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MP4 Video Player for Mac

Even though it’s easy to play MP4 on Mac, there are better players than QuickTime. On macOS, you can get plenty of third-party media players, and Elmedia Player is one of the best. It offers many features, an easy-to-use interface, and high format and codec compatibility. The difference is noticeable.

Top choice
Elmedia Player Free
4.8 Rank based on 131+ users, Reviews(131)
Elmedia MP4 player Mac App

Playing MP4 on Mac with Elmedia

Elmedia logo
Elmedia Player

What does Elmedia Player have to offer? First and foremost, this video player for Mac can open nearly any container file or codec - watch MP4 on Mac, MKV, WMV, FLAC, M4A, WAV, OGG… Even Full HD 4K and 8K video. You can create playlists with any files, both video and audio. You can also do subtitle search, open additional audio and subtitle tracks and sync them up.

Best MP4 Player for Mac

Elmedia PRO enhances this experience by unlocking streaming, video tuning and audio equalization, automated screenshotting and subtitle saving. Streaming with Elmedia Player only takes a few clicks. PRO features grant you maximum customizability, allowing you to get the exact experience you want.

How to Open MP4 on Mac

1. Download and install the app and run it on your Mac.

Play MP4 on Mac with Elmedia

2. Open Elmedia Player and do any of the following:

  • Drag and drop the MP4 file on the player window or directly onto the icon in the Dock;
  • Right-click the MP4 file and choose "Open With:”, then choose Elmedia Player from the list;
  • From the Main Menu, click on File and then Open to select the MP4 file you wish to access.

How to play MP4 on Mac

3. Enjoy watching your favorite videos!

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Top Features of Elmedia Player PRO

Using Elmedia Player PRO, the paid version of Elmedia Player, you will unlock even more features that will turn watching MP4 on Mac into an amazing experience.

Stream Manage subtitles Adjust video and sound
Delivers both streaming and receiving functionality. Integrated subtitles search via opensubtitles.org. Deinterlacing to get rid of annoying horizontal stripes.
Streams MP4 and many other formats to Apple TV, Chromecast or Smart TV. Customization of appearance (font, size, color, encoding). Progressive video tuner delivering fine adjustment of color parameters.
Streams video and audio files in the original format. Files incompatible with your smart TV are converted on the go. Synchronization adjustment. Full-screen playback to multiple monitors connected to the computer.
Streams videos from YouTube, Vimeo or Dailymotion without ads with the player's Open Online Video feature. Endless loop for any video segment.

Another Solution to Watch MP4 on Mac

If you’re limited to the QuickTime Player, and it can’t open MP4 file on Mac (likely because of the codecs), you can try to convert it into another format, like .mov or .m4v. This can be done in converters, both on the Internet and offline. Apps that can do this include:

  • iMedia Converter Deluxe
  • MacX Video Converter Pro
Convert MP4 on Mac for free

What is an MP4 File?

An MP4 file, or the .mp4 format, is a multimedia container created to store audiovisual data. It was created by the Moving Picture Experts Group (abbreviated MPEG), and it’s one of the most popular video formats out there. It can handle digital video and audio streams, as well as subtitles and images. Being capable of Internet streaming is yet another advantage you get from using an MP4 file.

What is MP4?

Advantages and downsides of MP4

icon pros Pros

  • Decent compression ratio, while being quick to encode
  • Fast decoding and ubiquitous native support - HD playback is less taxing
  • Optimal for online streaming

icon cons Cons

  • Formats with better compression ratio are available
  • Compression incurs minor permanent quality losses
  • Metadata limited compared to formats like MKV

Supported MP4 Codecs and Types of Apple MPEG

While MP4 is a container format that can hold most codecs, only a few of them will be considered “correct” and supported natively. If you choose other codecs when encoding your MP4, this may lead to incompatibilities in default system players such as QuickTime.

An MP4 is expected to contain any of the following:

  1. Video — MPEG-4 Part 10 (H.264) and MPEG-4 Part 2.
  2. Audio — AAC, ALS, SLS, TTSI, MP3, and ALAC.
  3. Subtitles — MPEG-4 Timed Text.

As opposed to the standard MP4 and M4A, Apple owns several variations of MPEG formats, altered to add DRM, increase macOS compatibility, and add functionality, such as chapters. These files include:

  1. M4P — Audio encrypted by FairPlay Digital Rights Management.
  2. M4B — Audiobooks and podcasts.
  3. M4V — MPEG-4 Visual bitstreams.

Frequently asked questions:

Here are some popular questions about playing MP4 on Mac. If you wanted to know something about the format that isn’t covered in the article, this is a good place to look. Additional questions can be posted in the comments.

Usually, Macs should be able to play .mp4 files natively. Double-clicking on the MP4 and opening it in the default application is the most straightforward way to do it. However, sometimes QuickTime fails to play MP4 files correctly due to various video or audio codecs that are usually included in an MP4 container. In situations like these, you need one of the best MP4 player for Mac to do the job, like Elmedia Player.

According to the Apple Support Website, QuickTime is capable of supporting MPEG-4 (.mp4, .m4v, .mp3, .mpg). However, since MP4 is a highly complex video container with many other codecs for audio and video, QuickTime will sometimes have issues with the playback.

To easily get around this hiccup, you have various other video players at hand. Elmedia Player is a great choice for playing any type of .mp4 file on your Mac. Using it, you will be able to easily and efficiently play any MP4 in a few clicks.

Alternatively, you can convert MP4 video to another format that is compatible with QuickTime. MOV is a good example of such format and we’ve given you some apps to easily convert MP4 files in this article.

Sometimes, MP4 files can easily be opened on Mac devices using the QuickTime Player, while on some other occasions, they may not work at all. And this is why. MP4 does not have one particular file extension, but instead, several different ones, based on the files that are encoded within. As such, QuickTime does support .mp4 and .m4v, but it may have some trouble when attempting to run other types of extensions behind the MPEG-4 format. This is why we strongly recommend purchasing a third-party application able to run absolutely all MP4 files without any errors whatsoever.

MPEG-4, MP4 and MOV are all using the exact same compression system, which makes them quite similar. Even more so, given the fact that MP4 was developed through the MOV framework. Nevertheless, there are some key differences between these two formats.

In general, MP4 is much better perceived than MOV, mostly due to its vast compatibility with a wide range of platforms, as well as its tagging options. As such, MP4 appears as far more versatile and flexible than MOB, even though in terms of quality, the differences between the two are indistinguishable.

Elmedia Player Free
Requirements: macOS 10.12 , 103.67MB free space
Version 8.1(2848) (28 Jul, 2021) Release notes
Category: MultimediaApplication