Best Video Player for Mac compatible with Catalina

Top choice
Elmedia 4.8 Rank based on 463+ users, Reviews(367)

If you’re like most Mac users, you’ve probably felt underwhelmed by the limited capabilities of Mac’s native video player, QuickTime. Now, although it functions and serves the very basic multimedia needs, most users are looking for something much more.

They’re looking for something more robust, versatile and user-friendly. And you simply can’t get all those things and more from Mac’s default player, QuickTime.

For a video player that suits all your video and multimedia needs, your best option is to go rogue. Here’s a list of the top 10 best video players for Mac that you should seriously look into in 2020.

Here's our list of the best video players for macOS in 2020:

1. Elmedia Player
Category: Video
Requirements: OS X 10.9+, 55.34MB free space. Version 7.12(2164). (24 Jun, 2020). 4.8 Rank based on 463+ users, Reviews(367)

Our top choice for the overall best media player for Mac goes to Elmedia Player. It supports tons of different media formats like AVI, FLV, SWF, DAT, MP3, and more without the need for additional codecs or plugins. And with Elmedia Player PRO, you get even more options.

Elmedia Player PRO can stream unlimited video, audio from your Mac to bigger screens like Smart TVs via AirPlay, Chromecast, Chromecast Ultra, or any other DLNA-enabled feature they may have. Elmedia Player PRO also allows for custom-tuning of video playback, lets you take screenshots, and gives you the ability to adjust the color and font of your subtitles.

It’s no surprise Elmedia Player is loved by over 2 million users all over the world.


Elmedia Player Pros and Cons:

Pros:

  • Extensive range of supported file formats
  • Fully customizable video and audio playback personalization and controls
  • Robust subtitle support
  • Versatile wireless streaming capabilities across multiple devices
  • AirPlay-enabled
  • Easy to use and custom playlist creation
  • Ad-free built-in browser experience

Cons:

  • Limited support for older devices

2. JustPlay

JustPlay is another top contender in the list of top video players for Mac. With its compact size and powerful capabilities, JustPlay packs a punch in a compact package. Get access to a massive list of supported file formats with the ability to play HD 4K and 8K quality videos with ease. With it’s built in codes and hardware, you’d be surprised at how versatile this video player is for Mac.

JustPlay Pros and Cons:

Pros:

  • Lightweight footprint and compact storage size
  • Wide range of supported file formats
  • Outstandingly seamless 4K and 8K playback
  • Latest macOS support such as Touch Bar integration
  • Variety of playback viewing, audio and video fine-tuning options

Cons:

  • Only paid option available, no free version
  • Blu-ray capabilities quite basic and limited

3. VLC Media Player

One of the most popular alternative media players for Mac is VLC Player. There is no hiding behind the fact that VLC is a big player in this category. It’s known as the video player for Mac that plays all formats. Plus the ability to install additional extensions for the most personalized viewing experience. Coupled with the fact that VLC Player maintains a high level of privacy and security for its users, you can understand why it’s one of the more popular alternative video players for Mac.


VLC Media Player Pros and Cons:

Pros:

  • Highly customizable with editor tool for personalized extensions and skins
  • No spyware or user tracking
  • Supports most video, audio and image file formats
  • Completely free with no ads

Cons:

  • Unreliable playback for DVDs
  • Inconsistent and choppy playback of 4K HD videos due to lack of hardware support and software decoding limitations
  • Interface feels outdated and not as intuitive as other updated apps

4. Cisdem Video Player

Cisdem Player comes with its very own set of elite features as well. As soon as you download the app, it's ready to go with its support of over 50 file formats. With no additional codec packs and software updates needed, you can play 4K and 5K HD videos almost effortlessly. No worries about buffering or lagging video. Best of all, it’s free and runs with zero ads, no spyware or user tracking, so your personal viewing is absolutely private.

