Find the Best Mac Media Player Compatible with Big Sur

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Elmedia

4.8 Rank based on 131+ users

macOS comes with QuickTime, a default media player that does pretty much the bare minimum. Unfortunately, it lacks other capabilities, like not supporting that many video formats. Because of this, you definitely want to get a third-party media player to give you the full range of media playing capabilities. So to help everyone out, we’ve come up with a list of the best media players for Mac.

Elmedia Player - the Best Media Player for Mac

media player macintosh application

At the top of the list is Elmedia Player. It supports a wide range of media, not just video, formats. You also don’t need to download any extra plugins or codecs while still getting support for media files like AVI, FLV, SWF, MP4, MPV,. MP3, FLAC, M4V, MPG, DivX, MKV, WMV, and so many more. You can also play videos with embedded subtitles, or add external ones with no headaches. You can also adjust the color and font of said subtitles, or synchronize them in just a few clicks.

At only $19.95, Elmedia Player PRO downloads files, streams unlimited video, audio, and images from your Mac to bigger screens like Smart TVs through AirPlay, Chromecast and Chromecast Ultra, or any other DLNA-enabled devices. You can also fine-tune your video playback and audio equalizer settings on-the-fly, as well as take screenshots.

Pros

  • Plays almost any video, image, and audio file
  • Unlimited streaming support
  • Unlimited screenshot capability
  • Create and manage your own playlists.

Cons

  • Possible issues with older Mac OS’s
  • No Windows or Android version.

VLC Media Player

Media Player Mac Application

One of the longest-running media players for Mac, VLC has been open-source for over a decade and free to download. It can play 360-degree video and media files as large as 8K resolution, as well as compressed video formats. With a wide variety of features like play modification and audio quality manipulation, you can pretty much do what you want. You can also add filters to change the look of video clips, as well as supporting synchronous subtitles to ensure you can watch with the sound off.

Unfortunately, the biggest thing holding VLC back is it's unintuitive interface, which makes it hard to find any of these cool features.

Pros

  • Plays almost any video file
  • Can modify playback quality.
  • Supports plugins.

Cons

  • Outdated, hard-to-use interface.
  • Some problems playing 4K video

IINA - A Modern Media Player for macOS

One of best multimedia player for Mac

If you’re looking for a dedicated Mac media player for WMV files, IINA Player has you covered. With easy-to-use menus and gesture support, playing videos has never been easier. IINA is smartly-designed, making it ideal for watching with a Retina screen thanks to its intuitive features. Whether you need a simple video player or a high-quality, professional playback software app, IINA can handle anything you want to throw at it. It also doesn’t have to play things on your desktop as well - IINA also comes as a polished and sophisticated browser extension, playing videos online easier than ever. It even features ad-free support for YouTube!

Pros

  • Modern, “Apple-like” user interface
  • Supports almost all file formats
  • Works with older Macs and macOS versions
  • Intuitive browser extension and integration
  • Ad-free support for YouTube
  • Various subtitle options
  • Comprehensive customization options (picture-in-picture, real-time video editing, full equalizer, screen-capping, and more).

Cons

  • Large file size and CPU-intensive compared to some video players
  • Crashing problems when playing .avi files
  • Problems playing 10-bit H.265 full HD video.

5KPlayer

Other Best Free Media Player for Mac

A popular Mac media player with a ton of features, 5KPlayer allows you to add your whole video library from your computer to it. This allows you to look things up in 5KPlayer rather than scrounging around for them on your hard drive. 5KPlayer also allows streaming straight from YouTube, which you can then take advantage of 5KPlayer’s compatibility with Apple AirPlay to stream them to multiple devices. 5KPlayer also supports a massive range of file formats as well and is easily customizable thanks to its versatile audio and video management options.

A problem is that 5KPlayer’s free version is ad-supported, which can get annoying while navigating the player’s menus. Thankfully, they don’t play while watching a video.

Pros

  • Streams from YouTube
  • Supports 360-degree video
  • Plays resolutions up to 8K.

Cons

  • Resource-intensive
  • New users could be put off by interface
  • Ad-supported free version.

OmniPlayer

Choose the best free media player for Mac

If you’re looking for the best media player for Mac, OmniPlayer provides a comprehensive media player for almost any video and audio format macOS has to offer. With powerful features combined with modern and clean design, it’s super easy to use and looks nice on your desktop. OmniPlayer can handle various video formats and ratios, including 4K, 1080P, and 720 HD. These can be handled with normal and lossless audio thanks to its built-in hardware decoding. Your video’s playback can also be controlled and adjusted thanks to the convenient, built-in rich features of OmniPlayer. This includes video playback, playlist creation, video image manipulation, audio track manipulation, subtitle compatibility, and screenshotting functionality.

