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Among Video Players, Mac Offers the Greatest - Elmedia Player
  • Can open nearly any media file
  • Settings are extensive and detailed
  • Perfected streaming capabilities
  • Casts to AirPlay, Chromecast, DLNA
Top choice
Elmedia Player
4.8 Rank based on 131+ users, Reviews(131)
Check out the best video player for Mac

The Best Video Player Mac Can Handle - Big Sur Compatible


Most Mac users will feel underwhelmed by the default videoplayer Mac has to offer. And there is certainly room for improvement. They’re looking for something more robust and versatile, without sacrificing QuickTime’s characteristic user-friendliness. To soothe this need, here’s a list of the top 10 best video players for Mac that you should seriously consider getting in 2021.

The Best Mac Video Player, Without Doubt - Elmedia Player

Our top spot for the overall best free video player for Mac goes to Elmedia Player. First off, it supports a wide range of different media formats like MP4, MOV, MKV, AVI, FLV, SWF, WMV, MP3 and more without any need for additional codecs or plugins. Elmedia Player focuses on your viewing experience, above all else.

With Elmedia Player, you can fully enjoy HD quality videos without facing problems like video slowdowns or unsynchronized sound. This can be credited to hardware acceleration and a huge variety of playback settings present in Elmedia Player.

And if you get Elmedia Player PRO, your options expand further. In the paid version of Elmedia, long hours of video streaming can be enjoyed with no interruptions.

Elmedia Player supports virtually any video or audio format; it streams via AirPlay, Chromecast and DLNA. The PRO version allows you to fine-tune video playback and use an equalizer to get the best video player Mac experience. Also, it allows you to take screenshots and fully customize any subtitles.

It comes as no surprise that Elmedia Player is loved by more than 2 million users all over the world.

Elmedia - the best video player for Mac

Pros:

  • Extensive range of supported file formats
  • Playback personalization, customizable controls
  • Robust subtitle support, including online search
  • Versatile, multiplatform wireless streaming capabilities
  • AirPlay-enabled
  • Easy to use and custom playlist creation
  • Hardware acceleration

Cons:

  • Limited support for older devices

A Worthy Mac Video Player - JustPlay

Check out JustPlay Mac Player

JustPlay is another top contender in the list of top video players for Mac. With its compact size and powerful capabilities, JustPlay packs a surprising punch. Gain access to a massive list of supported file formats, complete with the ability to play HD 4K and 8K quality videos. With its built-in codeсs and algorithms, you’ll be surprised at the versatility of this video player for Mac.

Pros and Cons

Pros:

  • Small footprint and reduced storage use
  • Wide range of supported file formats
  • Outstandingly seamless 4K and 8K playback
  • Substantial macOS support, such as Touch Bar integration
  • Variety of audio and video options

Cons:

  • No free version available
  • Blu-ray capabilities are limited

VLC: the Best Mac Video Player Without a Price Tag

VLC - one of the best videoplayer mac

One of the most popular alternative media players for Mac is VLC. There is no denying the fact that VLC is a big player in this category. This video player for Mac is known to play all formats. As a plus, there’s the possibility to install additional extensions and individualize your viewing experience. Coupled with the fact that VLC Player maintains a high level of privacy and security for its users, it’s not surprising that it’s one of the more popular alternative video players for Mac.

Pros and Cons

Pros:

  • Highly customizable, allows 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
  • Interface feels outdated and unintuitive

5KPlayer - the Simplest of Video Players, Mac-Friendly

5KPlayer - Simple video player for Mac

5KPlayer is another Mac video player option. Most users will enjoy it for several reasons. It’s very simple to use, and it shares many features with higher-quality video players. AirPlay connectivity, audio equalization, download and conversion functions for YouTube, Dailymotion, Facebook and Vimeo - these are some of the highlighted features of 5KPlayer. It’s a go-to multimedia player that finds common use on Mac.

Pros and Cons

Pros:

  • Can play Ultra HD reasonably well
  • Precision audio controls
  • Will play your DVDs

Cons:

  • Could use more options
  • Laggy and choppy
  • Features are unpolished

IINA - the Best Video Player for Mac, Interface-wise

IINA - a modern mac player

If you’re looking for an all-in-one Mac video player, check out IINA. Created with macOS users in mind, it creates an impression of authenticity with the smooth gesture controls, TouchBar support and Dark Mode. This app wouldn’t feel out of place in the standard Apple lineup. In addition, IINA runs equally smoothly on older and newer versions of macOS, making it a good choice for legacy devices.

