The built-in media players of most devices are simple and often do not meet the requirements of the users. Many device manufacturers do this intentionally to keep the user experience simple, encourage third-party development, and save development costs.
If you find yourself watching too much video on your device, using the built-in media player on your devices can sometimes feel cumbersome.
Luckily, there are plenty of third-party apps that offer many features and customization options to improve your streaming experience and make it more enjoyable.
In this guide, we’ll introduce you to various third-party media player apps available for your Mac and show you what features and benefits they offer. So grab your popcorn, get comfortable, and dive into the world of media players!
Before that, here’s a quick and easy guide to choosing the best third-party media player for your Mac.
How to Choose the Best Third-party Media Player for Mac
Look for Features Requirements: Pay attention to the features you want in a third-party media player app. Most third-party media player apps offer basic features like playing and pausing videos, support for multiple video formats, and more, and some offer advanced media playback controls like equalizer support, the ability to download and add subtitles, parental controls, video quality adjustment, and more. Here are some standard features you can find in media players:
- Playback Controls: Basic functions like play, pause, stop, rewind, fast forward, and volume control.
- Support for Various Formats: Ability to play audio and video file formats such as MP3, MP4, AVI, WAV, etc.
- Playlist Management: Create, save, and manage playlists to organize your favorite media in the app.
- Subtitle Support: Ability to download and add subtitles to the video, with options to change font, size, and color.
- Streaming Capabilities: Stream media from online sources like YouTube, podcasts, or radio stations.
- Equalizer Settings: Customize audio settings with equalizers to adjust bass, treble, and other sound frequencies.
- Video Quality Adjustment: Options to change brightness, contrast, saturation, and other video quality settings.
- Full-Screen Mode: Watch videos in full-screen mode for an immersive experience.
- Synchronization: Sync audio and video tracks if they are out of alignment.
- Parental Controls: Set restrictions on content based on ratings or other criteria to ensure child-friendly viewing.
- Integration with Cloud Services: Access and play media files like Google Drive or Dropbox in cloud services.
- Customization: Personalize the media player’s appearance with different skins or themes.
- 3D and VR Support: Some advanced players offer 3D or Virtual Reality support for compatible media.
- Social Media Sharing: Share what you’re watching or listening to directly on social media platforms.
- Remote Control via Mobile App: Control playback from a mobile device, turning your phone or tablet into a remote control.
User experience: Another important factor you should consider is the user experience. Since you spend most of your time interacting with the app while watching a video, it’s better to choose an app with a simple user interface. Also, some third-party media player apps display ads to generate revenue. This can affect the overall experience of the app.
Compatibility: Apple recently switched from Intel processors to Apple’s own proprietary Silicon processes. This switch has impacted many third-party apps, including media players. Many third-party apps developed for Intel-based Macs have had compatibility issues with the new Apple Silicon Macs. However, many have adapted to the new architecture. However, it’s always better to check compatibility before choosing the best media player app.
Best Media Player Apps for Mac
- Supported Media Formats: MP4, MKV, AVI, FLV, MOV, WMV, MPEG, H.264 (AVC), H.265 (HEVC), VP9, OGV, WebM, etc.MP3, AAC, FLAC, WAV, OGG, WMA, ALAC, etc. SRT, ASS, SSA, SUB, VTT, etc.
- Compatible with: macOS 10.11 and later versions. It also supports M1 or later Macbooks.
- Price: Free
IINA is a simple and modern media player app for Mac. The app offers a modern user experience with various media playing features. It supports YouTube DL and various browser extensions to play videos online in the app. The app also integrates well with macOS so you can use features like Force Touch, Touch Bar, picture in picture, and more.
You can open the app, browse the media on your device, and type in the URL of the media you want to play; for example, you can paste in the URL of any YouTube video and the app will immediately start playing the video. The app also has various settings, such as the ability to customize the video by adjusting the brightness, contrast, and more.
The app also lets you crop, rotate, and adjust the playback speed of the video. The app also has advanced video features like a hardware decoder (The video process that uses a computer’s special hardware, such as the graphics card (GPU), to play video more smoothly) and more. The hardware decoder is enabled by default.
There are also various audio customization features, such as selecting the audio track, importing external audio tracks from your device, matching the audio playback to the video, and more. There is also a dedicated subtitles tab where you can add subtitles to the video or search for subtitles within the app, which is very helpful when watching movies.
Lastly, you can also create playlists. You can add the media to the playlist and manage it. The app also supports videos in picture mode and more. It also has its own music mode to play music. The user interface is simple and modern. The app also offers several customization features that allow you to change the look of the app to your liking. The app is not available on the App Store; you can download it from the official website and install it manually on your Mac. The download is free of charge.
