The VLC media player (initially called VideoLAN Client) is a portable, free media player for audio, video codecs and file formats as well as DVDs, video CDs. It supports various streaming protocols.
It can also be used as a server to stream in unicast or multicast in IPv4 or IPv6 networks or as a transcoder for the supported video and audio formats.
The VLC media player was developed by the VideoLAN team since 1996. This consists of students from the French engineering school Ecole Centrale Paris, Chatenay-Malabry in Paris and developers from over 20 countries, including the United States, the Netherlands, Norway and Germany.
From 1 February 2001 the program is distributed under the GNU General Public License and may thus be modified by anyone.
The graphical user interface of the VLC media player for Windows and Linux variant is based on wxWidgets.
On 7 July 2009, version 1.0.0 was released. A new addition supports the format: AES3 (SMPTE 302M), Dolby Digital Plus (E-AC-3), True HD / MLP, Blu-ray Linear PCM, QCELP (Qualcomm Pure Voice) and RealVideo ( Version 3.0 and 4.0). In addition, the existing decoders have been improved.
Since late 2009, a new graphical interface for the VLC media player is developed under Mac OS X under the project name Lunettes. This is based on the VLCKit. The old Cocoa interface is not currently maintained.
With version 1.1.0 in June 2010, there is hardware acceleration mainly for playing HD videos and support for mobile devices (like eg mobile phones) added.
In early November 2012, the VideoLAN project on Kickstarter.com launched an initiative that will serve to finance the development of a new version of the VLC media player for the new interface of Windows.
The VLC media player is a part of the complete VideoLAN streaming solution of the teams. Another component of this solution is the VideoLAN Server, but was replaced by special features of the VLC
Particularly noteworthy is the versatility of the program that plays almost every format and each file includes incomplete or fragmented AVI files. Here all the standard features of commercial products are available.
In addition, various effects may be applied in real-time filter. Thus, for example, a video that was recorded in portrait orientation, can be rotated 90 °, and color filters, etc. can be used.
The VLC media player runs on Android, GNU / Linux, Microsoft Windows, Mac OS X, BeOS, Syllable, EComStation. Some other operating systems such as BSD are also supported, but for them there is no pre-compiled binary packages.
There is also a portable for Microsoft Windows (from the USB stick without installation executable) version. Skins is possible by means of an extensive customization of the user interface.
The VLC media player comes to home users, schools and universities, but also for use by professional users. Is particularly appreciated the high level of compatibility with a variety of formats and codecs, so he can play almost all video and audio formats.
Alternatives to VLC is KMPlayer for example, Winamp, Media Player Classic, MPlayer, Xine and Ogle, but provide comparatively limited streaming options. Many other open source (“open source”) programs use the FFmpeg library and thus support a similar number of formats.