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Best MP4 Player for Mac - Top 5 Solutions

What is there to expect from an MP4 player for Mac? QuickTime gives us a decent idea. But clearly, it’s just a basic package with the bare minimum of features. And it can sometimes struggle with .mp4s if they contain unusual codecs. A third-party app can do much more than just play MP4 on Mac. Besides perfect compatibility, they can bring comfort and convenience in surprising ways. Here’s a list of 5 superior QuickTime alternatives to open MP4 on Mac.

Top choice
Elmedia Player Free
4.5 Rank based on 119503+ users, Reviews(11950)
Elmedia - Best MP4 Player for Mac

A List of The Best MP4 Video Players for Mac

Elmedia logo

1. Elmedia Player

As our top pick, Elmedia is the best player to watch MP4 on Mac OS. A wide range of video and audio formats is supported, including FLV, SWF, DAT, FLAC, DivX and MKV. No plugins or codecs need to be installed.

Elmedia MP4 player for Mac

To go with the overall Apple theme, this Mac MP4 player comes equipped with a user-friendly interface and a host of playback settings. The video watching experience is uniquely molded to cater to every user. While playing HD content, Elmedia is easy on the CPU - slowdowns, lag and desync are an issue of the past. The same high-definition movies can be automatically supplemented with subtitles found on

Elmedia PRO packs quite a punch compared to the average MP4 player Mac can muster. It doubles as an MP4 player and streaming software that can cast your video, audio and images to any Chromecast, AirPlay or DLNA device. And the additional playback, including picture-in-picture mode and audio presets truly cement Elmedia as the best MP4 player for Mac.

Latest update: Nov 29, 2023

icon pros Pros

  • Supports a diverse list of media formats.
  • Can make automatic screenshot sequences.
  • Has playlist capabilities.

icon cons Cons

  • Older macOS may present compatibility issues.
  • No versions available for Android or Windows.

2. JustPlay

JustPlay is a compact piece of software with many different possibilities to play MP4 on MacBook. It’s not free software by any means. However, if you don’t mind the relatively small price, it’s a sensible purchase that definitely pays off.

It can handle Ultra HD, 4K and 8K resolutions with less trouble compared to free media players. Hardware acceleration can be credited with that. Advanced settings for playback and subtitles are present, so you’ve got something to fiddle with. Deinterlacing, in particular, will find some use with old DVD footage.

And the list doesn’t end there. Still not sure? Here’s an objective list of pros and cons to help make up your mind.

Latest update: Nov 13, 2023

 Playing MP4 on Mac

icon pros Pros

  • Deinterlace option to fix faulty clips.
  • Touch Bar support.
  • Multiple playback settings.

icon cons Cons

  • No advanced functionality kin to J-K-L controls or timecode display.
  • No exporting, editing or conversion.
  • Demo version not available.

3. VLC Media Player

This would hardly be a good MP4 player Mac list without VLC. It’s known as one of the most reliable free apps. A massive list of formats is available without any need for external codecs or plugins. Though, like most free software, it’s marred by issues that come from the slow update cycle. Many features are half-baked, poorly documented or just plain dysfunctional. System updates can break VLC, and it may take weeks to recover.

But make no mistake, it’s worth it. For everyday use, this player is great. And it can do some curious, complex things... As long as you’re willing to set aside a few hours. That is the true price that you pay for free software.

Latest update: Nov 02, 2023

Best free mp4 player

icon pros Pros

  • Multiplatform.
  • Integrated streaming feature with many options.
  • Completely free.

icon cons Cons

  • Lacks documentation.
  • Updates infrequently.
  • Advanced features are confusing.

4. 5KPlayer

The 5KPlayer is another app that allows its users to play the most popular media filetypes. That includes MP4, WMV, AVI, MKV, MP3, AAC, etc.

Ultra HD support is included. There’s not much in the settings department, but the features are rich, having included online video downloads and AirPlay streaming. Generally, the playback is solid. This MP4 player for Mac is worth keeping in mind as a secondary option.

Latest update: Oct 26, 2021

Mac MP4 Player

icon pros Pros

  • UHD videos are supported.
  • Has an audio equalizer.
  • DVD files can be played.

icon cons Cons

  • Additional features lack detail.
  • Poorly optimized.
  • Very few options.

5. Cisdem Video Player

It’s the worst of the best. How so? Well, let’s start with the inherent limit of 5K. Not an issue unless you’re a graphics nut, admittedly. But might as well get your money’s worth, right? Mind that the format lineup is rather limited, too. Of course, standard stuff like MP4, WMV and AVI is always on the table, but you won’t get such a wild variety as you would with the other contenders.

Now, on to the positives. Cisdem features a YouTube downloader and fine optimization, packaged in a neat interface. A real joy to use, that one. The playback is smooth, your CPU stays cool, and honestly, what else do we need in our lives? I can name a few things, but this app does play MP4 on Mac just fine.

Latest update: 10 Jan 2022

Cisdem Mp4 Player for Mac

icon pros Pros

  • Highly optimized.
  • Kinda cute.

icon cons Cons

  • Bog-standard.
  • Has issues with a dual-core setup.

