The Best Video Player for Mac OS X: VLC

Movies files come in various formats. AVI, MPG, and MP4 are just some of the more popular format that you can play on a Windows PC or on a Mac.

VLC can play just any video file type you throw at it.

On Mac OS X, there is a preinstalled Quicktime Player which can be used to play Quicktime video, AIFF, WAV, DV-DIF, MP3, and MPEG. It does not, by default, play AVI, DivX, Flash Video, and other file types, though that can be remedied by installing plugins such as Perian, which is free and open source.

Apple’s default player for OS X has also been available for Windows for two decades now.

Since I started using Mac OS X, the VLC became my favorite app for playing videos, and I’ll tell you why.

More after the jump.

The VLC app can be downloaded for free. It is my favorite movie player for Mac OS X and Windows because of its simplicity and the fact that it can play virtually any video file type. VLC plays MPEG-2, H.264, DivX, MPEG-4, WebM, and WMV.

VLC also plays AVI, ASF, WMV, MKV, Real, FLV (Flash), MP4, MOV, and 3GP.

As long your computer hardware supports it, you can even use VLC to play, DVDs, CDs, VCDs, and Blu-Ray.

Many people also use VLC as music player as it can also play MP3, AAC, FLAC, and many other file formats.

VLC is available for Mac OS X, Windows, and Linux.

Here are some of VLC’s features:

  • Plays almost all formats without the need for additional plugins
  • Free
  • No spyware or ads, no user tracking
  • Versions available for Mac OS X, Windows, Linux, and Unix

Videos can be played in a window or in full screen. A complete list of features is available on the VLC Official site by VideoLan Organization: VLC features.


  • Download the latest version of VLC for Mac OS X here: Download VLC for Mac OS X
  • For all versions for Mac, including the universal binary for Mac OS X 10.4 Tiger. Download VLC for OS X 10.4 Tiger
  • Versions are also available for older versions of Mac OS X: Got to download page here
    • For Mac OS X 10.3 Panther, use VLC 0.8.6i
    • For Mac OS X 10.2 Jaguar, use VLC 0.8.4a
    • For Mac and OS X 10.1 Puma, use VLC 0.7.0


VLC plays AVI, MP4, Flash Video, 3GP, MKV, and many other file formats.

Do you have your own favorite video player? Let me know in the comments section.

Read about other apps for Mac OS X:

4 thoughts on “The Best Video Player for Mac OS X: VLC

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