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Video Players for Mac

The Video Players catalog includes software programs developed to watch online video or view video files saved... more
The Video Players catalog includes software programs developed to watch online video or view video files saved locally, such as AVI, WMV, MOV, or FLV files. Software in this category generally allows users to watch videos, create and save video playlists, and view movies in fullscreen video. Notable titles include Windows Media Player and VLC Media Player.
VLC Media Player

VLC Media Player
Free

VLC Media Player

Play nearly any audio or video file without additional codecs.

Free
Editors' rating
User rating
Publisher: VideoLAN Project Downloads: 6,266,576
5KPlayer

5KPlayer
Free

5KPlayer

Play, record and download videos from the internet

Free
User rating
Publisher: DearMob Downloads: 246,001 External File

This software is available to download from the publisher site.

Flip Player

Flip Player
Free

Flip Player

Play, import, convert and export Windows Media video and audio files on your Mac.

Free
Editors' rating
User rating
Publisher: Telestream Downloads: 898,983
RealTimes (with RealPlayer)

RealTimes (with RealPlayer)
Free

RealTimes (with RealPlayer)

Discover and play online videos, download, save, organize, and share with friends.

Free
Editors' rating
User rating
Publisher: RealNetworks Downloads: 1,414,544
Apple DVD Player Update

Apple DVD Player Update
Free

Apple DVD Player Update

Update your Apple DVD Player to get optimized DVD playback, Blue and White G3 support.

Free
User rating
Publisher: Apple Downloads: 311,155
DivX

DivX
Free to try

DivX

Convert video between popular formats and enjoy an enhanced playback experience.

Free to try
Editors' rating
User rating
Publisher: DivX Downloads: 212,383
Free Mac Bluray Player

Free Mac Bluray Player
Free

Free Mac Bluray Player

Play Blu-ray disc/movies and watch 1080p HD/4K video on Mac.

Free
Editors' rating
User rating
Publisher: Bluraymaster Downloads: 156,866
MacVCD X

MacVCD X
Free to try

MacVCD X

AVI, DIVX, MPEG, WMV, xVID VCD, SVCD video player.

Free to try
User rating
Publisher: Mireth Technology Downloads: 144,129
SopCast for Mac

SopCast for Mac
Free

SopCast for Mac

Broadcast and access videos and radio on the Internet.

Free
Editors' rating
Publisher: SopCast Downloads: 88,620
Mac Media Player

Mac Media Player
Free

Mac Media Player

Play various media on your Mac in highest quality possible.

Free
Editors' rating
User rating
Publisher: Macgo Downloads: 66,788
Results 1 - 10 of 104

About video players

Web browsers can stream video and audio, but a dedicated video player is ideal for viewing a file that's already on your computer. Video players (aka media players) can handle most audio and video file types, though you may have difficulty playing Blu-ray discs.

  • What to look for

    File type
    Make sure the video player software can play the types of video that you want to watch. Check the file extension of your files. For example, video.wmv is encoded in the Windows Media Video format. If you've told Windows to hide the extensions for most files, right-click the file and select Properties. The Type of File section will display the video's extension. On Download.com, the compatible file types are usually listed in the Publisher's Description section of the product page.

    • Product page publisher's description

    Quality settings
    Popular video players also have controls that let you adjust brightness, color, saturation, and other visual settings. These can't make a grainy or dark video look pristine and bright, but they can clean up the image. Audio controls with equalizer sliders also let you tweak the treble, bass, and midtone for better clarity (or to compensate for low-quality speakers).

    Digital rights management
    Some media is protected by digital rights management (DRM) to prevent you from making unauthorized copies. This media can usually only be accessed by using approved software. For example, Apple's music files that use the M4P extension are intended to be played only within iTunes or on an Apple-manufactured device. It's possible to remove this DRM, but it's a legal gray area, and exploring it can lead you to sketchy websites and downloads. Trying to play DRM-encrypted media with a general-purpose player like VLC or Media Player Classic will usually result in an error message.

    • Windows Media Player

      For most users, Windows Media Player would be a fine choice, but Microsoft stopped bundling it into the operating system starting with Windows 8 in 2012. If you're still on Windows 7, which will continue to receive security updates until January 2020, then sticking with Windows Media Player will keep things simple.

    • CNET video in VLC Media Player

    Best video players

    If you can't use Windows Media Player or don't want to, the following are fine video players, and they get periodic updates, meaning you'll get new features and security patches.

    VLC Media Player (Windows, Mac, Android)
    VLC is one of the most popular video players around and for good reason: It's completely free. How? It's backed by a nonprofit open-source organization. There are no ads, and you don't need to give the company an email address. You just download and install it, then play your video file. However, VLC won't play feature-film Blu-ray discs by default.

    Media Player Classic Home Cinema (Windows)
    Media Player Classic Home Cinema is the descendant of Media Player Classic, which emerged as a rival to VLC. Like VLC, Media Player Classic Home Cinema is a free, open-source app. In some cases, it may play a file that VLC cannot, or play it more smoothly. People who play a lot of locally stored media usually have both apps installed, to cover as many bases as possible. Like VLC, Media Player Classic Home Cinema can't play feature film Blu-ray discs.

    Other ways to play videos

    Playing local video files in a Web browser
    You may be surprised to hear that you can often just click-and-drag a variety of media files into a Web browser window, and they'll play without trouble. This method isn't that popular, because you don't get as many controls, like brightness and color adjustment, but it works in a pinch. The major browsers, including Google Chrome, can handle most media formats just fine.

    Playing Blu-ray discs on your PC
    Sometimes your PC's Blu-ray drive has bundled software that will play Blu-ray discs, but it's often a trial version -- the license usually expires after 30 days. Once that time is up, you can't play any more discs until you buy a license, which costs in the $60 range. Blu-ray software is also notoriously glitchy. If you want to watch the discs at home, you're probably better off plugging a home theater Blu-ray player into your TV. There's a lot free Blu-ray playing software floating around on the Internet, but it's almost all sketchy.

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