Cisdem Video Player Pros and Cons:

Pros:

  • Choose from over 50 file formats to run instantly
  • Tons of playback controls and customization
  • Smooth 4K and 5K video playback with no lagging and buffering
  • Super friendly user experience, easy to navigate and intuitive controls layout
  • Full support of latest macOS versions

Cons:

  • Unstable playback when on dual-core laptops
  • Conversion feature only available in paid version

5. 5KPlayer

5KPlayer is a solid option as a Mac video player for most users because of a few main reasons. It’s very simple to use, has many of the top features as other higher quality video players. AirPlay connectivity, video and audio equalizer, downloading from YouTube, Dailymotion, Facebook, Vimeo and others and a very reliable video to audio converter are just a few of the highlight features of 5KPlayer. It’s safe to say this is one of the most common go-to multimedia players for Mac that you can get.

5KPlayer Pros and Cons:

Pros:

  • Pleasurable 4K HD viewing experience
  • Customizable media library
  • Simple to use video to MP3 audio converter
  • High quality and lag-free AirPlay connectivity for screen mirroring and screen recording capabilities
  • Support for latest macOS version and other popular devices

Cons:

  • New users my need time to get used to configuration

6. IINA

If you’re looking for an all-in-one Mac video player, IINA is definitely one to check out. Created with macOS users in mind, everything from the smooth gesture controls, Force Touch controls, TouchBar support, and Dark Mode makes it feel as if this app was made by Apple themselves. Whether you’re on older models and versions of Mac, or have the latest version, IINA runs very responsively and smoothly.

IINA Pros and Cons:

Pros:

  • Modern and ‘Apple-like’ user interface and design
  • Support for almost all file formats
  • Responsive and suitable for even older Macs and macOS versions
  • Intuitive browser extension and integration
  • Ad-free support for online viewing on YouTube
  • Robust subtitle options
  • Comprehensive customization options like picture-in-picture mode, real-time video editing, full equalizer, screen-capturing and more

Cons:

  • Storage and CPU heavy compared to some other video players
  • Repeated crashes while playing .avi files
  • Faulty playback of 10-bit H.265 full HD videos

7. Movist

Another great favourite for a lot of Mac users is Movist. Though it’s seen changes over the years, users seem to agree that it’s only gotten better with time. Movist brings a more refreshed, modern look and feel to their video player with tons of customizable options for video, audio and subtitles. Movist revamped their platform to account for optimized CPU usage and improved overall performance, especially with higher quality 4K videos and images. Although it doesn’t come free, most users are happily willing to pay the $4.99 price to access it’s incredible features.

Movist Pros and Cons:

Pros:

  • User-friendly design and interface
  • Improved performance and CPU usage
  • Ability to control video, audio and subtitle options in almost every aspect for most personalized viewing experience

Cons:

  • A lot of the great features such as browser extensions, picture-in-picture mode, and other customizable options come in higher priced PRO version
  • No cost-free version

8. OmniPlayer

OmniPlayer is another Mac player, which you can easily find on the app store. It’s very similar to other apps in that it can play multiple file formats and has many of the same functions as well. With OmniPlayer you can enjoy all your 4K HD videos with the hardware’s built-in decoder, control playback options, audio controls, subtitles, playlists, and more.

OmniPlayer Pros and Cons:

Pros:

  • Sleek design and easy to use
  • Picture-in-picture mode for multi-tasking

Cons:

  • Very basic features for free version of app, popular features like screenshot and screen recording, subtitle and advanced playback controls, no ads all require VIP or paid version

9. Total Video Player

Total Video Player is a universal HD video player for your Mac and boasts some of the top features that you could ever need in a standard video player. It’s a very powerful AVI and MKV player, which makes it a solid alternative to Mac’s default video player. Enjoy features like seamless HD video and audio playback, powerful subtitle control and playlist creation for a wholesome viewing experience.

Total Video Player Pros and Cons:

Pros:

  • Simple user interface and intuitive design
  • Ability to play video CDs, DVDs, Blu-Ray, and even audio CDs fairly easily
  • Supports many different languages like Japanese, Italian, French, German, Russian, etc.