That should be it, right? With all this info, you can easily decide on what's the best program for you. Whether paid or free, you have all the necessary details to choose the right tool for the job.

5 Things to Choose the Best MP4 Player for Mac

If you’re serious about the choice, some detailed analysis is in order. Here’s a breakdown of some important features you may need in a media player for your Mac.

  1. Format support. MP4, MKV and AVI are a good start. It’s especially important if you’re storing some old footage.
  2. HD playback quality. Even high-end PCs can lag and stutter if the app is poorly optimized.
  3. A friendly user interface. Completely vital for complex operations, like conversion and streaming.
  4. Playlist support. No comment required.
  5. An absence of ads. Adware goes beyond simple annoyance, actively attacking your system.

In-Depth Comparison of MP4 Video Players

Get a detailed breakdown of all the amazing features from the best MP4 video players for Mac. Best of all, they're compatible with all your macOS devices. So you can start to enjoy them right away.

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Top features
Wide range of supported video formats
Wide range of supported video formats
yes (AVI, FLV, SWF, MP4, WMV, MOV, DAT, M4V, MPG, DivX, MKV, etc.)  
yes (MP4, AVI, MOV, SWF, DAT, MKV, etc.)  
yes (MKV, MP4, VOB, WMV, MPG AVI, etc.)  
yes (MKV, M2TS, MP4, AVI, WMV, FLV, etc.)  
yes (MKV, AVI, FLV, AVCHD, WMV, etc.)  
Stream video files wirelessly to your TV
Stream video files wirelessly to your TV
yes (PRO)  
Flexible video conversion options
Flexible video conversion options
yes (PRO)  
Subtitles online search
Subtitles online search
Screen record options
Screen record options
Hardware efficiency mode
Hardware efficiency mode

What is MP4?

MP4 is best described as a multimedia container format that is almost exclusively used to store video and audio. However, its capabilities extend to handling still images, metadata and subtitles as well. Like the vast majority of modern container formats, it can be streamed over the Internet, which makes it very popular in our day and age. MP4 format is named as an abbreviation of MPEG-4 Part 14, which is, in turn, a container filetype based on the QuickTime File Format (QTFF) used by .mov and .qt files.

How to open MP4 files on Mac?

1. Download Elmedia Player and install the app on your Mac.

Install Mac Media Player on Mac

2. To play MP4 files, add them to Elmedia’s library. There are several ways to do so:

  • Drag and drop the MP4 file(s) onto the player window or onto its icon in the Dock.
  • Right-click on the MP4 file, choose "Open With”, then select Elmedia Player from the list of available option.
  • From the Main Menu, click on File > Open, then choose the MP4 file that you’d like to open.
Elmedia - best Mac media player

3. Sit back and enjoy your MP4 files!

Step 4: Finalize Your Choice

Now that the steps on how to change default video player are complete, you should click "Change All". That will apply your new settings to every file of the appropriate type. One more confirmation, and you’re all set.

Frequently Asked Questions:

Just in case there are some questions you still didn’t find answers to in the previous sections of this article, we have put together a list of the most frequently asked questions. Also, in case we missed a question you are curious about, don’t hesitate to use the comments section and we will get back to you in the shortest time possible.

The straight answer is yes. However, QuickTime, the default player on Mac computers will only be able to play MP4 files encoded with MPEG-2, MPEG-4 and H. 264 codec. In other situations QuickTime player can't open MP4 so you need to go for a third-party app. Luckily, you have plenty of options to choose from and detailed instructions on how to do that in the article above.

Using Elmedia is the simplest way to rapidly play MP4 on Mac . Here are the steps you need to follow:

  1. Download the free Elmedia Player from our website, install it and then run it on your Mac device.
  2. Open your MP4 video with Elmedia Player. You can either drag and drop it into the app interface when opened, in the icon on the Dock or by hitting right click "Open with" and choosing Elmedia Player.
  3. Click the Play button and make sure not to forget the popcorn.

Elmedia Video Player PRO can help you with casting local MP4 files from your Mac to a Smart TV. Here’s how:

  • - Turn on the TV.
  • - Click here to get Elmedia Player and install it on your computer.
  • - Choose the file that you wish to stream.
  • - Play that file using Elmedia Player (we covered the three available methods of doing that in the previous question).
  • - Click on the streaming icon on the left side of Elmedia’s control panel. Find the name of your TV in the drop-down list of devices available to receive your stream. You can select any other device to send your file to as long as it’s connected to the same Wi-Fi.

Here is how to easily stream videos from MacBook or Mac mini or your regular Mac to Chromecast:

Here’s how to get Elmedia:

  • - Connect the Chromecast media player to the TV.
  • - Download and install the free Elmedia Player on your Mac.
  • - Locate the video file that you wish to stream.
  • - Open it using Elmedia Player.
  • - Click on the streaming icon located in the Control Panel of Elmedia Player and look for the device you’re intending to stream to.
  • - Select the device and enjoy a great experience.
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