Perian is a free, open-source plug-in that can help QuickTime users play more formats, including most major codecs.
Billed as a "Swiss Army Knife for QuickTime," Perian installs a preference pane and automatically installs components for over two dozen formats--everything from AVI, FLV, and DivX to curios like DTS Coherent Acoustics audio, Xiph Vorbis (in Matroska), and various subtitle formats. The settings give you a few options, for the likes of alerts and audio output, but most of Perian's functionality happens invisibly during playback.
The one format that Perian won't help with is WMV (so you'll need something like Flip4Mac for that), but otherwise this free plug-in should add a lot of firepower to your Quicktime playback options.
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:
- Added Indeo 5 decoding. [r1271]
- Fixed several bugs in Matroska support (1.2 regression) [r1240, r1243]
- Incomplete AVI files were not fully imported (1.2 regression) [r1242]
- Fixed subtitles crashing in 10.4 [r1240]
- Fixed a rare crash with .mp4 [r1265]
- No error was shown if the installer somehow failed [r1270] Note that it does not try to correct errors, only report them.
- Fixed crash in SSA support [r1250]
- Fixed ... See all new features »