Mac Video Playback

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Thanks to the efforts of open-source teams to port their work to Mac OS X, playback of nearly all common video types is possible on Macintosh computers. Listed below are some of the more popular video playback options.


Contents

Stand-alone Players

Mplayer
A very capable multi-platform video player that does not rely on any external codecs. Due to its command-line nature, it's not tied to any particular interface, making it easy for developers to create their own front end to use with it. Because of this, most popular platforms have several different front ends that make use of it.
MPlayer OS X Extended
An unofficial, but more up-to-date and capable build of the MPlayer OS X front end than is provided at the above link.
MPlayer OS X 2
Another unofficial build of the MPlayer OS X front end. Seems to have less playback issues than the official build and MPlayer OS X Extended in some cases. I strongly recommend the b2r4 release. The b2r5 release always jacks the system volume up to maximum upon application launch. This distribution of mplayer hasn't been updated in while.
VLC
This player is similar in concept to Mplayer, but implements several things differently and is notorious for having playback issues with different files. Most experienced users recommend against using this player full-time and instead only keep it around for the occasional stubborn video file that refuses to play properly with other players.

Codecs and Plugins

Perian Quicktime Components
A set of plugins made for use with the Quicktime media playback system that is included with Mac OS X. Including support for many different codecs, it is one of the strongest options, allowing Quicktime Player and other players using Quicktime to play most popular video formats (most notably excluding Ogg Media and Windows Media video files). This option is the closest equivalent to the popular Windows-only Combined Community Codec Pack.
Flip4Mac WMV
A closed-source freeware plugin for use with the Quicktime that enables users to play Windows Media files within Quicktime Player and other players that make use of the Quicktime engine.

Quicktime-Based Players

Apple Quicktime Player
The media player included with Apple's Quicktime. Works for basic functions in standard mode, but for enabling, disabling, and switching tracks, a paid Quicktime Pro key is required.
NicePlayer
A simple but powerful open source media player that allows fullscreen playback, subtitle switching, and A/V track switching. Uses Quicktime for playback by default, but can use the XINE media playback engine with the installation of a plugin.
Movist
This player is a new open source project. It allows its users to switch freely between using the Quicktime and FFMPEG media playback engines. Can play slowly for some users, and is rather ugly without applying an interface modification such as Omega's Movist Interface Mod.
QTTunes
A simple iTunes-like playlist-based movie player that as its name implies, uses Quicktime. Features limited subtitle support, only displaying files' default subtitle tracks.


This page is a work in progress and is currently incomplete.