Home macOS & Software What’s the best video player for your Mac?

What’s the best video player for your Mac?

by tmnsoon

macOS comes with its own video player called the Quicktime Player, which is well polished and efficient… for certain formats. MOV and MP4 formats will play great on Quicktime, however AVI and MKV often won’t work at all, depending on the codec used. This is a pain considering the aforementioned formats are very popular and you’re likely to come across them when downloading movies and TV shows. So now you need a third party video player. Read on to find out which one you should consider!


IINA is a modern, clean video player built just for macOS. Its interface looks very similar to Quicktime, so it fits right in. Unlike Quicktime however IINA supports all the different videos formats you’d want, and includes nice features that aren’t present on Quicktime such as the YouTube-style thumbnails when you hover over a part of the video:

If you hover over part of a video in IINA you’ll see thumbnail previews

Being open-source IINA is completely free to use, and in the testing done for this article was smooth and stable. The only thing that might be a minor annoyance is the keyboard shortcuts — they’re different from most other applications, using Control + Command instead of just Command. So for example, fullscreen is Control + Command + F instead of just Command + F. Fortunately however it’s possible to change them via the Preferences menu to be whatever you’d like:

In the “key bindings” section of the Preferences for IINA you can make the keyboard shortcuts whatever you want

Elmedia Player

Elmedia Player is a closed-source video player designed for Mac by Eltima Software. The free option is a solid, modern video player that can handle pretty much anything IINA or VLC can. However there is also a paid option for a once-off cost of $20USD, with a $10 add-on to include lifetime guaranteed updates. The paid version of Elmedia player gives you nice features such as the ability to stream video to your TV using devices like Chromecast, Apple TV and Samsung/Sony/LG Smart TVs:

I could stream this movie on my Mac to Chromecast using the paid version of Elmedia Player

Other features of Elmedia Player Pro (the paid version) include downloading videos from streaming websites and saving the audio from YouTube videos as MP3 files. You won’t get this sort of functionality in free media players, so if you’d make use of them consider purchasing a copy of Elmedia Player Pro.


The VLC media player has been around forever, with the first release back in 2001. Although it’s not as polished as the other offerings and and the UI doesn’t integrate as well with the macOS theme, VLC is still a solid video player which can handle all of the video formats Quicktime can’t. It’s also the only cross-platform option listed in this article, meaning you can get used to using VLC on all your computers — both Mac and Windows.

This is the interface of VLC — due to the fact that it’s cross-platform it doesn’t “fit” with any operating system’s theme, as such.

Do you have a different favourite media player?

If you have other suggestions for good video players on macOS that aren’t listed in this article, be sure to leave a comment below to help other users out!

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