VLC is a very popular free video player for Mac. It has been downloaded more than 1.1 billion times and you can add 134 million if you want to include OS X and other systems.
In the past, VLC stayed ahead of the competition and led the packs. It comes with features like the ability to play incomplete or damaged video, supports wide variety of audio and video formats, supports subtitles, etc. As of recently there is quite a competition in that division and the player sometimes cannot keep up with growing demand. As a result users are looking for a player like VLC, but better than VLC.
If you're looking for different experience than that VLC offers or similar alternative with improved feature set - there's Elmedia Player at your disposal. Who doesn’t like a change! Elmedia Player is a competitive VLC alternative for Mac with the ability to stream video and music from AirPlay devices and to download online media from popular hosting websites.
Of course you get to really understand things through comparison, and that's why we ran a comparison test on two most powerful media players - VLC and Elmedia Player.
Elmedia Player was developed with its users in mind, bearing a polished and refined interface with the settings that regular users will actually use. Easy to understand and handy playback controls are included - play, pause, fast forward and rewind and others - so that you can manage your videos and audio files effortlessly.
VLC features a more standard interface with eight menus in the menu bar that are not going to be fully utilized by a regular player user. Some features that may be used on a daily basis are not always easy to find right away.
If you are going to use your player to stream movies to Apple TV, then we'd definitely recommend using Elmedia Player for that. Thanks to its hardware acceleration feature you can get a high-quality image without any potential lagging.
Both VLC and Elmedia players offer hardware acceleration, however it doesn't work all the way expected in VLC. If you enable this option in VLC, it can sometimes cause compatibility issues on some systems, especially on older computers. Elmedia has hardware acceleration enabled by default and seems to be functioning more smoothly, which makes this player more CPU friendly.
Both players support H265/H264, however the H.265 playback is smoother in Elmedia and 4K and 8K videos are handled really well by this player, as well as Retina displays. With VLC unfortunately you can often get choppy playback and glitches due to its decoding issues and lack of hardware support.
Playback of YouTube videos is rather hidden in VLC and downloading them is quite complex. Elmedia, on the other hand, offers the easiest way to play and download YouTube videos in its PRO version. To save YouTube videos on your computer, switch Elmedia to Browser mode, paste a YouTube link, and press Enter on keyboard, select the file from the list, and click Download. One can download the complete playlists from YouTube with just one link.
VLC doesn't offer downloading of YouTube playlists and in order to play a YouTube playlist you'll need to install an add-on called "YouTube Playlist".
Both Elmedia Player and VLC Player support a generous variety of formats. However with VLC it is sometimes required to work with codec settings for some formats in order to play them properly, which many people would rather skip and start enjoying a video right away.
Additionally to many other formats, Elmedia is rather dedicated to HD/UHD videos. You can look through the Elmedia supported formats here.
It is easy to adjust the playback speed in Elmedia Player. For example, you can decrease the speed by selecting Playback -> Decrease Speed or pressing ⌘[ on the keyboard. Simply click the hotkey or a menu option until the desired speed is reached).
With VLC you can manage playback with shortcuts or via its menu. For example, use ] Key to speed up, slow down: [ Key, Normal speed: = Key on the keyboard.
Full-screen mode is supported by both players, although VLC sometimes has a glitchy fullscreen mode when you try to default its settings. In Elmedia you can set full screen as default and enjoy movies in this mode all the time instead of having to switch back and forth manually.
Elmedia Player offers extensive subtitles support, where you can adjust encoding, font, size, font and border color. You can also add external subtitles to your video even if it didn't have any originally.
VLC player also supports external subtitles. To get subtitles load automatically in VLC you can use the add-on called VLSub to automatically search for subtitles for a movie currently playing.
With Elmedia Player you can take a precise screenshot of any movie moment or take a series of screenshots of a playing video and save all images in a desired format. To make screenshots and save them as TIFF, PNG, GIF, or JPG click Playback → Record a Series of Screenshots in the main menu.
In VLC similar option is called snapshots and is a little bit more complex for a regular user as it is in Elmedia. You'll need to go through the video filters and set up the intervals for recording. The lower the set number is, the more often VLC will take a snapshot.
With the help of AirVLC, VLC player allows you to stream audio, however AirVLC has been discontinued.
Elmedia Player PRO works either as an AirPlay streaming app or receiving, whichever you might need. It allows streaming music and videos of various formats, resolutions, and codecs from an AirPlay device (Mac, iOS, Android) to Mac with Elmedia or streaming content from a Mac with Elmedia to another Mac with this player or any other AirPlay device. You can find out more details here.
You may be fine without this feature or you may find great use in it, all depends on your requirements. Elmedia Player provides such possibilities as adding subtitles, rotating videos, audio and video synchronization, brightness, contrast, saturation adjustments, deinterlacing of videos, graphical equalizer, etc. In case you are seeking for functions like crop, overlay, water effect, Anaglyph 3D playback, and so on - VLC will offer you that.