IINA is a simple, modern media player with robust media playback controls. The app offers various video and audio customization features within the app. There’s also a dedicated subtitle management tab that lets you search for subtitles and add them to the video with simple clicks. Plugins are also supported, and you can play videos from the Internet in the app by simply pasting the URL. The app is completely free to use. You can download the app from the Play Store and start playing media.
Download IINA Media Player for Mac
VLC Media Player
- Supported Media Formats: MP4, MKV, AVI, FLV, MOV, WMV, MPEG, H.264 (AVC), H.265 (HEVC), VP9, OGV, WebM, etc. MP3, AAC, FLAC, WAV, OGG, WMA, ALAC, etc. SRT, ASS, SSA, SUB, VTT, etc.
- Compatible with: Windows, macOS, Linux, iOS, and Android. VLC is a cross-platform media player.
- Price: Free
VLC is the most popular and widely used third-party media player. It is completely free and offers many features for playing videos. It has basic and advanced controls for video playback, making it the ideal choice for most Mac users.
VLC is compatible with various macOS versions, including Apple’s latest M processors. The app is not available in the App Store. You can download and install the app directly from the VLC website. The app is completely free to use, it is an open source app and it is available to all users at no cost.
As for the app’s features, VLC Media Player supports both video and audio formats. It can play audio and video file formats such as MP3, MP4, AVI, WAV, etc. The app offers basic features like play, pause, stop, rewind, fast forward, and volume control. You can drag and drop the video to the media player or browse the videos to play them in VLC media player. You can also use the keyboard shortcuts to customize the playback controls. The app also offers various features like custom audio settings with equalizers to adjust bass, treble, and other audio frequencies.
The app also lets you create, save, and manage playlists to organize your favorite media. The media on your Mac is displayed directly in the VLC app. You can browse and select media on your Mac and add subtitles to the video. You can download managed subtitles for videos. The app can change the font, size and color of the subtitles.
The performance of the app is also excellent on Mac. The app is fast and loads and plays videos briskly. VLC is known to handle large or high quality files efficiently without compromising performance.
The user interface is simple and easy to use. MacOS’s interface is very different from Widows. If you’re coming from a window, you might have a hard time finding your way around at first. VLC also offers support for themes and plug-ins. Themes let you customize the interface, and plugins let you extend the app’s features. VLC is also free of ads. The app also does not have user tracking features. It is secure and offers more privacy.
Overall, VLC is the best option for most Mac users. The app is free and offers dance-like video playback controls. You can download VLC from the official website and set it as your default video player app.
Download VLC Media Player for Mac
- Supported Media Formats: Video File Formats: 3GP, AVI, MP4, MPEG, VOB, FLV, MOV, MKV, 3IV, ASF, FLI, M1V, M2T, M2TS, M2V, M4V, MP2, MPG, MPG2, MPG4, MPV, MQV, NUT, NUV, NSV, QT, RAM, REC, RM, RMVB, TS, VCD, VFW, WMV, WEBM, RV, F4V, OGV, OGM, DIVX and more.
- Compatible with: macOS, including native support for Apple Silicon (M1 and M2).
- Price: Free, with a Pro version available via in-app purchase.
Elmedia is another famous third-party media player available exclusively for Mac. The app is compatible with all macOS versions, including the latest M-series processors. The app is lightweight and offers an initiative experience.
The Elmedia app supports various multimedia formats, including SWF playback. You can drag and drop the video into the video playback and the video will play instantly. There is no way to select the video file within the app. You can customize the playback controls of the video, play and pause it, amplify the sound, reduce the sound, adjust the playback speed, audio delay, subtitle delay and more.
There are also special video and audio tuner settings (available in the Pro version) that let you adjust the video’s brightness, saturation, and contrast. The video tuner also has noise reduction features that reduce video and increase sharpness. It also has an equalizer function that lets you adjust the manual settings for video and audio.
The user interface is one of the biggest highlights of the app. It comes with a simple and modern design. The performance is also excellent. You can drag and drop the video and play it instantly in the media. The video will play on top of other apps. You can resize it to use the entire screen to play a video.
Most advanced features are hidden behind the paywall. You can upgrade to the premium version to unlock benefits and more. The app can be downloaded for free. You can download the free version, which is more than enough for most of the app’s features. The app is available directly from the App Store.
