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VLC Alternative Mac Players for 2021

There’s a huge number of VLC media player alternative options out there. While VLC remains one of the most popular players around, you can get an identical level of usability, plus a whole host of other features. We’re going to look at some of the best Mac media player options available. Read on to find out exactly what you can expect from some of the best media players on the market today.

Top choice
Elmedia Player Free
4.8 Rank based on 131+ users, Reviews(131)
VLC for Mac alternative - Elmedia Player

Mac VLC Alternative Players to Check Out

Elmedia logo

Elmedia Player


We highly recommend Elmedia to anyone looking for a reliable Mac VLC alternative player. The Elmedia player offers impressive levels of usability, while also offering a wide range of additional features that make your viewing experience as smooth as possible.

Mac VLC alternative - Elmedia

Elmedia can handle a huge range of audio and video formats, guaranteeing that you’ll be able to play just about any file in your library. On top of that, it lets you stream from Mac to Chromecast devices, allowing you to play your favourite movies and TV on an external device. Plus, Elmedia is designed to let you get straight to the content you’re looking for on top streaming sites like YouTube and DailyMotion. And it even lets you customise subtitles for the ideal viewing experience.

Elmedia Player Versus VLC

Interface

Elmedia does away with interface clutter. If we don’t have an option to adjust, it’s clearly unnecessary! In this regard, we’ve got VLC for Mac utterly beat. Don’t bother checking row after row of options - everything has already been set in advance, and if there’s a hitch, our coders and QA are always busy working on the next update.

VLC, on the other hand, is more confusing. Reportedly, there are 8 massive, jam-packed menus on the menu bar - who has time for that? Often, it’s difficult to find simple stuff that you use on the daily. Moments like these make you wish for a VLC media player alternative!

VLC Alternative on Mac - Elmedia

Supported File Types

There is no drastic difference between Elmedia and VLC when it comes to format support. Both sport an extensive list of playable file types - FLV, MKV, WMV, AVI, MP4, MOV and FLAC are but a few. However, VLC might or might not require you to fiddle with some codecs, such as the K-Lite Codec Pack Mac extension, to get them to work. Other potential codec packs that may be required include the Xvid Codec Mac pack. It’s time consuming, and entirely unnecessary. With Elmedia Player you don’t need any additional codecs.

Subtitle Support

There’s no shortage of subtitles in Elmedia Player. It supports any format you can think of - SRT, ASS and SMIL included. But it goes a step further - the degree of customization is simply insane. Fonts, text color, size and position - it’s all right there. And if you don’t want to search for these subtitles, the program will do it for you - that’s right, there’s automatic search presented by OpenSubtitles.org. Also you have an Ability to save subtitles from opensubtitles.org (in PRO version).A unique opportunity, indeed.

What’s the need for a VLC alternative, then? VLC has most of the aforementioned features; still, it lacks any automatization by itself. There used to be an optional plugin called VLSub, but it hasn’t been updated for years.

Play Video with Subtitles

Playback Experience

Elmedia and VLC both feature impressive hardware acceleration. That said, Elmedia is a step ahead, offering better GPU hardware that makes it noticeably more reliable than VLC.

Elmedia can handle 4K and 8K formats, and play UHD and HD clips with no issues whatsoever. As a VLC alternative, it’s a great choice for anyone looking for an effective player that can offer great quality for a range of different formats.

Elmedia - best alternative VLC for Mac

Open Online Video

Another great feature of Elmedia Player on macOS is the fact that you can play videos from major platforms like YouTube and DailyMotion directly from the player. All you need to do is copy and paste the URL from the site directly into the player. This lets you take your pick from a range of different resolutions, letting you enjoy all the benefits of the player while getting content straight from the biggest online platforms. VLC also has this feature but sometimes this is not working.

VLC for alternative - Elmedia Player

Video to Image Gallery

Elmedia Player is great for more than just playing content. It also features a handy video to image gallery function, allowing you to create an automatic series of screenshots to provide you with a quick overview of a video file. You can take your pick from a range of different formats, and all it takes to create the gallery is the click of a button. By creating an image gallery for a video file, you make it easy to quickly find any content you’re looking for, and identify exact points to play back.

