VLC is in my opinion the best video player ever. I very like this application, because I do not have to install any codec in order to watch any video file. This is very useful, because I remember welly times of video codec packs. Today I can not imagine installation of such package, because it may be very harmful. Installation of a single, popular and stable application is much safer 🙂
Taking this opportunity I would write you a few words about the history of the VLC project. 15 years ago, i.e. on February 1st, 2001, École Centrale Paris university-level institution relicensed all the VideoLAN software to the GPL license. The project began 5 years earlier and it was used for video streaming of satellite TV signal over the computers in university network. This application was developed by a student, Michel Kaempf and it has 21 275 lines of code and it was called Network 2000. Today, he his one of developers in VideoLAN Organization. Jean-Baptiste Kempf, who is the president of this non-profit organization, said:
If you’ve been to one of my talks, (if you haven’t, you should come to one), you know that the project that became VideoLAN and VLC, is almost 5 years older than that, and was called Network 2000. Moreover, the first commit on the VideoLAN Client project is from August 8th 1999, by Michel Kaempf had 21275 lines of code already, so the VLC software was started earlier in 1999. However, the most important date for the birth of VLC is when it was allowed to be used outside of the school, and therefore when the project was GPL-ized: February 1st, 2001.
Facts are very impressive. The VLC project has 700 contributors, 70 000 commits (i.e. saved changes in the source code repository), 2 billion downloads and hundreds of millions users 😀 For me, the most amazing is the fact that VLC is the real multi platform GPL application, because it is available on Windows, Linux, BSD, OS X, iOS, Android, Solaris, BeOS, OS/2, Tizen and ChromeOS. Currently the team is working on VLC 3.0 version which will provide unification of mobile ports, more GPU decoding, better adaptive streaming and ChromeCast integration.