Overall, EL video player is the best choice for those who are looking for a simple media player app for Mac. The app offers a simple and easy-to-use interface. You can drag and drop the videos to your Mac and play them. The app is fast and smooth. You can upgrade to the premium version to unlock additional benefits.
Download Elmedia Media Player for Mac
- Supported Media Formats: Video File Formats: 3GP, AVI, AV1, ASF, BDMV, DIVX, DVDMEDIA, DVR-MS, FLV, H.264 (AVC), H.265 (HEVC), ISO/IMG, M4V, MKV, MOV, MP4, MPEG, MTS/M2TS, MXF, OGM, OGV, RMVB, TS, VC1, VIDEO_TS, VOB, VP9, WEBM, WMV, WTV.
- Compatible with: Optimized for macOS 13, including support for streaming options, Trakt sync, AirPlay, and subtitle support. Also supported in M1 or later Macs.
- Price: Free, with Infuse Pro as an optional subscription
Infuse is more than just a media player. The app keeps track of all your media history and helps you easily track all offline media in the app. It supports multiple media formats; you can stream videos from other devices, supports 2-way sync feature, ability to add and manage sub-files within the app, and supports Dolby Vision, HDR, and picture mode and mode images.
The app lets you import video files from various sources. You can add videos that are on your Mac, add files from network shares, or import files from various cloud storage platforms like Google Drive, Dropbox, and more. You can also add files to the URL. You can paste the link and the app will pick up the media automatically.
The imported media files are categorized into different folders. A special library folder automatically organizes imported videos into other formats like TV shows, Movies and more. The home screen dynamically updates the watch feed based on your viewing behavior. You can get popular recommendations based on your watching history; the “Recently Watched” section shows the videos you’ve watched recently; the “Unwatched” section shows videos you’ve imported but haven’t watched yet, and more. There are options like “Pick of the Day”, movie genres and top rated movies.
Speaking of media playback, the app supports various video formats, including MP4, MKV, M4V, MOV, and many others. It supports Dolby and DTS audio, and you can control videos with basic and advanced video playback controls. The app also supports various keyboard shortcuts and gestures to control playback. You can switch between different audio tracks, adjust zoom in different levels, set video and audio playback controls, and more. The app also has its own subtitle management where you can add subtitles or download them from Open Subtitles.
Infuse Media Player is free and comes in the Pro version. It offers support for even more video types, automatically fetches movie titles and TV shows you’ve added to your watch list, supports high-quality audio like Dolby and DTS audio, directly accesses videos stored in your cloud services, shares and plays videos via Airplay, syncs all your libraries, settings, and show history across devices. Infuse Media Player is available for download from the App Store. The app is available for iPhone, iPad and Apple TV.
Download Infuse Media Player for Mac
MK Video Player
- Supported Video File Formats: Optimized for media container files, such as MKV, with more than one audio track and several subtitles.
- Compatible with: macOS, optimized explicitly for MacOS High Sierra and Mojave. Also compatible with M1 or later Macs.
- Price: Free, with Pro Features available to be unlocked with an in-app purchase.
MK Video Player is a simple app for those looking for an alternative to the Mac’s built-in Quick Video Player. The app is simple and only offers a few features for playing videos. The app has a lot of bells and whistles, but it can make the core function of playing videos simple and easy. You can select the video on your Mac and play it using MK player. You get important features like the ability to adjust the video playback, play the video, pause it, transfer videos to other devices on the network, adjust the volume, and more.
You can browse the videos on your Mac or drag and drop the video player into the app to start playing the video. The app starts video playback in the top of all windows. You can resize the app window, display the whole screen, and more. You can also adjust brightness, contrast, saturation and more. The app also supports subtitles. You can watch video files with different audio tracks and subtitles and add your own subtitles to your video.
MK Video Player also has a special Safari extension that lets you play videos on websites. You can select the video you want to play on MK video player. The user interface is also simple and easy to navigate. MK The video player is free and is also offered in the Pro version, which includes the features of the free version as well as the integration of smart TV, which allows you to easily share the video on your smart TV.
All in all, MK video player is the best choice for those looking for a simple video player app for Mac and an alternative to Mac’s own QuickTime video player. The app is simple and offers a minimal amount of videos to play videos on the go. The app is free to download and available from the Mac App Store.
Download the MK video player for Mac
Final Video Player
- Supported Video Formats: mkv, mp4, avi, m4v, mov, 3gp, ts, mts, m2ts, wmv, flv, f4v, asf, webm, rm, rmvb, qt, dv, mpg, mpeg, mxf, vob, gif, ogv, ogm.
