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Linux VLC and USB footpedal

transcription requirements



8:37 pm on Jul 30, 2012 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member dstiles is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 5+ Year Member

This is a long shot in this forum but I've been trying to work this out for weeks. A couple of weeks ago I tried the VLC forum and no help other than "It ain't us, it's linux HID".

The basic problem is:

I'm trying to install VLC (or any video viewer, really) to enable my wife to carry out video transcription on linux (specifically, Ubuntu).

All works as expected except I cannot get a USB foot pedal to work with VLC (required to Play/Pause, Rewind and Forward). An installation of Express Scribe (only runs audio) allows me to go through a simple setup where it asks for a pedal press, I press a pedal and it all works. Given the complexity of VLC I expected a similar feature but it's not there.

For Windows I could buy a piece of software that would do the trick but nothing for linux (and I would not expect it to be necessary anyway - a script or two should suffice at most).

The VLC forum suggests that, because it's HID (Human Interface Device) I need to work out how to run that into VLC. In my view, laziness on the part of VLC - how difficult can it be to do this at the interface level?

I've played with lirc and a couple of other HID-type interfaces but can't work out how to do it. This may simply be lack of knowledge/experience on my part.

Running cat on hiddev0 comes up with a 24-byte string for each pedal action - no idea why so many bytes nor how to make use of them. "Put the pedal code into the VLC short-cuts" was one piece of advice but I can see no way of altering the "hot-keys" except by pressing a combination of keys on an ordinary keyboard. There seems to be no facility on VLC to enter arbitrary key-code strings.

I've searched online in a number of different ways for a solution and the appearance is that no one wants to do this - which I can't quite believe. Although even Express Scribe no longer update their software for linux - plenty of old versions offered on download sites but not the latest version.

If anyone has any ideas they would be gratefully received.


11:10 pm on Jul 31, 2012 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

I did a search for USB foot pedal VLC "Linux"
The first few links were either your posting elsewhere or unhelpful, but after that there was a link leading to software that may solve your problem (at a cost).

"It makes USB transcription foot pedals compatible with VLC Media Player." with a link to
It's classed as Shareware but costs $49.99


8:41 pm on Aug 1, 2012 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member dstiles is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 5+ Year Member


Those sites are lying - all items listed are, if you follow through to the "home" sites, a single package written for Windows. I've seen that particular package several times on a lot of web sites. :(

Thanks for trying, anyway. :)


6:36 am on Aug 4, 2012 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

A long shot, but does any of this help:


is it that you need to map scan codes to keycodes?



8:38 pm on Aug 4, 2012 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member dstiles is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 5+ Year Member

Thanks for the leads, graeme! I'll work through them over the next few days and get back to you. :)

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