The big picture: VLC, initially released in 2001, has stood the test of time. With meaningful updates and support for modern platforms, the application is well on its way to smashing the four billion download milestone.

VLC, the open-source media player from developer VideoLAN, has now been downloaded more than three billion times. Conveniently enough, the milestone was crossed during CES where the developer was demonstrating new features heading to the app.

Jean-Baptiste Kempf, one of the app’s lead developers, told Variety that roughly a quarter of downloads are now happening on mobile devices.

Looking ahead, VLC will soon be adding support for AirPlay, making it possible for users to easily share videos from their mobile devices to Apple TVs. Kempf said the feature should arrive in the main VLC app within a month or so.

VLC has also been working on VR. The development team reverse-engineered several VR headsets in order to natively support VR video in the VLC app (watching a 2D movie in a virtual movie theater). Had the team relied on the SDKs of headset makers, the implementation would have added hundreds of megabytes of code to the app. The solution demoed at CES adds just one megabyte of additional code according to Kempf.

The developer said VideoLAN is also looking to build out a more complete media library although it doesn’t plan on competing directly with the likes of Kodi or Plex.

If you don't already have it, you can grab a copy of VLC by clicking here.

Lead image courtesy dennizn via Shutterstock