Perian is a software app that makes viewing your media files easier. Basically, Perian enables QuickTime application support for a wide variety of media files. Perian is available from several sources, but not the App Store when we looked. It installs easily as long as you have no software already installed that can conflict with Perian.
Perian supports a variety of file types for both video and audio files. All the standard file formats are supported, but there's a ton of less-commonly found file formats supported by Perian, too. Perian works without you realizing it is there. When QuickTime is used to play a file, that file just works (no more error messages). Files that don't normally work on the Mac all work using QuickTime, with Perian handling the file formats.
It's important to note that Perian does not work with QuickTime 10 or above, and the development team for Perian will cease updates in the near future to move to another project. Still, if you use earlier versions of QuickTime and run into file format issues (especially on migrated files), then Perian is a must-have. Its support for a huge number of file formats makes this a useful utility for most people.
Perian enables QuickTime application support for additional media types:
- AVI, FLV, and MKV file formats
- MS-MPEG4 v1 & v2, DivX, 3ivx, H.264, FLV/Sorenson Spark, FSV1, VP6, H263i, VP3, HuffYUV, FFVHuff, MPEG1 & MPEG2 Video, Fraps, Windows Media Audio v1 & v2, Flash ADPCM, Xiph Vorbis (in Matroska), and MPEG Layer II Audio
- AVI support for: AAC, AC3 Audio, H.264, MPEG4, and VBR MP3
- Subtitle support for SSA/ASS and SRT
What's new in this version:
- Some Fraps videos only displayed black. [r1424] (#566)
- Workaround checks for Front Row stopped being effective. [r1426] (#564)
- Fixed compatibility with web video playback. [r1427, r1429, r1450] (#572)
- Worked around System Preferences crashing during an update on 10.6. [r1449] (#591) This change will take effect after this update.
- Further fixes to Matroska import. [r1432, r1441, r1447] (#338, #492, #594, #601)