A couple of days ago I found out that VLC has several interfaces besides the usual nice GUI interface.
In Arch Linux installing VLC also installs a couple of CLI interfaces for you.
For example it installs
nvlc, which is an ncurses interface, which means you
don't need X11 to listen to that music or podcast or whatever.
cvlc, which I don't know what it stands for but it allows you to
watch a video without the fancy GUI. So you do need X11 running but it doesn't
load the GUI and all that, just the video player and with some hotkeys I
imagine, when I pressed the spacebar it paused so maybe the rest work.
And of course it offers
vlc which loads the normal VLC but you can give it a
path to the file or folder from the CLI.