Stream from Mac to TV

VLC isn’t the ideal player if you want to stream to an external device. Elmedia Player, on the other hand, is the perfect tool for anyone using systems like Chromecast, Airplay or DLNA. It’s 100% compatible, letting you cast your favourite content straight to an external device via DLNA Mac to TV, for quick, convenient viewing. It offers far higher levels of usability than VLC, putting you a step ahead when it comes to all your viewing requirements.

Stream from Mac to TV

Other Mac VLC Alternative Choices

5KPlayer

5KPlayer is another alternative to VLC. It’s been around for a while and a lot of people choose it as their preferred player. While it may not offer a few of the more advanced features that we’ve seen with players like Elmedia, it still has quite a lot to offer. It has the same compatibility with DLNA for playlists as Elmedia, and can handle plenty of different file types such as SWF. It offers pretty good speeds and has a fair few options that allow you to configure your playing experience.

VLC for Mac alternative: 5KPlayer

IINA

IINA is a great alternative to VLC for Mac. It’s a slick, modern option that offers pretty good usability and an attractive interface that gives you the option of playing in dark mode. On top of that, it allows you to play videos directly from a few of the major streaming services. It’s open sourced, which means that it’s constantly being updated and improved by programmers around the world. While it may not offer the same range of great features as a player like Elmedia, it’s still a great option for anyone looking for a dynamic and usable media player that can play files such as M4V.

 VLC for Mac alternative: IINA

Serious Downsides of VLC Media Player

Potential Speaker Damage

There’s a solid reason to look for a VLC alternative Mac player. Running VLC at maximum volume (above 100%) may cause damage to some speakers. This is especially bad in laptops, where such damage may void their warranty. The volume slider may be reconfigured to cap out at 100%, but it would be much better and safer to have it set that way by default.

Crashes and Freezes

Much like any open-source project, VLC isn’t perfect. This isn’t frequent at all, but you will definitely encounter bugs and glitches. Sometimes it happens with a single format, sometimes you can’t open any files at all.

Points of Comparison

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Top features
VideoDuke
Elmedia
VLC
5KPlayer
IINA
Dependable support for all types of file formats
Dependable support for all types of file formats
yes (AVI, FLV, SWF, MP4, DAT, DivX, MKV, MP3, WMA, WMV, MKV, OGG, FLAC, AAC, etc.)  
yes (MKV, MP4, VOB, WMV, MPG AVI, AAC, MP3, WMA, etc.)  
yes (MKV, M2TS, MP4, AVI, WMV, FLV, etc.)  
yes ( AVI, MP4, FLV, WMV, MKV, AAC,FLAC, MP3, WAV, WMA, etc.)  
Enables local file streaming to other devices (TV, Streaming device, etc.)
Enables local file streaming to other devices (TV, Streaming device, etc.)
yes (PRO)  
yes (but this is a difficult process)  
yes  
no  
Subtitle support
Subtitle support
yes  
yes  
yes  
yes  
Hardware-accelerated
Hardware-accelerated
yes  
yes  
yes  
yes  
Audio Equalizer
Audio Equalizer
yes  
yes  
no  
yes  
M1 support
M1 support
yes  
yes  
no  
yes  

FAQ

VLC Player is a reliable player that should be completely safe on your Mac. The only things you need to take into consideration are the fact that, when you get a VLC download for Macs, you need to make sure you get it from the correct source. If you download from somewhere other than the homepage, it’s possible that you’ll pick up malware or viruses.

Elmedia is the ideal player for Mac. It offers plenty of impressive features such as subtitle support, casting, and playback from great online platforms. It also boasts impressive speeds, and the ability to play a range of different file types such as Mpeg in a range of different quality options. We completely recommend Elmedia Player as the ideal player for Mac users.
Generally, when VLC isn’t working properly, the best thing you can do is simply uninstall and reinstall it. This will probably solve any issues. If problems persist, the best thing you can do is look for a reliable player like one of the options we’ve discussed above.

Elmedia Player Free

Requirements: OS X 10.12+ , 103.67MB free space
Version 8.1(2848) (28 Jul, 2021) Release notes