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Control Panel\Programs\Default Programs\Set Associations does not give a choice - Windows Media Player is the only option. I have tried modifying the registry for MMS (shell\command key) but MMS is still associated with Windows Media Player

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up vote 2 down vote accepted

The problem with associating mms streams is that they are not, in the traditional sense, files that have an extension and thus you will not find something to associate with. These streams are actually a url. For example:


In the registry you can find the following:

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Classes\WMP11.AssocProtocol.MMS - URL:mms Protocol

There is a subkey below this level that uses a shell open cpommand, you could, if you haven't already, try changing the default handler in the location.

To open an mms stream in vlc you can select, from the toolbar, Media/Open Network Stream and paste a url, such as the one above, directly.

If you always want vlc to open a stream from within your browser, it will depend which browser you use. If you're using the installer version of vlc it should add the plug-ins for browsers such as firefox and the activex controls for IE.

if the plug-ins have been added correctly, the first time you open an mms feed you should receive a prompt:

alt text

If you have the 'zip' version of vlc you will need to do things manually. see the readme.txt in the activex folder in the unzipped vlc directory.

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Though this is not exactly what I wanted (associate the MMS with VLC no matter what) it kinda solves the problem - the Firefox gives you a choice which it can remember if you install a plugin. IE is still a problem - despite that ActiveX control is installed, MMS links open in Media Player. – Sergey Aldoukhov Jul 9 '10 at 3:44
As a test I replaced Media Player with "C:\Program Files\VideoLAN\VLC\vlc.exe" --no-playlist-enqueue "%1" in the HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\MMS\shell\open\command and that forced IE to open VLC. Although this worked, I'm not 100% sure about the syntax for the key... – Pulse Jul 9 '10 at 5:16

How to associate media files to VLC

This should be done through the VLC settings interface, choose "Tools | Preferences " and then click on the "File Associations" button. Select any file extension that you wish to open with VLC, then click "Apply". This should change all media files icons to the VLC cone, and double-clicking any of them should open VLC and immediately start playing the media.

If this seems to have no effect on the UI, and/or double-clicking the file icon does not start VLC, check that you have correctly set Windows preferences through "Start | Default Programs" (on Vista; see the relevant item on Windows XP or newer Windows OS; possibly this is not applicable to Windows 2000). In that UI click on "Set default programs", select the "VLC media player" item and check the description (it will usually say "All default settings for this program are active"). Then choose your own course of actions by either clicking on "Set this program as default" or "Choose default settings for this program".

Other ways to achieve the same effects are as follows (not really recommended). Use Windows Explorer's context menu

  1. In Windows Explorer, right-click a file you wish to open.
  2. Click "Open With" in the context menu that pops up.
  3. Click "VLC media player" to use VLC just this once, or click "Default program..."
  4. Click the name of the program (VLC) which you want to be used to open the file. * If VLC is not displayed, click Browse to locate it on your hard drive.


  1. In Windows Explorer, right-click the file you want to open with VLC.
  2. Click Properties in the context menu that pops up.
  3. On the General tab, click Change.
  4. Click the name of the program (VLC) which you want to be used to open the file.

Either of these options affects all files that have the same filename extension (the letters after the filename's period) as the file you selected. For example, if you change the program that opens goober.avi, then all .avi files will be opened with VLC.

vlan wiki

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The question was about protocol association, not file association. – Sergey Aldoukhov Jul 9 '10 at 3:41

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