VLC, one of the most popular open-source video players out there, has breached the 3 billion downloads milestone at the ongoing CES 2019 trade fair, around a quarter of which have been registered from the mobile platform. Additionally, the VLC media player app for Android is getting support for AirPlay, allowing users to stream videos and songs from their Android smartphone to the Apple TV. The VLC for Android app will get an update in ‘about a month' that will bring support for Apple's AirPlay proprietary protocol suite which allows wireless streaming of media between compatible devices.
VideoLAN, the non-profit organisation behind the VLC media player, set up a dedicated booth at CES 2019 where a counter created using multiple smartphones and tablets kept a tab on VLC's download figures across all platforms. The media player was around a million downloads shy of reaching the 3 billion mark when CES kicked off and achieved the impressive milestone on Thursday. VLC developer, Ludovic Fauvet, later tweeted an image of the download counter with the 3 billion mark having just been surpassed.
Talking about the arrival of AirPlay support on the VLC app for Android, one of the lead developers Jean-Baptiste Kempf told Variety that the app will soon receive a major update, dubbed VLC 4, that will add support for the aforesaid feature. AirPlay is also making its way to LG's lineup of OLED TVs and Samsung TVs, alongside a host of smart TVs from other leading manufacturers that are currently working with Apple.
However, a definite timeline for the update has not been revealed. “We would like it to be part of VLC 4, which is the next major release we are currently working on”, Kempf was quoted as saying by the Verge. It is worth noting that the VLC app for iOS has had AirPlay support for quite some time. VLC has already rolled out a minor update (v3.0.6) which has added support for HDR in the AV1 video coding format. Talking about the road ahead, Kempf also revealed that VLC will soon get enhanced support for VR content that will allow users to watch regular 2D videos in a more immersive fashion by using VR headsets. Moreover, VideoLAN also plans to bring the VLC media player app to the PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch, as well as Roku devices.