Best Video Player for Mac compatible with Catalina

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Top choice
Elmedia 4.9 Rank based on 378+ users, Reviews(367)

QuickTime is probably one of the best known video players for Mac, as it comes standard with the Mac OS and has been around for a long time.

Is QuickTime the best video player for Mac, though? The simple answer is no. Its main drawback is that it is simply unable to play the plethora of new video formats including popular .MP4.

If you are looking for a video player with more advanced features, then take a look at our list of the best 11 Mac video player apps.

Here's our list of the best video players for macOS in 2019:

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1. Elmedia Player
Requirements: OS X 10.9+. 55.1MB free space. Version 7.6(1831). (30th Sep, 2019). 4.9 Rank based on 378+ users, Reviews(367)
Category: MultimediaApplication

Elmedia Player is our top choice for a great video player for Mac, mainly because it offers an extended list of supported media formats, which includes AVI, FLV, MP4, MP3, MOV, WMV, MKV, DAT among many others.

Elmedia also offers its users a native web browser for browsing and watching online videos directly in the app. Another handy feature is the “Open URL” option, which lets you play videos from YouTube, Vimeo, DailyMotion, and other web services directly on the app, without ads and pop ups.

Video player mac

In addition, Elmedia has many tools to enhance your viewing experience, such as: a 10-band equalizer, video tuner, customizable playback speed, video aspect ratio adjustment that allows you to play a video in full-screen mode if you wish, and an A-B loop to put any part of video on constant repeat. You can also take screenshots of currently playing videos!


Elmedia video player Pros and Cons:

Pros:

  • Customizable playback speed
  • Supports the widest variety of media formats
  • Lets you manage subtitles
  • Built-in subtitle search
  • Supports multiple audio tracks
  • AirPlay-enabled
  • Supports streaming to Chromecast and Chromecast Ultra

Cons:

  • Advanced features need to be paid for
  • Older Mac OS versions are not properly supported
  • Is not available for Windows or Android systems

2. JustPlay

Video player for mac

JustPlay is a video player that proves you don’t need to have a complicated, overdone interface to get the job done. JustPlay is an all-in-one Mac video player that can handle MP4, MOV, AVI, SWF, MKV, FLAC, FLV, and DAT files, among others. This video player also has a small storage footprint and doesn’t require a computer with high-level specs in order to run well. JustPlay supports OS X 10.9 and later.

JustPlay Pros and Cons:

Pros:

  • 4K, 8K and HD playback
  • Deinterlace option to cope with any visual imperfections
  • Touch Bar support
  • Advanced playback options

Cons:

  • Only available for purchase, no free version
  • Can only be purchased from the Mac App Store

3. VLC media player

Avi media player for mac

VLC Media Player has been around for a long time, and for good reason. VLC is a video player for mac that plays all formats. It offers a simple user interface, can be downloaded onto almost any operating system, and is capable of handling an incredible amount of media formats. VLC can also play DVDs, CDs, VCDs, Blu-rays, podcasts, and streaming content.


VLC Media Player Pros and Cons:

Pros:

  • Available for most operating systems: Mac OS X, Windows, Linux, Android, iOS, etc.
  • Simple integration with web channel streaming services
  • VLC plays DVDs, CDs, and VCDs, Blu-Ray, podcasts, etc.

Cons:

  • Interface is dated and often inconvenient to use
  • Occasional problems are encountered when playing DVDs
  • 4K playback often results in glitches

4. Cisdem

Mp4 video player for mac

Cisdem VideoPlayer is a good choice for playing large video files on your Mac, such as Full HD 1080p movies. Many consider Cisdem a more powerful alternative to VLC and 5KPlayer (below). This app offers reliably smooth playback where some video players may have trouble keeping up with larger video files. Cisdem VideoPlayer’s interface is fairly intuitive and it fully supports all popular SD & HD video formats (e.g. MOV, WMV, AVI, MP4, M4V, FLV, MKV, RMVB, MPEG, as well as 5K and Full HD 1080P videos), and audio files (MP3, OGG, WMA, WAV, M4A, etc.).

Cisdem video player Pros and Cons:

Pros:

  • Supports over 50 media formats with no codec packs required
  • 4K/5K/1080p HD videos supported
  • No waiting for videos to buffer, and no pop-up ads
  • Subtitles generally load automatically to video files

Cons:

  • Some issues occur when using a dual-core laptop
  • Occasional delays when using with MP4 videos

5. 5K video player

Best video player for mac

5KPlayer is sort of a middle-of-the-road video player for Mac OS X. 5KPlayer is capable of playing HD videos, music, and utilizing AirPlay streaming capabilities. You can, of course, also download online videos in 5KPlayer -- it supports most various types and resolutions, from 4K, 5K, and HD, to MKV, MTS, and AVCHD.

5KPlayer Pros and Cons:

Pros:

  • Can play burned DVDs and store-bought DVDs. Also supports CSS-encrypted or region-encoded DVDs
  • Allows users to play and save 3D movies at 1080p, 720p in MKV, MP4, etc.
  • Can also run ultra-HD videos on iMac, MacBook Pro, and most Mac operating systems

Cons:

  • Player uses up a very large amount of CPU
  • Some new users may find the player to be confusing

6. MPlayerX

Best video player for macbook

MPlayerX is a simple, easy to use video player that was developed specifically for Mac users. It won’t take up much space on your hard drive and it’s capable of supporting almost all media file formats. MPlayerX also works with Apple Remote, has a full screen mode, and lets you change the size of subtitles for all of you foreign film fanatics.

