Videolan says that it expects VLC to exceed Friday's 3B downloads and that Airplay support arrives on the main VLC app, probably in about a month.

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January 10, 2019 12:38 PT

The VLC open source video player application did not exceed 3 billion downloads on Friday, and the Videolan team celebrated the occasion with a special download desk at its CES booth in Las Vegas.

VLC is expected to overtake this step Friday afternoon, according to Jean-Baptiste Kempf, one of the main developers of the application. And, sign of the times, about a quarter of these downloads come from mobile devices.

Kempf also shared some of the roadmap for VLC with Variety, which includes the implementation of Airplay. This will allow Android users to transfer videos from their mobile devices to Apple TVs. Kempf said that Airplay support could join the VLC main application in about a month.

Another feature demonstrated at CES was the enhanced support for virtual reality, which makes it possible to watch traditional 2D movies in a virtual cinema environment within headphones such as the HTC Vive.

Kempf said the Videolan team had reverse engineered most virtual reality headsets to natively support virtual reality video via the VLC main application. Squeezing the software development kits (SDKs) of the helmet manufacturers would have added hundreds of megabytes of code to VLC. The implementation demonstrated at CES is based on about 1 megabyte of additional code, he said.

Finally, VLC is also looking to create a more competitive media library for its application to simplify failover from iTunes. However, Kempf warned that the goal was not to build a complete multimedia center solution with complex tools to manage large personal multimedia libraries. "We will never compete with Plex or Kodi," he said.

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