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The Best MXF Player for Mac

Why is it so difficult to play MXF files on Mac? MXF is a professional-grade container format for video and audio data. It is characterized by an unusual data structure, which makes the format more suitable for commercial applications - for example, in the TV industry. It is also frequently found on camcorders. With Elmedia Player you can play MXF files on Mac easily.

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Elmedia Player Free
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MXF player Mac

Free MXF Viewer, Lag-free - Elmedia Player

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Elmedia Player

Elmedia Player is a specialized MXF video player, and it’s straightforward enough to be usable by anyone. The player can open .mxf files from camcorders of Panasonic P2, Canon XF and Sony XDCAM series with ease.

Free MXF Viewer
Additionally, it offers flawless playback for FLV, MKV, MP4, AVI, MP3, OGG, M4A, AAC, F4V and many more formats. What’s more, this best free video player for Mac offers a great option to stream your local files to a Smart TV with support for both internal and external subtitles.

How to Play MXF files on Mac for Free

1. Get Elmedia Player on this website.

MXF player Mac

2. Add your MXF files.

You have some options when it comes to adding files:

  • Drag the chosen MXF file onto the player window or its Dock icon.
  • Right-click an MXF file in Finder; choose "Open With", and then "Elmedia Player".
  • Open the "File" menu in Elmedia Player, then browse to find your file.
how to view MXF files on Mac

3. View your files with no lag whatsoever.

What is MXF?

Material Exchange Format, since that’s the full name of this video format became more popular by the day with the release of a lot of 4K cameras. But the concept of MXF exists for quite some time, being defined as a ‘wrapper’ format that supports multiple streams of coded ‘essence’. These streams can be coded with many different codecs and also includes a metadata wrapper.

The MXF file format brings together audio, video and programming data and puts them together in a wrapper. Thanks to its complexity, MXF can hold an extended range of video frames, filled with audio and data essance, as well as frame-based metadata. The frame-based metadata is mostly about file format and timecode information for each of the individual video frames, also known as interleaved media files.

Being mostly used in TV productions and movies, the MFX can handle a lot of Advanced Authoring Formats all under a policy called Zero Divergence Directive. This should enable mixed MXF and AAF workflows between non-linear editing, making it perfect high-quality TV productions.

MXF vs. MP4: A Comparison

The key distinction between MXF and MP4 is their intended purpose of use. MXF, short for Material Exchange Format, was conceived for professional television, and some cameras nowadays do record videos in this format. MP4, also known as MPEG-4 Part 14, was developed by the Moving Picture Experts Group for day-to-day use. That’s the main reason for which MP4 files are so common and easy to work with. For a more advanced comparison between MXF and MP4 files, you can check out the table below:

Comparison Parameter MXF MP4
Developer Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers Moving Picture Experts Group
File extension .mxf .mp4
Video codecs MPEG-1,2,4, H.264, DV, uncompressed, others H.263, H.264, H.265, MPEG‑4, others
Audio codecs AAC, MP3, AC‑3, PCM, others AAC, MP3, AC‑3, ALAC, ALS, SLS, others
Usage Advertisements and broadcasting programs on TV, storing video recordings from Sony and Canon cameras Storing video files and streaming videos from the Internet

How does MXF compare to other media formats?

MXF isn’t really designed for user-friendliness. It’s a bulky format with a lot of overhead, poorly suited for personal use. Camcorders use MXF to avoid obsolescence - newer models tend to come with newer, faster codecs. That’s not the case on PC and Mac, where codecs tend to stick around for decades. All in all, you won’t see MXF replacing MP4 or MKV anytime soon.

Typical MXF-Using Camcorders

As camera vendors start adapting to Ultra HD, MXF becomes more and more necessary. Major manufacturers have adopted it as the standard for their recording hardware. Here is a list of camcorders that support MXF 4K:

Sony PMW-160, PMW-300K1, PMW-100, PMW-F55, PMW-320K, PMW-200,PMW-F5, PMW-F3, PDW-530, PMW-F3K,PDW-510, PMW-EX30, PMW-400L, PMW-500, PMW-F3L, PMW-400K, P, PMW-50, PMW-1000, MW-TD300, PXW-Z100, XDCAM HD422.


This is where we will answer some of the most frequently asked questions in regards to Mac MXF files, as well as their features, and their compatibility with the users’ operating systems and needs. However, if you have any additional questions, feel free to leave them in the comments section below, and we will address them as fast as possible.

Yes, MXF is among the VLC supported file types, so if you have installed VLC Media Player, all you have to do is drag the MXF files in the main window in order to play them.

Simply download the file and run it, then follow the on-screen instructions to install.

Upload an MXF Video file for Conversion. Open the Movavi converter then click Add Media followed by Add Video.

Select the Format of your choice. Click on Video, then choose your desired output for the video format. And that’s it, just convert the MXF file to MP4.

Elmedia Player Free
Requirements: macOS 10.12+ , 89.2MB of free space
Version 8.8(3188) (19 Sep, 2022) Release notes
Category: MultimediaApplication