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free universal video player for MacI recently purchased a shiny new MacBook Pro and while it’s pretty awesome, I didn’t realize how much time it would take for me to re-adjust to a new operating system. Being fairly new to the whole Mac experience, I’ve been browsing the MUO archives for as many tips, tricks, and interesting tidbits I can find that will help me better learn the new OS. From researching free apps I should download 11 Online Sources For The Best In Mac Freeware [Mac] 11 Online Sources For The Best In Mac Freeware [Mac] Read More to finding a good screen capture tool 5 Alternative Screen Capture Tools For Your Mac 5 Alternative Screen Capture Tools For Your Mac Read More , I’ve found some great resources. I can finally edit photos How To Edit Your Photos Easily With iPhoto [Mac] How To Edit Your Photos Easily With iPhoto [Mac] Read More again and, yes, even play games The Best Online Sources For Free Mac Games [Mac] The Best Online Sources For Free Mac Games [Mac] Read More .

One of the things I was curious about however, was which universal video player to install. QuickTime is pretty cool, sure, but I quickly found out its limits after a short time using it. Where can I find a good, lightweight video player that’s capable of playing every type of file?

1. [NO LONGER WORKS] VLC Media Player

free universal video player for Mac

Regardless of what operating system you’re using, VLC Media Player is one of, if not the, best video players out there. VLC is an open source cross-platform multimedia player that plays pretty much every type of video file, making it truly “universal”.

You can also use it to play DVDs, CDs, VCDs, and various streaming protocols. No codec packs are needed and it’s completely free. Anyone who is familiar with VLC should not be surprised to see it on this list.

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2. DivX

mac video player

DivX Player for Mac is also a nice alternative for you to play videos, especially if you’re looking to play something in HD. Naturally, DivX Player allows you to play all native DivX videos (.mkv), but it does also support other popular video file types, including QuickTime files. The player also includes a desktop dimmer, window fade, and free full screen playback options.

3. NicePlayer

mac video player

NicePlayer is a relatively unknown application but it’s a pretty impressive video player for Mac. Jeffry dedicated a post on MUO NicePlayer - A Quick and Light Alternative Media Player For Mac NicePlayer - A Quick and Light Alternative Media Player For Mac Read More to NicePlayer back in June 2010. It’s an open source app that was designed for playing movies and it features full screen or border-less floating windows, on the fly playlist creation, and more.

4. Elmedia Player

mac video player

Elmedia Player is a Flash and media player for Mac OS X that supports playback of FLV, SWF, XAP (Silverlight), RM and RV (Real), AVI, MOV, MP4, and many other formats. It features a built-in web browser, so you can browse through websites and watch movies without leaving the application as well.

5. Windows Media Components for QuickTime

free universal video player for Mac

You may be surprised to learn that this even exists, but it’s a viable solution if you’re just looking for a little bit of Windows love. With Windows Media Components for QuickTime, you can play Windows Media files (.wma and .wmv) directly in QuickTime Player and view Windows Media content on the Internet using a web browser. It gives you added support for numerous audio and video codecs, as well as different file formats (like .avi).

With the programs on this list, you should be able to watch any type of file you happen to come across. If you are a Mac wiz and you know of any other great video players, please feel free to mention them in the comments.

  1. Solobuscame Interactivo
    April 27, 2011 at 8:57 pm

    Movist the best video player

  2. Alexander Grunert
    March 31, 2011 at 5:01 pm

    I totally miss MPlayer OSX Extended (http://www.mplayerosx.ch/) on the list! It's simple, great and is able to create a playlist just like VLC.

  3. Alexander Grunert
    March 31, 2011 at 3:01 pm

    I totally miss MPlayer OSX Extended (http://www.mplayerosx.ch/) on the list! It's simple, great and is able to create a playlist just like VLC.

  4. imarc cj
    March 30, 2011 at 6:03 pm

    I kind of like Movist...

  5. Cnorup
    March 30, 2011 at 5:38 pm

    Yeah I'll also cast a vote for MplayerX. Excellent and fast mediaplayer with lots of features and keyboard shortcuts! Always first priority :)

  6. Guest000
    March 30, 2011 at 10:38 am

    The windows media player components are just the flip4mac application. Microsoft stopped wmp support for Mac OS X years ago. I doubt the old windows media player for mac will run on a new mac.

    Mplayer didn´t work well on the mac ever.
    There´s a new built "mplayer osx extended" that is slightly better.

    But the best video player for Mac still is VLC and nothing else.

  7. Mithun Kumar
    March 30, 2011 at 1:30 am

    I use VLC... Best and even better than Perian+QT!

    • Steve Campbell
      March 30, 2011 at 1:43 am

      VLC is my go-to video program. It's hard to beat.

    • Mike
      March 30, 2011 at 8:10 am

      Well, the benefit of Perian is that it adds support to QuickTime which is the Go-To-Tool for everything Multimedia in OSX.
      This means all those files will perfectly play in QuickLook, Cover Flow, etc…

      Personally I switched to Perian a while ago (because I love the clean QuickTime look) and for everything else it's MPlayerX

  8. kalamoni
    March 30, 2011 at 1:17 am

    Perian + QuickTime is just perfect

    • Steve Campbell
      March 30, 2011 at 1:42 am

      Thanks for sharing. I'll have to check that one out!

  9. TanTan
    March 30, 2011 at 1:15 am

    MplayerX is also GREAT! I use it every day!

    • Steve Campbell
      March 30, 2011 at 1:42 am

      Nice! Thanks for the recommendation!

    • Anonymous
      March 30, 2011 at 2:18 am

      it is crappier than smplayer

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