vlc just hit 3 billion downloads

Will there be cake?

Open-source video player VLC today celebrates a gargantuan milestone — it’s 3 billionth download!

The devs behind app say this is the total number of downloads they’ve been able to count via their website, with 25 percent of downloads coming from mobile platforms.

Since most Linux users install VLC from a distributions’s archive, the true number of downloads for the app is likely much, much higher than 3 billion.

Future Plans

The impressive stat coincides with a new stable release, VLC 3.0.6 (just bug fixes) and the team’s  appearance at the annual Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas.

Jean-Baptiste Kempf, VLC’s lead developer, spoke to US website Variety at CES ahead of the milestone (which was tracked live at the VLC CES booth) about the player’s plans for the near future.

And it seems some interesting things are in the pipeline.

Kempf says that the versatile media player plans to add a new string to its bow: support for Apple Airplay.

Airplay is kind of like Apple’s version of Chromecast. It lets iOS and Mac users “beam” video content from a laptop, tablet or mobile to an Airplay enabled TV or Apple TV.

No passcodes, cables or other set-up needed. Just open a video and fling it over.

VLC Airplay support will, according to Kempf, appear in the Android VLC app in the coming month or so.

What about the desktop app? Since VLC has a shared codebase the feature could also make an appearance. Third-party Airplay Linux clients already exist (albeit not as user-friendly as something like VLC).

VLC is also working on “enhanced support for VR”. This, they say, will allow users to watch a traditional 2D video in a 3D virtual cinema environment when donning a VR headset like the HTC Vive or Oculus Rift.

Interestingly, the (cannily reversed-engineered) VR capabilities VLC are demoing at CES only add around 1 megabyte of additional code to the app. Impressive!