VideoLAN is a project that develops software for playing video and other media formats across a local area network (LAN). It originally developed two programs for media streaming, VideoLAN Client (VLC) and VideoLAN Server (VLS), but most of the features of VLS have been incorporated into VLC, with the result renamed VLC media player.
The project began as a student endeavor at École Centrale Paris (France), but after releasing the software under the free software/open source GNU General Public License, the project is now multinational with a development team spanning 20 nations.
VLC is a portable multimedia player, encoder, and streamer supporting many audio and video codecs and file formats as well as DVDs, VCDs, and various streaming protocols. It is able to stream over networks and to transcode multimedia files and save them into various formats. It is one of the most platform-independent players available, with versions for Microsoft Windows, Mac OS X, Linux, BeOS, Syllable, BSD, MorphOS, Solaris and Sharp Zaurus, and is widely used with over 300 million downloads as of November 2009.