many years since I had the ability to go to ACR due to new jobs[1] and parenting responsibilities[2]. Instead, I’ve used Session Select to watch the lectures on my own time at a later date. In general, the set up is quite nice. For example, you don’t need flash installed and things run very well on an iPad or iPhone. There are a few small issues, such as download links not being obviously displayed, or a even one large download all option.

One trick I use to increase my productivity is to use VLC to watch the videos. VLC makes it easy to take screenshots (for remembering key points later), fast forward or rewind easily, and you can set the play back speed up to 4x faster[3].

To do this, first download VLC. It is available free for most platforms and has been my video player of choice for over a decade[4]. Then, go to the lecture on Session Select that you want to download. Right click on the video and choose Download as on a Mac or the equivalent on Windows[5]. After the file downloads, open the video in VLC and start watching. Setting the playback speed is under the Playback menu. Taking a snapshot (screenshot) is under the Video menu and is the shortcut ⌥⌘s on a Mac.


  1. The youngest attending has to take the call.  ↩

  2. My wife has worked an hour away from where the boy goes to school.  ↩

  3. I typically use between 1.2–1.5 depending on the speaker and topic.  ↩

  4. Damn, that’s long.  ↩

  5. If you’re using Unix, you clearly won’t need any help.  ↩