One of the best open source projects is undoubtedly VLC, that little app with the pylon icon that plays any video file you throw at it. VLC embodies the spirit of a free and open world of computing in which the user can do whatever they want and not have anybody spying on them (VLC doesn’t track when you open the app or what you play). The team behind VLC is an impressive group of people who stay true to their values and better the world through their efforts.
VideoLAN originally started as a project from the Via Centrale Réseaux student association, after the successful Network 2000 project.
But the true release of the project to the world was on 1st of February 2001, the École Centrale Paris director, Mr. Gourisse, allowed the open-sourcing of the whole VideoLAN project under the GNU GPL.
Today, VLC media player is used regularly by hundreds of millions of users, and has been downloaded more than 3.5 billion times over the years. VLC is today available on Windows, macOS, Linux, Android (including TV and Auto versions), iOS (and AppleTV), OS/2 and BSD.
Over the years, around 1000 volunteers worked to make VLC a reality.