Cons:

  • Can be glitchy at times when trying to play videos
  • H.265 HD videos seem to be faulty, not very reliable
  • No free version available

10. QuickTime

QuickTime is Apple’s default Mac video player. It’s easily the most used video player for Mac users simply because of its ease of use and convenience (as the default player). A main benefit of QuickTime Player is its coherence with the macOS ecosystem.

QuickTime Player Pros and Cons:

Pros:

  • Works cohesively with Mac ecosystem
  • Powerful video compression for highest quality HD videos, while being storage-conscious
  • Very useful set of video editing options and screen recording capabilities

Cons:

  • Unable to play .srt files, which are the most common subtitle file format
  • Doesn’t support as many file formats as other popular video plays for Mace

5 things to consider when choosing the best video player for Mac:

  • It should run all known video and audio formats: WMV, AVI, MOV, MP4, MP3, DAT, FLAC, FLV, SWF, MP3, M4V, MPG, and MKV
  • The video player you choose should be compatible with the latest version of Mac OS and support videos of the highest quality (4K and 8K)
  • Look for an app that boasts a Mac-friendly user interface
  • Try to find a player with features to create and manage playlists and user-friendly controls for more convenient movie watching
  • Be wary of lots of ads and pop-ups when you go to download a new player - this is not a good sign when searching for a video player for Mac

Find the best video player for Mac in the year 2020

We've curated the best video players for Mac in one easy-to-remember chart. Find the right one for you right here!

Scroll to view more
Top features
VideoDuke
Elmedia
JustPlay
VLC
Cisdem
5KPlayer
QuickTime Player
IINA Player
Total Video Player
Omni Player
Movist
Complete support for several video formats
Complete support for several video formats
yes (AVI, FLV, SWF, MP4, WMV, MOV, DAT, M4V, MPG, DivX, MKV.)  
yes (MP4, AVI, MOV, SWF, DAT, MKV, etc.)  
yes (MKV, MP4, VOB, WMV, MPG AVI, etc.)  
yes (MKV, AVI, FLV, AVCHD, WMV, etc.)  
yes (MKV, M2TS, MP4, AVI, WMV, FLV, etc.)  
yes (MOV, MPEG-4, MPEG-1, AVI, etc.)  
yes ( AVI, MP4, FLV, SWF, WMV, MKV, M4V etc.)  
yes ( AVI, MKV, MP4, H264, Mov, FLV, WMV etc. )  
yes ( AVI, MP4, FLV, SWF, WMV, MKV, M4V, etc. )  
yes (MKV, M2TS, MP4, AVI, WMV, FLV, etc.)  
Plays many different audio formats
Plays many different audio formats
yes (MP3, WMA, AC2, MKA, OGG, FLAC, AAC)  
yes (FlAC, AAC, MP3, WMA, etc.)  
yes (AAC, AC-3, FLAC, MP3, ALAC)  
yes (MP3, OGG, ACC, WMA, AIFF)  
yes (MP3, AAC, AC3, WMA, FLAC, ALAC)  
yes (iTunes Audio, MP3, Core Audio, AIFF, WAV, AMR, etc.)  
yes (AAC,FLAC, MP3, WAV, WMA, etc.)  
yes (AAC,FLAC, MP3, WAV, WMA, etc.)  
yes (AAC,FLAC, MP3, WAV, WMA, etc.)  
yes (MP3, AAC, AC3, WMA, FLAC, ALAC, etc.)  
Supports local file streaming of several different formats to TVs and other streaming-enabled devices
Supports local file streaming of several different formats to TVs and other streaming-enabled devices
yes (PRO)  
no  
yes  
no  
yes  
yes  
no  
no  
yes (PRO)  
no  
Create and edit playlists
Create and edit playlists
yes  
yes  
yes  
no  
yes  
no  
yes  
yes  
yes  
yes  
Features a video tuner
Features a video tuner
yes (PRO)  
yes  
yes  
no  
yes  
yes  
no  
yes  
yes (PRO)  
yes  
Allows video conversion from one format to another
Allows video conversion from one format to another
no  
no  
yes  
yes (PRO)  
no  
no  
no  
yes (PRO)  
no  
no  
Simple video enhancement features: rotate, mirror image, flip, etc.
Simple video enhancement features: rotate, mirror image, flip, etc.
yes  
yes  
yes  
no  
yes  
yes  
yes  
no  
yes  
yes  
Built-in audio equalizer
Built-in audio equalizer
yes  
yes  
yes  
no  
no  
yes  
yes  
no  
yes  
yes  
Playback adjustment (audio/video delay)
Playback adjustment (audio/video delay)
yes  
yes  
yes  
no  
yes  
yes  
yes  
yes  
yes  
no  
Includes support for Subtitles
Includes support for Subtitles
yes  
yes  
yes  
yes  
yes  
yes  
yes  
yes  
yes  
yes  
Allows custom subtitle synchronization
Allows custom subtitle synchronization
yes  
yes  
yes  
no  
no  
no  
yes  
no  
yes (PRO)  
yes  
Supports online searching for subtitles
Supports online searching for subtitles
yes  
yes  
add-on  
no  
no  
no  
yes  
no  
yes  
no  
Supports Picture-in-Picture
Supports Picture-in-Picture
yes  
yes  
yes  
no  
yes  
yes  
yes  
no  
yes  
yes  
Hardware Acceleration enabled
Hardware Acceleration enabled
yes  
yes  
yes  
no  
yes  
yes  
yes  
yes  
yes  
yes  
Enables screen recording
Enables screen recording
no  
no  
yes  
no  
no  
yes  
no  
no  
yes (PRO)  
no  
Built-in Browser extension plays media from websites directly
Built-in Browser extension plays media from websites directly
no  
no  
yes  
no  
no  
no  
yes  
no  
no  
no  
No-cost version
Free option
yes
no
yes
yes
yes
yes
yes
yes
yes
yes

