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VLC Alternative Mac Player: Elmedia

VLC has been around for years and has become the most popular media player. So why would anyone look for an alternative? Well, the app has started to become a bit old and encounter many issues in the last few years. One of the many include bugs, glitches, or even underperformance. For a Universal Mac Media Player such as Elmedia, these problems are long gone. Elmedia player is a much reliable solution to play your favorite content. If you’re curious to know more, read our comparison and decide for yourself.

Top choice
Elmedia Player
4.8 Rank based on 131+ users, Reviews(131)
Best VLC Alternative

There’s No Better VLC Alternative Than Elmedia Player

Elmedia logo
Elmedia Player

You won’t miss VLC once you’ve tried Elmedia. This VLC alternative presents improved functionality, stability and design. Elmedia Player doesn’t need additional codecs or settings fiddling to provide a complete experience. And if you want more, the app can be enhanced for the low, low price of $19.95. Elmedia Player PRO is a software masterpiece that’s worth every cent.

Mac VLC Alternative


Elmedia Player was developed with its users in mind, bearing a polished, refined interface with regularly-used settings at the forefront. The UI provides a refreshing alternative to VLC. Accessible and handy playback controls allow you to manage your videos and audio files effortlessly.

VLC features an average interface that won’t be fully utilized by a regular user. Some commonly-used features are hidden away. Don’t expect perfection from VLC - alternative Mac apps can offer better interfaces.

VLC Media Player Alternative

Format Compatibility

Both Elmedia Player and VLC support a generous variety of formats. However, VLC sometimes requires you to tweak codec settings. Most people would rather skip that and start enjoying a video right away. Naturally, they desire a Mac VLC alternative.


You can find hardware acceleration both in Elmedia and in VLC. There is no conclusive data on differences in their sheer performance. However, Elmedia supports more GPU hardware, making it more reliable than VLC. The difference becomes more apparent when playing HD and UHD clips. If VLC hardware acceleration doesn’t work on your platform, you should look for an alternative to VLC.

VLC Player Alternative

Subtitle Support

Both players support basic functionality for external and embedded subtitle tracks. Elmedia and VLC can deal with .srt, .ass and .smil files. Nonetheless, Elmedia manages to get an edge on VLC by implementing built-in automatic subtitle search. You can even set the default language which will be chosen from search results.

VLC alternative Mac

Screenshot Functionality

Again, Elmedia and VLC are similar in this regard. Either provides a function to take screenshots at regular intervals. And yet again, the Elmedia version is much more convenient to use, and, in addition, it provides format options for the resulting images.

Mac VLC Alternative

Stream from Mac to TV

VLC streaming interface is notably brutal. Menus full of confusing and poorly-explained options will have you toiling for hours to figure it out. To be frank, it’s not in vain: VLC does allow a great deal of customization for your streams. But if you’re a fan of Apple’s "it just works" approach, go for Elmedia. Compared to VLC, it’s hilariously quick and easy to set up. Elmedia can easily cast from Mac to Chromecast, DLNA and Airplay devices.

Alternative to VLC

Comparison Table

For brevity’s sake, we’ve condensed all our technical info into this table. Use the data below to make your final decision.

Top Features Elmedia VLC
OS macOS 11.0 Big Sur, 10.15 Catalina, 10.14 Mojave, macOS 10.13 High Sierra, macOS 10.12 Sierra, OS X 10.11 El Capitan, OS X 10.10 Yosemite, OS X 10.9 Mavericks, OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion and earlier. macOS 10.15 Catalina, 10.14 Mojave, macOS 10.13 High Sierra, macOS 10.12 Sierra, OS X 10.11 El Capitan, OS X 10.10 Yosemite, OS X 10.9 Mavericks, OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion and earlier.
Interface Refined and convenient Bulky, hard to use
Graphics Hardware-accelerated, with constant updates to improve performance Hardware-accelerated, may perform poorly with HD videos
UHD/HD experience Compatible with H.264/H.265, 4K, 4K HDR, 8K Compatible with H.264/H.265, 4K, 4K HDR, 8K, sometimes 4K/8K playback is choppy
Subtitles Highly automated, with language options, online and local search Can be added and switched manually
Settings Alter playback, visuals, many other facets Plentiful but confusing

Serious Downsides of VLC Media Player

Potential Speaker Damage

There’s a solid reason to look for a VLC alternative Mac player. Running VLC at maximum volume (above 100%) may cause damage to some speakers. This is especially bad in laptops, where such damage may void their warranty. The volume slider may be reconfigured to cap out at 100%, but it would be much better and safer to have it set that way by default.

Crashes and Freezes

Much like any open-source project, VLC isn’t perfect. This isn’t frequent at all, but you will definitely encounter bugs and glitches. Sometimes it happens with a single format, sometimes you can’t open any files at all. Expect the worst after major system updates...


It might not be perfect, but VLC is a definite upgrade over QuickTime. The feature list is just so much bigger, and the difference in format support is massive.
Yes, among many other platforms. There’s even a mobile version.
Generally, yes. It has been subject to controversy in 2019, with CERT-Bund supposedly finding a dangerous loophole. That turned out to be a false alarm. Today, VLC use carries no confirmed risks.
Elmedia Player
Requirements: macOS 10.12+ , 103.67MB free space
Version 8.1(2848) (28 Jul, 2021) Release notes
Category: MultimediaApplication