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VLC hits milestone: over 5 billion downloads

Written by Petteri Pyyny @ 16 Mar 2024 4:31 User comments (1)

VLC hits milestone: over 5 billion downloads Let's rewind to the early days of the millennium -- a time when the video landscape was untamed. Back then, YouTube, Netflix, and TikTok were mere figments of the digital imagination. Streaming videos directly from websites were still taking their tentative first steps.
Instead, videos were predominantly consumed as downloaded files. Users would fetch the entire video over their internet connection and then play it using a separate video player application.

To make it even more difficult, there were tons of different video formats in use. Hundreds of different formats vied for attention. Each format required its own codec -- a kind of "driver" for the computer -- to decode and play the specific video format.

Then, in the early days of 2001, a something happened. Experimental video player known as VideoLan Client went through a complete rewrite and was launched as an open source software.

Thus, VLC, in its current incarnation, was born. Its brilliance lay in its ability to handle decoding routines for nearly all conceivable video formats internally. No more fiddling with separate codec installations--the need for that vanished.



The evolution of VLC unfolded gradually after its initial launch. Step by step, VLC added support for new video formats. But it was around the 2010s that VLC truly transformed into a video player capable of handling just about anything.

During those times, we, too, began recommending VLC for virtually all video playback needs, primarily due to its simplicity. Its free and open-source nature also played a significant role in its soaring popularity.

Now, VLC has achieved a monumental milestone: it has been downloaded over 5 billion times. This staggering figure encompasses various versions of VLC across different platforms--a testament to its ubiquity.

Of course, this number is just an "guestimate". VLC is widely distributed through various software repositories and download sites, making precise tracking of all download counts practically impossible.


VLC officially supports the most common operating systems, including Linux, Android, Windows, macOS, iPhone, iPad, and Apple TV. But it doesn't stop there: versions of VLC are available for more obscure platforms like Solaris, OS/2, and BeOS.

In an interview
For official VLC download links, we recommend
visiting the official VLC homepage.

Tags: VLC
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