VLC Media Player has officially been downloaded 3 billion times as of writing. The app needs no introduction — it's probably the most popular third-party video player in existence, and for good reason.
Not only does it play almost every imaginable codec in the planet, but it's also no fuss to use. Just click and start watching instantly. It's available on all major platforms, including Windows, macOS, iOS, Android, and even Linux.
The VideoLAN team celebrated the milestone with a special download counter at its CES booth in Las Vegas.
What's Next For VLC
So what's next? In an interview with Variety, Jean-Baptiste Kempf, one of the app's lead developers, he shared some of the company's future plans for VLC, which includes adding support for AirPlay.
VLC To Get AirPlay Support
With that feature, Android users will be able to cast videos from their mobile devices to Apple TVs. Kempf said that Airplay could make it to the main VLC app in about a month. This should perhaps comes as no surprise. At CES, there was a surprising amount of TV manufacturers who have announced that their devices will soon support many of Apple's usually locked services. It's not clear why this is, but ongoing speculation heavily implies that it's part of Apple preparations for the imminent launch of its own video streaming service.
VLC To Get Better Virtual Reality
Apart from AirPlay, VLC is also getting more robust support for virtual reality, said Kempf. With this, users can watch traditional 2D movies in a virtual theater using VR headsets such as the HTC Vive or the Oculus Rift.
According to Kempf, the VideoLAN team reverse-engineered most VR headsets to natively support VR content through the main VLC app. Depending solely on the software development kits of headset manufacturers would have added hundreds of megabytes of code to VLC. On the other hand, the team's implementation is based on just roughly a single megabyte of additional code.
Beyond AirPlay and VR, VideoLAN might also be looking to build a more robust media library in line with iTunes. However, Kempf said the team doesn't want to create a complete media center with specific tools for media library management. VideoLAN doesn't want to compete with Plex or Kodi, he said.
VLC Media Player is available as a free download.
Thoughts about VLC finally hitting 3 billion downloads? As always, if you have anything to share, feel free to sound them off in the comments section below!