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Excitement about French tech advances: VLC Mediaplayer Thx +Gerald Hussein
 
You don´t get 500 million downloads without making many friends!
VLC media player 2.0, which is developed in France, was released this week

People outside France never seem to think about it, but the French have always been on the forefront of media technology. From Niépce (who invented photography) to Daguerre (who invented the Daguerreotype) and from the Lumière brothers to Georges Méliès (who were both founding fathers of film), they had pioneers in many media throughout history. The French are back at it once again in modern age multimedia with the VLC player.

What most people never really think about either is how the most popular open source media player on the Internet was founded in a university in France in 1996 as a student’s project. It has come a very long way from there, but it has never strayed too far from its roots. It is still an open source media player which can decode a myriad files without needing any external codecs. It is now owned and run by the VideoLAN project, a non-profit organization which is still based in France.

The latest release offers many improvements, including faster decoding on multi-core GPU and mobile hardware. It has the ability to open even more formats, including professional and high definition codecs. It also supports many new devices, including experimental playing of BluRay Discs. The user interface has been completely reworked for Mac and Web, but all the versions have had significant improvements made to their user experiences. In addition there are many changes under the hood - over 7,000 of them, made by a team of around 160 volunteers.

If you tried to explain the concept of codecs and all the trouble anyone who wanted to watch a video or play an audio file had to go through before discovering VLC, they would probably not believe it was worth the hassle. VideoLAN did away with all that. The program is now the third-most popular open source download on www.sourceforge.net and the most popular media player on the site by a country mile.

Did you download version 2.0? What are your thoughts? Worth the wait?

Author: +Richard Muscat Azzopardi

More about VLC (including a link to a free download):
http://www.videolan.org

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