VLC hangs on OS X when playing anything

I had a strange issue with VLC on OS X: Whenever I tried to play anything, it would hang and needed to be force quit.

The culprit was that by default, it tries to remote control iTunes, basically stopping iTunes playback when VLC wants to play. However, my iTunes was unresponsive (currently moving my Library folder) and thus any attempt of VLC to communicate with iTunes would just lead to a hang.

The solution is to start VLC, go to Preferences and disable controlling of external players.