Elmedia Player: The Excellence of a Mac Media Player
  • Universally compatible with multimedia formats
  • Optimal for a streaming setup
  • Vast multitude of various settings
  • Streamable platforms include Chromecast, AirPlay and DLNA
Top choice
Elmedia Player
4.8 Rank based on 131+ users, Reviews(131)
Elmedia -Best Mac Media Player

6 Best Media Player for Mac


As you’d expect from a stock application, QuickTime doesn’t top any charts. It’s functional and optimized, but the feature set is rather narrow. This is especially prominent in the format department - sometimes, the app struggles to open a measly MP4. Most third-party video players will do better; but random suggestions aren’t our style. What we’ve got is a cream-of-the-crop selection of contenders for the title of the Best Multimedia Player for Mac.

Elmedia Player: The Champion of Mac Media Players

media player macintosh application

It’s clean, efficient and hands down the best media player for Mac - Elmedia. We can say with confidence - it’s not just for video clips; the sheer scope of this app is beyond description. But we’ll try to describe it as best as we can.

Elmedia Player can process an astounding range of various media, including images and the elusive SWF. The functions ensure that every viewing experience is perfect - many small adjustments can be done for subtitles, audio and video, not to mention the UI. An excellent $19.95 package for casual and experienced users alike.

Pros

  • Audio, video, image files - open anything you’ve got.
  • Streaming support for AirPlay, Chromecast, DLNA.
  • Screenshot gallery function.
  • Frame-perfect searching.
  • Playlist creation and manipulation.
  • Many other tweaks for maximum comfort.

Cons

  • Not entirely backwards compatible.
  • Mac exclusive

IINA: A Subtle Media Player

One of best multimedia player for Mac

The IINA Mac media player takes an interesting direction. Instead of trying to develop its own separate design, it tries its best to integrate with the Apple ecosystem. This entails extensive support for Apple hardware and system functions, such as touchpad gestures and Retina technology.

It looks unremarkable, but that’s the intention - it blends in well. In fact, some might argue that it nails the "default app" look better than QuickTime itself. And it takes some creative risks, too, giving it that risqué Apple look. For example, the video seekbar is flipped - you don’t see that every day…

Pros

  • Has the look and feel of a stock app
  • Innovative design
  • Browser integration possible
  • Uses macOS to the fullest extent

Cons

  • CPU-intensive
  • Various playback bugs

5KPlayer: Generic, Functional, ADdled

Other Best Free Media Player for Mac

Don’t be too quick to discard this one: we only use the term "generic" in its best meaning. Imagine watching a movie with no interruptions or discomforts, with no need to fiddle with settings. 5K is the perfect program to embody this image. It exists and it works, and it’s pretty damn good at it. The features are very subtle, and while unnoticeable in use, their absence would be very noticeable and inconvenient.

The perfect image is ruined, nay, marred by ads. That’s the major downside of 5KPlayer, and who knows? Mayhaps it would easily take the spot of the best Mac media player, had it not been for those pesky ads. Until then, it’ll stay a runner-up.

Pros

  • Supports high resolutions, Ultra-HD included
  • Streams from YouTube
  • Overall solid experience

Cons

  • RAds galore
  • Unoptimized CPU-wise

OmniPlayer: Dragged Down by a Sparse Demo Version

Choose the best free media player for Mac

OmniPlayer offers astoundingly high playback quality for almost any format you can throw at it. It’s designed on a modern basis, with aesthetics on the same level as the functionality. It’s a real champ among mediaplayer Mac, not much else to say here. Makes you wonder how competition even manages to stay afloat.

Well, the answer is quite simple: the demo just isn’t enough for an in-detail, comprehensive look at the program. It’s minimal at best, so most users - especially the ones that would enjoy it - don’t get to discover the thing.

Pros

  • Works well for any format we could think of
  • Tastefully designed, stands out
  • Numerous side features

Cons

  • Demo doesn’t do justice to the full app
  • Unpopular, so discussion and support are somewhat limited

VLC: FOSS With a Reputation

Media Player Mac Application

VLC is like a Swiss army knife of multimedia apps. Completely free, with tons of functions and a tolerable interface. It’s gonna play most of your formats, with some exceptions like SWF. It even supports stuff like DVD menus. In theory, you can convert, stream, record, etc. But in practice…

It could take hours of reading, and that’s even if the feature does work and does satisfy you. At some point, you might be better off learning a command line app, rather than trying to struggle with some poorly-documented, unpatched functions. It works, and it’s free. Watch some videos. Treat it like a media playerMac. Don’t delve too deep.

Pros

  • Free and open source
  • Community support
  • High compatibility

Cons

  • Advanced functions are a pain to learn and use
  • Everything other than the playback is just meh

What makes the best multimedia player for Mac?

  1. Broad format support is absolutely vital. All other features will falter if the app is only usable for a couple filetypes.
  2. System compatibility is also a necessity. When your system updates, the player should follow soon, or at least it should stay in working order.
  3. HD playback isn’t the most important thing in the world, but it improves most movies immensely.
  4. Quality UI design is one of these things we never appreciate until we lose it. Gotta make sure that you’re actually using the app, instead of struggling with the interface.
  5. Playlist support and interaction - if we’re talking about multimedia, music is definitely on the menu. And it’s just a pain to organize without playlists.
  6. A lack of ads - this needs no further explanation.

Here’s How to Find the Best Media Player for Mac in 2021

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
IINA
5KPlayer
Omni
VLC
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 ( 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. )  
yes (MKV, MP4, VOB, WMV, MPG AVI, FlAC, AAC, MP3, WMA, etc.)  
Supports conversion from one video format to another
Supports conversion from one video format to another
no  
no  
no  
no  
yes  
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  
no  
no  
yes (PRO)  
yes  
Can create and edit playlists
Can create and edit playlists
yes  
yes  
yes  
yes  
yes  

FAQ

Mostly, this article is about choosing the best media player for Mac. But oftentimes, our users raise curious questions that don’t get resolved in the main text. That’s why we have this section.

QuickTime is the default system player for macOS. It’s quite decent, all things considered. However, most users strive for something more developed, an app that’s better suited to their needs. Eventually, people tend to move on from QuickTime.

The official website can be googled easily, and it offers download options for Mac right there, on the front page.

Indeed, VLC has been the center of a relatively-recent controversy! Back in 2019, Cert-Bund has declared that it has a vulnerability in the code that could be maliciously exploited. Fortunately, as you’d expect from an open project, developers immediately started working on a patch. At the time of reading, we couldn't find any information on similar vulnerabilities, so that blew over, probably.

Elmedia Player, hands down. It’s an application of supreme quality, and we insist that you try it.

Elmedia Player

Requirements: OS X 10.9+ , 59.66MB free space
Version 7.17(2353) (6 Dec, 2020) Release notes
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Elmedia player - the best media player for Mac