Pros and Cons

Pros:

  • Modern design with accordance to Apple guidelines
  • Support for nearly all file formats
  • Intuitive browser extension with full integration
  • Support for ad-free YouTube streaming
  • Rich subtitle options

Cons:

  • Storage and CPU-heavy, compared to some other video players
  • Faulty playback of 10-bit H.265 full HD videos

Some Video Players, Mac Users Will Recognize - OmniPlayer

OmniPlayer - best multimedia player for mac

Here’s another app you can pick up on the App Store. It may seem a bit familiar - of course, the standard feature set is all here. The interface isn’t too shabby - after all, there’s gotta be a reason for it to be on the list. You can expect broad format support and in-depth subtitle settings, and also playlist management - creation included. It’s a brilliant little app that doesn’t disappoint - even when it comes to the price tag.

Pros and Cons

Pros:

  • No-nonsense, condensed interface
  • Plays in the background with Picture-in-Picture
  • Playlists can be created, edited or played

Cons:

  • Free version barely has anything
  • No specific advanced features

Cisdem: a Runner-Up - or the Best Mac Video Player?

Cisdem Mac player

Cisdem Player comes with its very own set of elite features as well. The app supports over 50 file formats out of the box, and installs in a flash. With no need for additional codec packs or software updates, you can play 4K and 5K HD videos effortlessly. No worries about buffering or lagging video. Best of all, it’s free with zero ads, no spyware or user tracking, so your viewing is completely private.

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 or buffering
  • Super friendly user experience
  • Full compatibility with the latest macOS versions

Cons:

  • Conversion feature only available in paid version

Find the best video player for Mac in the year 2021

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

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Swipe tip
Top features
VideoDuke
Elmedia
JustPlay
VLC
Cisdem
5KPlayer
IINA Player
Omni Player
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 ( AVI, MP4, FLV, SWF, WMV, MKV, M4V etc.)  
yes ( AVI, MP4, FLV, SWF, WMV, MKV, M4V, 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 (AAC,FLAC, MP3, WAV, WMA, etc.)  
yes (AAC,FLAC, MP3, WAV, WMA, 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  
no  
yes (PRO)  
Create and edit playlists
Create and edit playlists
yes  
yes  
yes  
no  
yes  
yes  
yes  
Features a video tuner
Features a video tuner
yes (PRO)  
yes  
yes  
no  
yes  
no  
yes (PRO)  
Built-in audio equalizer
Built-in audio equalizer
yes  
yes  
yes  
no  
no  
yes  
yes  
Includes support for Subtitles
Includes support for Subtitles
yes  
yes  
yes  
yes  
yes  
yes  
yes  
Supports Picture-in-Picture
Supports Picture-in-Picture
yes  
yes  
yes  
no  
yes  
yes  
yes  
Enables screen recording
Enables screen recording
no  
no  
yes  
no  
no  
no  
yes (PRO)  
No-cost version
Free option
yes
no
yes
yes
yes
yes
yes

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 offer compatibility with the latest version of macOS and support for videos of the highest quality (4K and 8K)
  • Look for an app that displays a Mac-friendly user interface
  • Try to find a player with features to create and manage playlists; user-friendly controls are a given for regular use
  • Be wary of ads and pop-ups on the download page - this is not a good sign when searching for a video player for Mac

Watch YouTube videos without any ads

Mac player

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.

Frequently Asked Questions

If you still find yourself asking questions about the best video player for Mac or anything related, it might help if you look through our FAQ section below. Otherwise, you can ask for clarification in the comments.
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.

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:

  • Download the free version of Elmedia Player on your Mac. Install it into your Applications folder.
  • Open Elmedia to get started. If you have media 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 and enjoy watching videos on your Mac!

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

  • Go to the VLC website from 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:
    1. Double-click the VLC app icon in the Applications folder
    2. Wait for your Mac to verify VLC
    3. 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 to the casual user. VLC can play almost any media file in existence, including webcam files, game records, streams, local files, DVDs, VCDs and other discs. The range of formats also includes MPEG-4, MPEG-2, WMV, MP3, WebM, MKV.

VLC is not the be-all end-all Mac media player, though. Elmedia is dead set on giving VLC a run for its money, and it offers many features that VLC cannot match.

VLC went through a period when it was considered a serious security hazard. Later, it turned out to be a mistake. This is what happened: CERT-Bund, a cybersecurity company, decided to test the player. They used an outdated version, installed on an outdated Linux distribution. To no one’s surprise, this retro-installation wasn’t secured from modern Trojans. Needless to say, after this fact was established, the accusations were quickly rolled back. These days, VLC is not considered to be a safety risk.

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 golden. 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.

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 stand-out feature that’s unique to that specific video player. Based on these three points, we’ve narrowed it down to the following video players:

  • VLC Media Player
  • SMPlayer
  • MPV Player

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

  • PotPlayer
  • VLC Player
  • GOM Player
Elmedia Player
Requirements: OS X 10.9+ , 59.66MB free space
Version 7.17(2353) (6 Dec, 2020) Release notes
Category: MultimediaApplication
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Get the best video player for Mac - Elmedia Player