Get VLC seeing media files again with a very simple location directive.
We have an old D-Link 323 dual drive box that we use as a poor-man's media server and secondary storage location on a residential network assigned a DCHP address from a router. Its not the fastest thing but its super stupid simple and always seems to work when called upon from a large group of devices on the network: Linux desktops and laptops, Xbox One, Android devices and even the occasional Apple phone.
3.0.11, build f3b541c4a VLC: 700B2910C0 (2018-06-12) ARMv7 on one of our Android devices suddenly went blank when looking for this device after years of un-managed perfection. Oddly all other machines within the network were still able to use it, including the desktop snap of VLC on Ubuntu. Chalk it up to VLC updates specific to Android(?).
The solution is simple. Enter the full folder path structure in VLC's Local Network section. This can be easily found by perusing the location on another machine or from your router device list. The image at the end of this post shows the exact configuration:
"Server Address" was the actual name of the device:
"Folder Path" was literally the folder structure to our main video folder:
"Server Name" was the combination of the two:
Since this is all on the same local network; there is no need to fill out the Port or username, though they do exist.
Interestingly when the actual IP of the device was used, VLC couldn't read the files or see the folders.