Want to play online video?

Many online video sites run ads, which get in the way of watching your favorite videos. These interruptions can happen at any moment, and anyone that uses YouTube regularly is familiar with how annoying these ads get.

With Elmedia, the online video player from URL you’ll have the ability to watch videos from YouTube, Vimeo or Dailymotion without annoying ads. This app allows you to simply copy and paste a URL from any video source online and play it in the Elmedia interface. It’s simple, easy to use, and geared towards Mac users. It won’t take up much space on your hard drive either, making it a great choice for those who have a MacBook Pro or MacBook Air, which generally offer less storage space.

Best Video Player for MacBook

Have MacBook Pro/Air? This lightweight player will run as smooth as possible. Once you ask yourself what video player is the best for your MacBook Pro/Air, consider the key factor to be the CPU load and how smooth it may work on the device. We recommend using Elmedia among all the above-mentioned ones or a native QuickTime Player. You can find all the other factors and criteria for choosing the best app above in the article.

What is video/media player?

A video player is an application that is often downloaded from the Internet in order to play various media files on your computer, such as videos and music. Almost all video players have some common features: most will play any media files you have stored on your computer, from videos to music, and most can be used to view photos as well. Video players differ greatly in terms of ease of use and capabilities, though, so it is important to do your research on which one is right for your needs.


Frequently asked questions about video players for Mac:

Here we answered the most frequently asked questions about Mac video players and their features, and compatibility with various user needs and operating systems. If you still have any questions, please leave them in the comments below and we will answer as soon as possible.

1. How to play video files on Mac?

Watching videos on your Mac has never been easier -- as you can see, there are countless options to choose from. Elmedia Player is one of the most reliable, easy-to-use, multifunctional video players out there right now.

