The VideoLan project was an academic project started at École centrale Paris, A French university level institute of education. In the beginning (1996) it was a student project. Now (2010) developers in over 20 nations help develop VideoLAN's projects including VLC (Video LAN Client). VLC is designed to be portable, play every known video format and be cross platform. The name Video LAN Client is actually not correct anymore. VLC has morphed into not only a player but a streaming media server as well. It will even play your MP3's. By default VLC has all--or almost all--free video codecs built in. Video LAN Client also has no problem playing DVD's and has full DVD menu support built-in.
VLC was the first software player to support encrypted DVD playback. In 1998 it was completely rewritten, and released under GPL. In 2001 VLS (Video LAN Server) was added to VLC and VLS was terminated. The most recognizable icon ever was used for VLC a traffic icon, see image on the left, in 2006 Richard Øiestad created the high resolution version still used to this day.
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