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VLC Alternative Mac Players for 2024

While most people prefer to use VLC, nobody can argue how the application that was once used to rule media playback has become quite outdated in comparison to VLC alternatives. What we mean by that is that it no longer holds the same ground when it comes to features, look, and functionality and has been dethroned from being the best Mac media player. Even some of the players that didn’t use to be so great can be considered an alternative to VLC nowadays.

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

A lot of people have experienced issues with the media player, stemming from VLC not playing videos, or not being able to open any files whatsoever. There are quite a few problems with this tool and fortunately, we have alternatives for you.

Why you might need a VLC alternative

VLC Media Player has quite a long history. Released in 2001, it has been constantly improved since then and is still a popular choice for many users. VLC is a cross-platform solution with a wide range of features. The player can open almost all file formats, offers a conversion feature, allows you to apply video effects and comes with plugins to extend the functionality. Despite this, there are some downsides. Users mainly complain about player’s usability and the confusing interface, that is not particularly user-friendly. Many options are hidden and difficult to navigate. Also, some users have reported choppy playback and stuttering of 4K Ultra HD videos in VLC. Years after the player's first release, plenty of great alternatives have emerged and most have even more to offer. That's why it's time to look for an alternative to VLC media player app.


  • Handles a wide range of file types
  • Works on all platforms
  • Plays Blu-ray with DVD menus
  • Support for bookmarks and playlists
  • Open-source and completely free
  • Supports both video and audio conversion
  • The ability to expand the application with additional plugins


  • macOS compatibility issues
  • Can’t stream over DLNA or AirPlay
  • Some options are hard to find
  • Lots of confusing settings
  • Outdated interface

Mac VLC Alternative Players to Check Out

One of the best competitors you can take a look at if you’re interested in a VLC alternative Mac users can benefit from is Elmedia Player. This robust tool can make your life a whole lot easier, play videos better, and ensure the smoothest experience possible while making sure that it’s not using too many precious resources from your computer.

Mac VLC alternative - Elmedia

If you’re a big fan of streaming, you can use your Chromecast to stream directly from your Mac with support for all of your files. Plus, no matter which Mac you have, with Elmedia M1 technology you can use it on the latest processor chips without any complications. Multi-monitor users haven’t been forgotten either, as they can take full advantage of all of their screens.

Elmedia Player Versus VLC


When it comes to the interface, Elmedia takes the light approach and offers an easy-to-navigate and use UI that also puts a big price on usability. Everything’s at your hand and if there is any way of improvement, the developers are already working on it as we speak.

On the other hand, VLC player comes with a hard-to-navigate menu, where everything is cluttered together and hidden under advanced views. You need to scroll down to see exactly what you need, and it’s extremely hard to even find the settings menu in the first place. This is why alternatives are always needed.

VLC Alternative on Mac - Elmedia

Supported File Types

While both of these applications support the majority of codecs you would want such as MKV, FLV, WMV, AVI, MOV, MP4and FLAC, you might still have to tinker around with VLC in order to get things right. For example, you might have to download additional software to enable the use of codecs such as K-Lite Codec Pack for Mac. This not only wastes time but often times you will experience a lot of issues with these third parties as well. Thankfully, Elmedie does not require any additional software and works right out the box.

Subtitle Support

One of the most important aspects of a video player is certainly the support for subtitles. The developers of Elmedia Player went over the board with the customization options and you can do everything you want. From fonts to size, to position and text color, the world is your oyster. More than this, this VLC media player alternative supports all the popular subtitle formats (SRT, ASS, SMIL). And the greatest part of it all? You can download subtitles automatically from with the press of a button, as long as you have the PRO version.

On the other hand, VLC has some customization available but has no automatization whatsoever. Even the third-party plugins for this have been long discontinued so you’re stuck to finding them on your own.

Play Video with Subtitles

Playback Experience

Elmedia is noticeably more GPU efficient than VLC when it comes to rendering video files and provides the best quality possible on your device. The media player can also support up to 8K resolutions with ease and is a great alternative to VLC, which has an outdated design and does not utilize the GPU to its full potential.

Elmedia - best alternative VLC for Mac

Open Online Video

Looking to play online videos from your favorite platforms? Elmedia enables you to stream all of these directly from the user interface. As long as you have the URL of the video, you can paste it into the application and open them instantly. You can also customize your resolution, just like on the main website. VLC has the same feature but it’s far less developed and customizable.

VLC for alternative - Elmedia Player

Video to Image Gallery

While you can play all the videos you want with Elmadia Player, this powerful tool can also function as an image gallery for your video files. This means that you can create an array of screenshots from a video and have them stored as a little preview for your project for example. This also allows you to identify and review material if you are working with hundreds of files.

Other Mac VLC Alternative Choices


Another great alternative for VLC is 5KPlayer. This popular service, as the name suggests, is suitable for those looking to play high-quality videos at higher resolutions. Not as feature-rich as Elmedia, 5K offers users a strong array of options such as the ability to convert music videos to MP3s and streaming through the most popular options such as DLNA or AirPlay. It can also work as an alternative for screencaptures, as it can do those as well.

