VLC turned 20 years old this month – the popular video player has seen more than 3.5 billion downloads and despite its advanced age (software ages in dog years), it shows no signs of slowing down.
Work on version 4.0 is nearly complete, the stable release is expected in the coming months. The user interface will be redesigned from the ground up. A major feature will be the Moviepedia Project, an IMDb competitor with Wikipedia-style user contribution model.
The new version will also focus more on playing videos from the Internet, relying on extensions to find third-party content. The team is also working on a version of VLC that will work inside the browser (based on WebAssembly). Security will also be a major focal point for the 4.0 release.
Jean-Baptiste Kempf, the VideoLAN foundation Presiden, is mulling an ad-supported video service (similar to the one Plex started in 2019) as a way to support the project.
The Protocol, which reported on the VLC 4.0 progress, also has a detailed history of the project – how it started, the legal challenges it faced and plans for the future (including sending a video time capsule to the Moon).