- Compatibility: Compatible with all popular Macs, including Macs with M1 or later chips.
- Price: Free
Final video player is another simple and easy-to-use video player for Mac. The app provides a comprehensive and user-friendly experience to watch videos, listen to music, and stream live content on your Mac. The app supports various file formats, making it the best choice for those looking for a simple media player with advanced features.
You can drag and drop the files or select the video file on your device. The app also lets you import media files from a URL. You can paste the URL and the app will automatically fetch the video. You can also drag and drop the video file into the app and it will play instantly. The app offers basic to advanced options for video playback. You can control playback with the built-in controls and also use keyboard shortcuts for control. Features include playback speed adjustment from 0.1X to 16X, playback order support shuffle, list loop and single loop, play media in miniplayer mode and keep playback over other windows and more.
The user interface is simple and straightforward, and the app works quickly and smoothly. You can watch high-quality videos and long movies. The app loads the video quickly and plays it for you instantly. The app also has its own subtitle support, which lets you load external subtitles or browse and download different subtitles for your videos. The app also supports AirPlay and DLNA, which allow you to stream media to other devices.
The app is free and available on the Mac App Store. Overall, Final Video Player is the best choice if you’re looking for a simple video player with advanced video playback controls, the ability to play videos by URL, create playlists, and more.
Download Final Media Player for Mac
5K player is a popular media player app for Mac. The app offers various features for playing music and videos on the app. The offerings support a variety of formats and come with features like downloading videos, DVD playback, support for radio and more. The only downside to the 5K player is its ease of use. The user interface is good, but it constantly forces you to interact with the library, and most of the app’s features are difficult to navigate.
The 5K Media Player for Mac supports various file formats, including MKV, MTS, AVI, FLV, MP4 and more. Supports audio formats such as MP3, AAC, FLAC and others. You can drag and drop the videos or browse the videos in the app. The app supports 5K resolution video playback, including 4K, HD, and standard definition videos. You can switch between the 5K media player tab and the library. The library contains various videos that you have added to the app. The videos are divided into different categories. The library also has special YouTube and DLNA server sections where you can add the URL and import the videos.
The media player offers various controls to control the video playback. You can play the video, pause it, adjust the volume, and directly airplay the video to other devices. You can also change the video settings. You can right-click on the video and adjust the settings.
Speaking of the app’s other features, it also has a radio option that lets you access and play Internet radio stations. The app also supports DVD playback and allows you to watch DVDs on your computer. In addition to the media player, the app also offers basic video editing features like trimming, rotating, and adjusting the playback speed. You can also organize your music; the app organizes and manages your music library and supports album art and metadata editing and more.
Download 5K Media Player for Mac
How to Change the Default Video Player for Mac
- Open Finder and select any video file on your computer.
- Right-click the selected video file and press “Get Info. “
- In the “Get Info” section, locate the “Open With” tab and choose your preferred video player from the drop-down interface.
- After selecting your preferred video player, tap the “Change All” button.
- Press “Continue” when you see the Finder pop-up.
- You have now changed the default media player for playing videos and movies on your Mac.
This is the list of the best third-party media player apps for Mac. The built-in media players on most devices, including Macs, are basic and don’t offer many features. Fortunately, there are many third-party media player apps that you can use to replace the default video player app on the app. You can choose the best one from the list, set it as the default media player app on your Mac and enjoy videos. We hope you find the list helpful. If you have any other suggestions, feel free to suggest them below in the comments.
FAQs about the Best Media Players for Mac
1. Are there any security concerns with using these third-party media players?
No, the media players mentioned in this post are safe and reputable. However, it is always advisable to check the privacy policies of these media players before installing them on your device. You can find the privacy policies on the app store or on the official website to get more information.
2. Can I use these media players on other operating systems besides Mac?
Yes, some media platforms are cross-platform compatible and you can use them on operating systems other than Mac. A few media player platforms also sync data between different devices.
3. How do I install and uninstall media players on my Mac?
You can uninstall media players on your Mac using the traditional uninstall method.
- Open the Finder on your Mac and go to the Applications folder. Find the app. Drag the App to the Trash. Now, drag the app icon to the Trash bin in the dock. And empty the Trash.
4. How to change the default video player on Mac for a single video?
Follow the steps below to change the default video player on Mac for a single video.
- Open the Finder and locate the video file you want to change to the default player.
- Right-click on the file and press “Get Info. “
- In the “Get Info” section, locate the “Open With” tab and choose your preferred video player from the drop-down interface.
- The specific video file will now automatically play using the video player you just selected.
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