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MXF Player for Mac — How to Open MXF Files on Mac

Olga Weis Olga Weis Jan 25, 2023

MXF file type has an unusual data structure and is not compatible with the native media player QuickTime. In order to open it, Mac users need to use different MXF file converter tools or specialized MXF players. In this article, we will provide you with simple solutions on how to play MXF files on Mac.

How to Open MXF Files on Mac with Elmedia Player

Elmedia: universal video player
4.5 Rank based on 1531 + users Reviews(793)
Requirements: macOS 10.12+
Version: v8.12(3287), Released 8 Jan, 2023 Release notes
Category: Video

Elmedia Player is a specialized MXF Mac player with a straightforward interface that would be a go-to choice for both savvy users and newbies. With its help, the question of how to play MXF files on Mac won’t bother you anymore, as the player can easily open MXF file from different camcorders, including Panasonic P2, Canon XF, and Sony XDCAM.

Besides that, Elmedia Player supports flawless playback for a wide list of macOS native and non-native media formats. You can find support for FLV, MKV, MP4, AVI, MP3, OGG, M4A, AAC, F4V, and many more formats on the list. What’s more, the player also offers wireless streaming using different technologies such as AirPlay 2, DLNA, and Chromecast.

Best free MXF viewer.

Among the rest of the advantages of this MXF Mac player, it is worth noting the ability to adjust the video characteristics, support for screenshots, ability to export and import bookmarks, support for Picture-in-Picture mode, built-in equalizer, create your own playlists and way more. The app comes with full subtitle support for both internal and external subtitles. Another important factor of this video player is that it is under constant development.

How to Play MXF Files on Mac for Free

Download Elmedia from the official website. Once downloaded, follow the wizards to get the app installed on your Mac.

 Download and install Elmedia Player.

Add your MXF files. Launch the app and choose one out of three ways to add the file, namely:

  • Drag and drop the chosen MXF file onto the player window or its Dock icon.
  • Right-click an MXF file in Finder; choose "Open With", and then choose "Elmedia Player".
  • Open the "File" menu in Elmedia Player, then tap "Open" and browse to find your file.
 How to view MXF files on Mac.
Enjoy your time. View your files with no lag, pause and unpause, rewind, etc. Have full control over your video playback with Elmedia Player.

Alternative Way to Open MXF File on Mac — Use MXF File Converter

There are plenty of MXF converter Mac apps available but most will result in a reduction of quality, long conversion times, and even incompatible format conversion. You want to be aware of these important features when you choose an MXF converter for Mac.

You have to ensure that the MXF file converter can convert files to the most recent format standards. The most converter may be incredibly limited with the files they can convert to and some may offer a few varieties but you want to choose one that can offer conversion to HD formats, 3D, 4K, and output with H.265 and can be truly called the best MXF converter.

Having all these criteria in mind, we can recommend you Movavi Video Converter – with this multi-functional, easy-to-use program, converting MXF files is as simple as it can be. Just download the appropriate version of the program for Windows or Mac and follow the short guide below.

Movavi Video Converter

How to Convert MXF to MP4 on Mac


Download Movavi Video Converter to your Mac.

Once downloaded, launch the MXF file converter and follow the on-screen instructions to install.

 Download Movavi Video Converter.

Add files to the app you want to convert to.

Open the Movavi converter and click Add Media. After that select the MXF files, you wish to convert to. You can choose one or several files at once.

 Add files to the app.

Select the format of your choice.

Go to the Video Tab and select the desired format. It could be either MP4 or any other supported and desired format. If you need to kame the file viewable on mobile devices, go to the Device Tab. Here you need to select the corresponding preset according to your device type. To facilitate the issue with presets, connect your device to Mac and select the Cell Phone icon.


Convert your videos.

The final step is to proceed with the conversion process. For this, you need to click the Save to button and choose the path for the converted file. Once the save folder is selected, click the Convert button to start the process.

What Is MXF File?

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 include a metadata wrapper.

The MXF file type 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 essence, as well as frame-based metadata. The frame-based metadata is mostly about file format and timecode information for each video frame, also known as interleaved media files.

Being primarily used in TV productions and movies, the MFX file type 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 for high-quality TV productions.

What is MXF file

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 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 why 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.

Frequently Asked Questions:

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 into the main window in order to play them.

To convert MXF to MP4 Mac users need to follow these steps:

  1. Download and install MXF file converter Movavi on your Mac.
  2. Open the converter and click Add Media.
  3. Choose your desired output for the video format.
  4. And that’s it, just convert the MXF file to MP4.
No, MXF is not the same as MP4. More detailed information as well as a comparison table between these two formats you can find in the corresponding paragraph in the article above.
In order to play MXF files on a PC you need to either convert MXF to another format, use additional codecs for your video player, if this kind of file is not supported by the player, or use third-party apps that can seamlessly handle MXF files. The same advice is for the users of macOS who wants to know how to open MXF files on Mac.
MXF is a professional-grade container format and is more suitable for commercial applications - for example, in the TV industry. Besides that MXF is used by camera vendors, camcorders such as Sony and Panasonic.
Only with the help of third-party apps. One of these apps is Elmedia Player - it includes the necessary codecs to play .mxf files.
Probably because you don't have the right software. Try using an MXF-compatible player like Elmedia Player.
Elmedia: universal video player
Requirements: macOS 10.12+ , 89.21MB of free space
Version 8.12(3287) (8 Jan, 2023) Release notes
Category: Video