MPlayerX Pros and Cons:

Pros:

  • Capable of playing an impressive variety of video and audio formats
  • Simple user interface, easy to learn for beginners
  • Very subtitle-friendly

Cons:

  • Playlists are not easy to make use of
  • Has a higher incidence of crashes than most other video players

7. Kodi

Video player for mac that plays all formats

Kodi actually originated in 2002 as a video player for the first XBox consoles, but it’s come a long way since then. It was originally developed as an application capable of playing music, viewing photos, and watching videos, and it has retained and improved upon these capabilities over time. Kodi can play DVDs and Blu-Rays, and it also supports most modern video and music file formats.

Kodi Pros and Cons:

Pros:

  • Can be used on multiple platforms, including: Mac OS X, Windows, Linux
  • Somewhat customizable. Kodi supports user add-ons: you can download custom skins, fonts, sounds, etc.

Cons:

  • Quality of streaming playback is often low
  • No real user support, only information via an online forum
  • Possible easy target for security and privacy violations

8. Plex media server

Plex video player download

Plex is a bit more complicated than some of the previous video players we’ve mentioned in this article. Perhaps one of its most useful features is that it has the power to save all of your media files on its server, and allows you to play them on your Smart TV or any TV that supports devices such as Roku, Chromecast, or Amazon Fire. It also stores your files in a library and automatically downloads DVD artwork and organizes those files for you.

Plex is a powerful application whose aim is to consolidate all of your media needs into one single platform. Its user interface is a bit complicated, but Plex allows its user to fully customize his or her media library and stream them from any “smart” device in their home, wirelessly. Plex will probably put you on a learning curve, but once you’ve gotten over that, you’re in for a treat.

Plex media server Pros and Cons:

Pros:

  • Works on a variety of operating systems: Mac OS X, Windows, Linux
  • With Plex Companion, you can view content from your Mac on your smart TV, and other smart-devices in your home, wirelessly
  • Plex allows you to sync content from the Plex Media Server to the cloud

Cons:

  • Issues are often encountered relating to user accounts
  • Interface is not especially user friendly, and sometimes confusing

9. DivX player

DivX’s player review

DivX’s is a video player for mac that plays all formats with some great features and a user-friendly interface. DivX offers excellent audio and video playback quality and has an impressive amount of features.This app also allows you to burn videos and other media to discs and USB drives. You can also stream videos, view your photo library, and play music on your “smart” home devices. Lastly, DivX has many “hotkey” options for navigation, allowing for quick playback possibilities.

DivX player Pros and Cons:

Pros:

  • Excellent quality video playback that supports most file formats such as AVI, DIVX, MKV, MP4, and many others
  • Supported by both Mac and Windows operating systems
  • Supports high-quality online videos, up to 4K

Cons:

  • Encoding times are longer than expected, more than MPEG2
  • Occasional issues with the player freezing

10. RealPlayer

real player free download review

RealPlayer is a well-known video player that has the capability to play almost all media formats. It is a powerful program, with many features that will likely go unused by an average user, and thus, it can seem a bit redundant at times. Generally, RealPlayer requires that your computer has some pretty top-notch specs, and if you don’t have these specs, you might need to download some additional applications before you can download RealPlayer itself.

RealPlayer Pros and Cons:

Pros:

  • This player offers a cloud service to store your media, but it comes at a price, depending on how much storage you require
  • Allows the user to send videos, photos, etc, to friends via social media and email
  • The RealPlayer app can be used on a wide variety of devices, such as Xbox One, Kindle Fire, Roku, etc.

Cons:

  • Library often takes a long time to load
  • Tends to slow down anything else happening on a device when it’s running

11. QuickTime

Quick Time player download

As we discussed at the beginning of the article, QuickTime player is Apple's flagship video player. QuickTime is easy to use and can handle a wide variety of video, music, and photo formats.

QuickTime Pros and Cons:

Pros:

  • Offers superior video-compression technology that allows the user to play high-quality HD videos without sacrificing quality and storage space
  • Offers native support for AIFF, WAV, DV-DIF, MP3, and MPEG streaming options. Can also support ASF, DivX, Flash, Matroska, Ogg, etc, when additional components are added
  • Slider on video interface allows user to set playback from ½ to 3x normal speed

Cons:

  • Most recent Mac OS are not effectively supported for MP4 video playback
  • Cannot make use of .srt subtitle files
  • Issues when player is left running in the background, cannot run alongside some games and full-screen software

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

Want to play online video?

online video

Looking for ways to watch YouTube videos online without all the annoying ads and pop ups? Read on, friends - we have some advice for you.

Our number one pick for watching online and personal media content is an app called Elmedia. This app allows you to simply copy and paste a URL from any video source online and play it in the Elmedia interface, with no ads. 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.

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

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.

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.

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!
Elmedia Player
Requirements: OS X 10.9+ , 55.1MB free space
Version 7.6(1831) (30th Sep, 2019) Release notes
Category: MultimediaApplication