Are you looking for a video player for your Mac that will play almost any format of media that you have lying around on your hard drive? It can be difficult when you have a media file in an unusual format and you have to cycle through many different video players to find the one that will support the format or codec used in the file you have. Worry not, those days are now (almost) over, as there are many universal video players for OS X that will play almost anything. Check out our favourite 5 below.

1. VLC Media Player

VLC has been around for a very long time and I find it bizarre that it’s not one of the first pieces of software that people install on their Mac/PC. It’s a small, lightweight program that will play your media in almost any format and (as mentioned) not only is it for Mac, but they also have versions for Windows and Linux too. DVD’s, CD’s, VCD’s, it’ll play almost anything you can imagine. It’ll handle a wide variety of file formats too and you can even stream to VLC from a DNLA media server with ease.

2. DivX Player

DivX Player for Mac is great for playing native DivX encoded files (.mkv files) and includes support for a wide variety of other video formats. It also has some pretty cool functions that VLC player lacks, such as a desktop dimmer. I don’t use DivX Player as much as I probably should do, but I have it installed for playing anything that VLC struggles with.

3. Elmedia Player

Elmedia Player is another free option when looking at universal video players for mac. It plays a whole host of video formats including XAP (Silverlight), RM and RV (Real), AVI, MOV and MP4. It also has great support for Flash and it can play both FLV and SWF files.

4. Nice Player

Nice Player is pretty new on the scene but it is slowly gaining in popularity due to it’s fantastic look which features a borderless floating window for displaying your video files in. Loads of video formats are supported, once again, so it is certainly worth a try. Personally I don’t rank it as highly as VLC, but it has a much more beautiful interface which I think many of you will love.

5. MPlayer

MPlayer is another great movie player which is proving to be fairly popular, although it is still fairly up-and-coming. It’s multi-threaded video playing allows for great, smooth playback of files such as H.264 and it supports many other formats too. It also supports limited playback of (unencrypted) Blu-ray disks. Certainly worth a try.

Our Favourite Video Players For Mac

As you can probably tell from the write-up above, VLC is definitely our favourite universal video players for Mac. It plays a huge amount of media formats and if there is anything that it doesn’t play well with then we use DivX as our backup. The other 3 players on this page shouldn’t be dismissed though, there are some fantastic features in those other programs that you won’t find in VLC or DivX, so visit the websites, read up on them and give them a try – then let us know what your favourites are.

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