I often use my laptop in the kitchen for following along with pre-recorded real-time cooking recipes.

Sometimes the chef in the video gets too far ahead of me and I need to pause the video for a while (sometimes for minutes) to allow myself to catch up.

But at the moment I pause the video, the next step in the recipe is usually already under way.

So when I'm ready for the next step, I need to then rewind, maybe 30 seconds, before restarting the video again.

I often end up doing this little "pause-rewind-unpause" routine many times during a recipe and it gets rather frustrating and the keyboard gets messy and wet because of the cooking stuff on my hands.

Does anyone know of any media playing software (for Windows) that will allow an automatic restart some number of seconds before the pause point whenever a recording is unpaused?



I thought I should make clear that it is important that the rewinding happens automatically as the video is unpaused rather than me needing to make any further keystrokes.

This is because, while cooking, my hands get pretty messy and I want to minimize contact with the keyboard.

The best solution I envisage would be to be able to tap the spacebar (perhaps with my wrist) to pause the video and then press the spacebar again to unpause it about 30 seconds earlier.

5 Answers 5


I suggest a player agnostic solution: Install: AutoHotkey (freeware)

Example for Windows Media Player Define Space to be a macro for Ctrl+P and

 ;AutoHotkey Pause + Left Macro Example

 Send ^p{Left}

To use it, enable the macro and set the focus (= click once) on Media Player's time scrollbar. This way while playing something you press Space and it pauses and goes back a few seconds. To continue press Space again and it continues and goes back a few more seconds.

Warning: Don't forget to disable the macro when not using that feature or it will drive you nuts ;)

AutoHotkey has a powerful macro language. If you can do a little programming you may even build something like a simplified remote control for your player by changing window focus and such things.

  • Thanks. That works simply and elegantly. In case anyone's interested, I'm firing off the SHIFT and LEFT combination for smaller jumps in Windows Media Player which equates to +{LEFT} in the script. The nice side-effect of this is that pressing the space bar a few times enables you to rewind the video further if necessary while touching no other keys. And even if my hands are too dirty to touch the keyboard, I can just use whatever utensil I can find lying around to just prod the space bar :)
    – Joe Schmoe
    Jun 6, 2011 at 0:34

You can do it with VLC.

Combinations of CTRL, SHIFT, ALT and Left arrow will jump backwards - replace with right arrow to jump forwards.

If you look in the VLC preferences window, under hotkeys, you can see which key-combination does which jump.

  • Ideally, because my hands are messy while cooking, I want to minimize keyboard contact hence the reason I would like it to rewind automatically on unpause
    – Joe Schmoe
    Jun 2, 2011 at 16:57
  • 1
    Ah, I see. Do you normally unpause using the mouse or the keyboard? You might be able to assign both play and rewind to the same hotkey, which would probably achieve the desired effect. Jun 2, 2011 at 17:00
  • Normally, I use the keyboard. I'll give that suggestion a try
    – Joe Schmoe
    Jun 2, 2011 at 17:03
  • Unfortunately, while you can apparently bind both keys to the same hotkey, it appears that only the play/pause hotkey is fired off
    – Joe Schmoe
    Jun 2, 2011 at 17:32
  • 1
    I don't know of any way to do it by default but you could certainly make an autohotkey script to execute: Space, Shift+Left. You could assign it to your spacebar.
    – Jeff F.
    Jun 2, 2011 at 17:59

If you are an advanced user (or know someone) and your computer has a microphone, then you might be able to use Windows Speech Recognition Macros :

The Windows Speech Recognition Macros tool or WSR Macros for short extends the usefulness of the speech recognition capabilities in Windows Vista.

Users can create powerful macros that are triggered by spoken commands which can perform a series of tasks from as simple as inserting your mailing address to as complex as providing a completely different speech interaction with applications.

Please note that most Bluetooth microphones do not function well with Windows Speech Recognition due to limited audio bandwidth.

So in theory, by using nothing else than one's voice, one should be able to program a speech-activated macro that will send keyboard commands to the player to pause, rewind and unpause. Most players support a keyboard interface.

The download is available from here, some archived macros are available here, and a forum here.

From the large availability of related material on the Internet, I would say that the technology does work. However, I have never tried it, so cannot testify for its efficiency.

  • The videos I am playing are mostly speech-based (the voice of the chef) played through the speakers. Wouldn't this interfere with the speech recognition of the microphone?
    – Joe Schmoe
    Jun 3, 2011 at 21:59
  • The microphone should be placed far enough from the speakers to lessen background noise. Conflicts are minimized since the recorded command will be in your own voice. Use command words or short phrases that are clearly pronounceable and test the result. See this example (voice quality is low so turn up the volume to hear).
    – harrymc
    Jun 4, 2011 at 7:01
  • See also this article : Control Your PC with Your Voice.
    – harrymc
    Jun 4, 2011 at 7:12

Daum PotPlayer, or The KMPlayer. Both can do this. Just hit the left arrow key to jump back(5 seconds is default but you can change this.) http://filehippo.com/download_kmplayer/ You can search around for the PotPlayer.

  • So can this be set up to rewind automatically on unpause? While cooking, my hands are usually quite messy so minimizing keyboard contact is a must
    – Joe Schmoe
    Jun 2, 2011 at 16:56
  • When you hit the left arrow key to jump back, it doesn't pause at all, it just jumps back and continues to play. if you want to pause it you can hit space. (all of the keys are configurable)
    – ntw1103
    Jun 3, 2011 at 5:13
  • To do what you are trying to do, ctrl + left will jump you back 30 seconds. If this is too hard, you can set it to another key: once The KMPlayer is open, hit F2 in the tree view on the left select General, then Keys/Global Control In the tree view in the center, under playback select & Jump(to) click 30 sec. Backward click on the text field labeled Key(it is red) then press whichever key you want to use to jump back 30 seconds. Hit close, and you should be good to go.
    – ntw1103
    Jun 3, 2011 at 5:24
  • Also, if you want to do this in VLC it is possible. tools -> Preferences. In the bottom left there is a simple/all radio button. Select all. In the tree on the left, select interface -> Hotkeys. There is the option to adjust jump sizes. you can set the Short jump to 30 seconds. Next in the list, scroll to the medium backwards jump. The default is Ctrl+left. You can select it and enter a new key to use in the box then hit apply. Click save at the bottom and you should be good to go.
    – ntw1103
    Jun 3, 2011 at 5:26

I think VLC will let you do it easily.

  • 2
    Could you elaborate on this? How exactly will VLC let him do that?
    – slhck
    May 29, 2011 at 16:17
  • I've got VLC installed. Can you tell how you do it?
    – Joe Schmoe
    May 30, 2011 at 15:40
  • -1: I've had VLC for a long time now and I don't think it can do this.
    – Kevin M
    May 31, 2011 at 22:44

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