VLC Media Player is a free media player built for multiple different operating systems. It supports many different forms of input, including streams from over the internet. Because of this, you can listen to radio stations and live video without having to use another piece of software as you would if you were using Windows Media Player or something similar to this. It offers a lot of extra functionality which is why it has become as popular as it has today.
It was originally created back in 1996 as an academic project, something that appears to be quite common in this industry. It was intended to be what it is today – in fact, the developers actually only wanted it to use a client and server system to share videos over a network connection, allowing users to play media without having it physically stored on their computer. This worked rather well and so it was decided for it to be released to the general public, although not until 2001 (there were quite a few changes before this happened).
It was licensed under the GPL license which meant it was open source. The source code of the application was distributed alongside it so that developers around the world could contribute to the project if they so wished to. Right now, there are millions of worldwide developers working on it, the original team don’t even need to get involved anymore. The feature set has changed remarkably from the first version, in fact the server part of it has been depreciated because of the lack of need for it so now it is simply a client.
Throughout the years, the popularity of it grew at an incredible pace. This was mainly because of the number of updates that were being released for it, at a rate that competing products just couldn’t catch up with. RealPlayer, WMP and even Winamp were really struggling because of it and as a result they lost a huge amount of market share to this program. At the moment, it’s the second most popular download on Sourceforge and has received many awards for it. For this reason, you can be sure that you can trust this to do the job no matter what operating system you’re running – a download is available for Windows, Linux and even Mac OS X. You can even find it for mobile devices if you want to play media on there, too.