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The Xvid Video Codec for Mac: How Tricky Is It?

Playing Xvid on Mac can be a difficult task. Apple offers limited support for video codecs and wrappers, meaning XVID files cannot be played using the macOS native QuickTime. To overcome this issue, use a third-party video player to open such file formats without a hassle.

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Elmedia Player Free
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Xvid Codec Mac

The Best XviD Player for Mac - Elmedia

Why install Xvid codecs for Mac, when Elmedia Player can open XVID straight away?

Not only can the Elmedia app play Xvid on Mac, but it also comes with a range of advanced playback features. From audio and video synchronization to support for both internal & external subtitles and picture-in-picture, the choice is vast. The Elmedia Mac video player also has a PRO version, which boasts even more diverse features such as screenshot capture, custom interface colors, wireless streaming from the app to your smart TV, and so on and so forth.

Best Xvid codec alternative

Step-by-Step Guide on How to Play Xvid on Mac

1. Download Elmedia Player from the official website.

The Best XVID Alternative

2. Open the app and import your files in one of three ways:

  • Find the Xvid file you want to play, and drag it into the Elmedia Player window or icon in the dock.
  • Right-click on the video file, select "Open with" and choose Elmedia Player.
  • From within the Elmedia Player window, click on "File" in the top menu bar, click "Open" and choose your Xvid file.

Elmedia will play your file without any need to download a codec for Mac.

XVID player Mac

Xvid for Mac and PC: What Does It Stand For?

The Xvid codec is a program used to compress and decompress large video files. It’s commonly used for streaming and sharing content online, or simply to fit a movie on a CD. And Xvid manages to do that without losing much of the file’s original quality, due to its 200:1 compression ratio. In other words, a 1GB Xvid compressed file is equivalent to an uncompressed 200GB HD file.

Apart from the XVID file extension, Xvid encoded files can be found in other container formats such as AVI, MP4, and MKV. Unfortunately, this codec was designed to be used on PC, therefore an Xvid codec for Mac isn’t really available. Still, this doesn’t mean you cannot play Xvid on Mac - with the right tools.

The Difference Between Xvid and DivX

DivX is considered to be the main competitor of Xvid. One of the primary differences between the two is probably the fact that while DivX is proprietary software owned by DivX, Inc., Xvid is distributed under the GPL free software license. This means Xvid can be used on all compatible platforms and operating systems.

Xvid originated in 2001 under the name OpenDivX, part of the Project Mayo founded by DivXNetworks. The project was intended as a home for open source resources and initially, OpenDivX was an open-source MPEG-4 video codec based on the MoMuSys reference MPEG-4 encoder. Since project access was later restricted, however, a member of the DivX Advanced Research Centre (DARC) created an improved version of the encoding core called encore2. Various delays with OpenDivX and the subsequent release of a closed-source commercial DivX 4 codec by DARC led to OpenDivX being forked. It was then that a group of volunteer programmers started Xvid.

In terms of performance, there is no clear winner. There are defenders of both camps, some claiming that DivX is better, while others swear by Xvid. For example, users say that Xvid videos keep more of the original image and show sharp details, but appear a bit pixelated. On the other hand, DivX videos have some fuzziness and blurriness, which may actually lead to a smoother image.

Xvid sees constant improvements in development, leading to greater performance and more options, but making it more complicated for the general user to keep up. On the other hand, DivX can be considered more stable and more widely applied in hardware.

In the end, it all boils down to compatibility. DivX could be considered more widespread due to support from DVD players, for example, but Xvid might soon catch up as a result of its increasing popularity.


You don’t need to install an extra Xvid codec on Mac with VLC. The app uses its own internal built-in codecs and won’t ask you to install additional ones.
Yes, Xvid is a popular video codec which is completely safe. However, make sure to get it from the official website, otherwise you risk downloading malicious content.
Since you cannot directly play Xvid encoded files on your Android, you need to install a suitable mobile app on your smartphone. Some popular ones you can consider are VLC for Android, MoboPlayer, and MXPlayer.

If you’re having trouble playing Xvid movies on PC, you make sure the Xvid codec pack has been installed on your machine. Install it if necessary. To do so, follow these steps:

  • Download the XviD codec for Windows.
  • Begin the installation by double-clicking on the downloaded file.
  • Follow the instructions given by the installer.

Other options include installing a K-Lite Codec Pack or the FFDshow codec library.

If Windows Media Player is missing the XviD codec, it will display an error message. Click on the ‘Web Help’ button below the message. This will launch a website which identifies the missing codec and provides a download link to the WMPlugins website. Download the file and complete the installation. You’ll need to restart Windows Media Player. Afterwards, you can play your original file.

Alternatively, you can set up Windows Media Player so that it downloads all codecs automatically. Go to Tools > Options, then click on the Player tab. Select the ‘Download codecs automatically’ check box and click ‘OK’.

Elmedia Player Free
Requirements: macOS 10.12 , 89.42MB of free space
Version 8.2(2985) (1 Dec, 2021) Release notes
Category: MultimediaApplication