Here’s how to get Elmedia:

  • Go to https://mac.eltima.com/video-player.html and download the Elmedia Player free version onto your Mac. Install into your Applications folder.
  • Open up the Elmedia to get started. If you have files stored locally on your computer, you can go to “File”, then “Open”, and choose the file you’d like to watch.
  • Click the Play button enjoy watching videos on your Mac!

2. How do I get VLC to play on my Mac?

VLC Media Player is available to download for free for Mac OS X. If you’re interested in installing VLC on your Mac, please follow the instructions below:

  • Go to the VLC website in your Internet browser: https://www.videolan.org.
  • Download the app and choose a location on your computer to store it.
  • Double click the downloaded DMG file, then go to the folder you chose to download the app, and double-click the VLC DMG file. This will open the installation window.
  • Click and drag the VLC app icon onto the "Applications" folder.
  • Launch VLC. The first time you open VLC after installing it, your computer will prompt you to do the following:
    • Double-click the VLC app icon in the Applications folder
    • Wait for your Mac to verify VLC
    • Click Open when prompted

3. Is VLC the best media player?

VLC is considered to be one of the most popular video players for Mac because it has the capability to play nearly all file formats. It is an open-source, cross platform media player that was first developed around 1996, so it was one of the first media players available. VLC can play almost every media file in existence, including webcam files, gaming devices, streams, local files, DVDs, VCDs, and discs. The player can play a range of formats that include MPEG-4, MPEG-2, WMV, MP3, WebM, MKV.

VLC is not the end-all be-all for playing media on Mac, though. Elmedia is dead set on giving VLC a run for its money, and it offers many features that VLC cannot match. To learn more about Elmedia, and how it stacks up against VLC, check out: https://mac.eltima.com/vlc-alternative-mac.html.

4. Is VLC player safe for Mac?

VLC is a very popular and reputable media player that has garnered a great reputation, and for good reason. However, there have been reports from time to time that VLC is vulnerable to malware. In mid-2019, several security issues popped up with VLC. A German cybersecurity agency (Cert-BUND) discovered a critical flaw in VLC Media Player, which allowed unauthorized disclosure of information, unauthorized modification of files, and disruption of service. VLC developers were quick to issue statements that these claims were “completely bogus” and that any issues encountered could be quickly fixed by updating the application.

VLC video player is safe to use, if you follow these simple guidelines:

  • Download VLC Media Player from the official site. Unknown sites will utilize VLC’s reputation to draw you in and may include malware in their apps.
  • Make sure your computer has protection against viruses and malware.
  • Always upgrade your VLC player when a new version is offered. VLC has claimed that the latest version has fixed security issues.

5. Can Mac play 4K video?

Here’s a full list of Macs that can play 4K video:

  • iMac (27-inch, late 2014 and later)
  • Mac Mini (Late 2014 and later)
  • Mac Pro (Late 2013)
  • MacBook (Retina, 12-inch, early 2015 and later)
  • MacBook Air (Early 2015 and later)
  • MacBook Pro (Retina, Late 2013 and later)

If you have any of these devices, then you’ve got nothing to worry about! You’re covered. But it’s still highly recommended to have a high-quality, reliable video player like Elmedia that can play all of your favourite HD movies and more.

6. What is the best video player for Ubuntu?

When it comes to video players, most generally share similar features and experience, except by a few key differentiators: user interface, the libraries used internally and also any other standout feature that’s unique to that specific video player. Based on these three points, we’ve narrowed it down to the following video players:

  1. VLC Media Player
  2. SMPlayer
  3. MPV Player

7. What is the best video player for Windows?

There are many great video players for Windows you can use, but here are the top three that we think all movie and video streaming lovers will absolutely love:

  1. PotPlayer
  2. VLC Player
  3. GOM Player
Elmedia Player
Requirements: OS X 10.9+ , 55.34MB free space
Version 7.12(2164) (24 Jun, 2020) Release notes
Category: MultimediaApplication
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Get the best video player for Mac - Elmedia Player