VLC for Mac alternative: 5KPlayer

icon pros Pros

  • Can convert video files to audio files fast
  • Supports DLNA and AirPlay
  • Has media library features with sorting audio / video files to your liking

icon cons Cons

  • Might be hard to use for some beginners

What’s new in version 6.9.0

Updated on Oct 27 2021

  • Added IPTV/M3U8 files playback feature.
  • Added local music lyrics auto playback feature.
  • Improved playback history settings.
  • Fixed YouTube download errors.

Review of 5KPlayer

Popular review from alternative with link –

"5KPlayer is very user-friendly, play things smoothly and download videos from most sites I like. The AirPlay function is also very useful."

Stream from Mac to TV

If you’re looking to stream content to your devices from your Mac, you might want to take a look at what Elmedia Player has to offer in comparison to VLC. This app supports DLNA, Airplay, and Chromecast, without the need for workarounds or third-party software. On the other hand, VLC tends to be sluggish and unreliable for streaming content. It takes a couple of seconds for Elmedia to connect to your devices and after that you can stream endless content.

Stream from Mac to TV

What’s new in version 8.5

Updated on Jun 09 2022

  • Added: hotkeys customization.
  • Added: export and import of bookmarks (PRO).
  • Added: option to convert audio to stereo when streaming.
  • Added: support for Y4M files.
  • Added: "clear playlist when quitting" option.
  • Fixed: issues with the app freezing when opening some files.

Review of Elmedia

"Seriously, this is the best video player for OS X, I have been looking for a video player for my needs, that could download different formats, without having to convert them. Thumbs up for Elmedia for this wonderful app!"


IINA is a mac VLC alternative that comes with a unique design, looking like it was produced in Silicon Valley by Apple itself. More than this, it doesn’t just borrow looks from MacOS, but also some interesting features such as gestures and exceeded at utilizing the retina display at max. It’s also open source and can play almost any type of videos you would want. Comes with media player visualizations and can be customized in quite a few ways. Nevertheless, it’s a solid option in comparison to VLC.

 VLC for Mac alternative: IINA

icon pros Pros

  • Has support for gestures
  • Amazing design, looking like a default application
  • Easy to use

icon cons Cons

  • Not suitable for power users
  • Users have reported a lot of bugs

What’s new in version 1.3.0

Updated on May 30 2022

  • Added HDR support for M1 Pro/Max Macbook 14/16
  • Added updating of "Date last opened" Finder metadata
  • Added OSD notification when File Loop is toggled
  • Added support for the macOS Reduce motion accessibility preference
  • You can now use Up/Down and Enter key to navigate through the welcome window
  • Added support for downloading subtitles from Open Subtitles when streaming

Review of IINA

Popular review from alternative with link –

"It's elegant. the better version of quicktime and it meshes perfectly with every design aspect of macos. it's actively developed. and it provides massive support while being so lightweight!"

QuickTime Player

If you are someone who enjoys basic applications that aren’t inherently bad, but don’t have a lot of features, you might want to take a look at your default media player integrated into Mac. Most videos that you will watch will play appropriately, but unfortunately, some other ones such as MKV are not supported at all. The application also allows users to play content directly from iCloud, which makes storing files a breeze. Unfortunately, the lack of control over audio makes it a bit hard to recommend for audiophiles.

 VLC for Mac alternative: QuickTime Player

icon pros Pros

  • Ability to play files stored on iCloud
  • Comes default with the system
  • Supports high resolutions

icon cons Cons

  • No support for .srt subtitles
  • Does not support many popular video codecs
  • Ugly interface

What’s new in version 7.6.6

Updated on Aug 04 2011

Note: This product is not compatible with macOS High Sierra and later.

• Release notes were unavailable when this listing was updated.

Review of QuickTime

Popular review from alternative with link -

It's a media player, the UI is nice. It doesn't support many formats.


One of the more advanced and power-user friendly options on the list is certainly MPlayerX. This application can automatically detect file types and sort them properly based on that, audio connections for output are also detected such as S/PDIF and the integrated gesture support makes it a breeze to control playback. The app also went above and beyond and has full support for the Apple Remote if that’s something you want to use.

 VLC for Mac alternative: MPlayerX

icon pros Pros

  • Can organize playlist automatically
  • Supports Apple Remote
  • Allows users to cast directly on their devices
  • Support for most subtitle types

icon cons Cons

  • The last update was a long time ago
  • Not compatible with M1 chips

Review of MPlayerX

Popular review from alternative with link –

"MplayerX looks exactly like Quicktime X, which was probably the developer's original intention. And that's not a bad thing."


Link to source –

MPlayerX has been bundled with malwares, including adware. See the VirusTotal scan results at

Potential Speaker Damage

Due to the fact that VLC is notorious for allowing users to tinker around with the sound settings and set the volume to above 100%, this can lead to serious speaker damage. Although you can set a cap to the audio settings, the fact that the settings menu is overcluttered does not help one bit.

Crashes and Freezes

Many users have reported severe freezes and crashes when using VLC and the team responsible for updates does not seem to have fixed them. All of these might create an unenjoyable viewing experience.

Points of Comparison

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Top features
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)  
Subtitle support
Subtitle support
Audio Equalizer
Audio Equalizer
M1 support
M1 support

Supported media formats

This media player for Mac has native support for a large number of multimedia formats, including:


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.
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