Pros

  • Sleek, easy-to-use design
  • Picture-in-Picture mode
  • Supports many media formats.

Cons

  • Very limited features in basic version
  • Really cool options like screenshots and screen recording, all need a paid version.

6 Things to Consider When Choosing the Best Media Player for Mac:

  1. Make sure it runs all known video and audio formats, like WMV, AVI, MOV, MP4, MP3, DAT, FLAC, FLV, SWF, MP3, M4V, MPG, and MKV.
  2. Make sure it’s compatible with the latest version of macOS.
  3. Make sure it supports the highest video quality, like 4K and 8K.
  4. Look for a Mac-friendly user interface.
  5. Find a Player that handles playlist creation and has user-friendly controls for painless movie watching.
  6. Try to get an ad-free version - too many ads and pop-ups are not good for your Mac.

Here’s How to Find the Best Media Player for Mac in 2020

We’ve worked up the best media players for Mac in one easy-to-read chart for your convenience - it’s never been easier to find your perfect Mac media player!

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Top features
VideoDuke
Elmedia
VLC
IINA
5KPlayer
Omni
Supports many different media formats
Supports many different media formats
yes (AVI, FLV, SWF, MP4, WMV, MKV, DAT, DivX, MKV, MP3, WMA, AC2, MKA, OGG, FLAC, AAC, etc.)  
yes (MKV, MP4, VOB, WMV, MPG AVI, FlAC, AAC, MP3, WMA, etc.)  
yes ( AVI, MP4, FLV, SWF, WMV, MKV, M4V, AAC,FLAC, MP3, WAV, WMA, etc.)  
yes (MKV, AVI, FLV, AVCHD, WMV, (MP3, OGG, ACC, WMA, AIFF, etc.)  
yes ( AVI, MP4, FLV, SWF, WMV, MKV, M4V, AAC, FLAC, MP3, WAV, WMA, etc. )  
Supports conversion from one video format to another
Supports conversion from one video format to another
no  
yes  
no  
no  
no  
Supports subtitles (embedded & external)
Supports subtitles (embedded & external)
yes  
yes  
yes  
yes  
yes  
Supports hardware acceleration
Supports hardware acceleration
yes  
yes  
yes  
yes  
yes  
Supports screen recording
Supports screen recording
no  
yes  
no  
no  
yes (PRO)  
Can create and edit playlists
Can create and edit playlists
yes  
yes  
yes  
yes  
yes  

FAQ

We get a lot of questions about media players for Mac - their features, their compatibility with a variety of user’s needs, and their ability to be run on different operating systems. If you have a question we didn’t answer, please drop it in the comments and we’ll answer it ASAP.

QuickTime Player is a preferred app for most users as it is packed within the macOS. Undoubtedly it has a great usability with lots of user-friendly features that provide smooth playback, high-quality picture, eminent sound, and capacity to play different video formats. It is great in basic features, but when it comes to performing other various functions it is not the top performer. For such extra functionality, viewers might want to opt for a QuickTime alternative for Mac.

Now for Mac users, there are numerous third-party video players available to choose from. All the video players have a different set of functions and various designs. We are sure that there is something each user might find in any of the players on the list, we’ll let you choose the best option for you. Our top choice is this Mac media player.

Follow the instructions given below to download and install VLC on your Mac.

  1. Go to the official website for the recent version of VLC media player.
  2. Download the VLC .dmg file from the official website (Click the arrow on the orange button and choose the VLC app .dmg package).
  3. Now open the file you have downloaded to install on your computer.
  4. Drag the VLC icon to the Applications folder.
  5. Double-click on the VLC media player (the icon with the cone).
  6. You'll need to provide permissions for it if your computer is asking for them.
  7. Don't worry if it is taking somewhat longer than you expected. It will open after verifying all the contents of the file.
  8. Now VLC will open for the first time and you can start adding your media files to it.

VLC, the open-source media player is easily one of the most popular players in history. A cybersecurity agency based in Germany (CERT-Bund) stated that there is a high-level vulnerability that if exploited can enable someone to execute code remotely, gain unauthorized access to sensitive information and cancel your service. In fact, CERT gave it a Level 4 breach status which is the Second highest risk assessment level.

In response, the developers of VLC (VideoLAN) state that the issue was not a security issue, there were no proof or evidence of attacks, and that the issue (which was caused by an older version of the library called libebml, that was bundled in an even older version of the Ubuntu operating system where the so-called ‘virus’ was discovered) was resolved and the security agency neglected to make that public.

Elmedia Player

Requirements: OS X 10.9+ , 59.49MB free space
Version 7.16(2296) (27 Oct, 2020) Release notes
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Top Mac media player - Elmedia Player