Top 10 Best Video Player for Mac 2021 (Big Sur Included)

Rosa Reyes
time January 22, 2021 Preview 491.6K
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There are a plethora of Mac video players on the app market. From my perspective, the best video player for Mac should support a vast assortment of formats, crisp visual display, and user-friendly operating features. In this huge and intensely competitive market, we can't figure out which free Mac video player is the best choice at once. If you have the same doubts, then you come to the right place. In this article, I'd like to show you the best media player for Mac that can give you excellent visual enjoyment.

4 Tips on Choosing the Best Media Player for Mac

The best video player for Mac is supposed to:

  1. Be free of ads, viruses, malware, and spyware.
  2. Born with a slick and directive interface, making the app simple to navigate.
  3. Come with strong coding skills and support wide-ranging video & audio format, so you can play any media file including 4K/5K video without losing quality.
  4. Have compact and basic video playback functions, like play/pause, time display, volume control, etc.

Well, I’ve listed and tested a bunch of Mac video players and screened out the top 10 best free video player for Mac with the above reference in mind.

Top 10 Best Video Player for Mac 2021

Video player software isn’t rare, but top free video player for Mac users is not easy to come by. Hence we picked out the 10 best video players for Mac and give you some detailed information below.

#1. Cisdem Video Player for Mac

Compatibility: macOS 10.10 or later

Cisdem Video Player is an incredible program playing a vast assortment of media file formats. It’s fully compatible with all popular video formats (e.g. WMV, AVI, MOV, MP4, M4V, FLV, MKV, RMVB, MPEG, etc.), as well as audio files (e.g. MP3, WMA, OGG, WAV, M4A, etc.). The software supports all those codecs ensuring the playback of high-quality video files a breeze.

This best video player Mac takes care of your local media files and the music/videos downloaded from YouTube, Vimeo, or others. You can automatically or manually add subtitles in .ass and .srt formats. It offers smoother playback while other media players show a video jitter, choppy, or stalling.

Cisdem best Mac video player contains a built-in video converter, allowing you to media files to MP4, M4V, MOV, MP3, M4A, iPhone, iPad, Samsung, and so on. It's totally free to play video & audio files but to unlock the conversion function, you need to upgrade to the pro version.

See all supported video & audio formats of Cisdem Video Player here.

Free Download

best free video player for mac 01- Cisdem Video Player

Pros:

  • Equipped with a concise and decent interface
  • Play video/audio files in more than 100 formats
  • Play 1080P, 4K, 5K, and even 8K videos
  • Load subtitles in any language, or import subtitles, as you want
  • Choose the audio soundtracks and stereo
  • Capture snapshots of each frame
  • Turn volume up or down
  • Take less occupancy on CPU memory of your Mac

Cons:

  1. Only apply to the Mac system

 

FAQ: What're the differences between Cisdem Video Player and Cisdem Video Converter?

  Cisdem Video Player Cisdem Video Converter
Download Free download Download the free trial
Price Free ($9.99 to active conversion feature) $49.99
Video Play Dedicated video player (rich playback controls) Inbuilt-in video player (non-primary function)
Video Convert Support 40+ output formats Support 300+ formats
Batch Convert No Yes
Extra /

Rip DVD movies and music

Download online videos from 1000+ sites

Both programs support playing and converting features. But as their names indicate, the former is mainly used to play videos, while the latter is a professional video converter & downloader.

 

#2. VLC Media Player for Mac

Compatibility: Mac OS X 10.7.5 or newer

VLC Media Player, an uncluttered, open-source and cross-platform program, supports DivX and MPEG streaming. It can play DVDs, CDs, VCDs, network streaming protocols, and various types of video files. The best video player Mac offers playlist for viewing multiple videos one after the other.

Meanwhile, VLC empowers you to open Zip media files without unpacking them. And you can simply tweak the playback controls and audio volume (up to 200%). But it’s a little delayed while playing, "Each time I click on run video network it plays other audio and DVDs, etc. and after a million times it finally plays the YouTube video."

best free video player for mac 02- VLC

Pros:

  1. Help you enjoy Windows Media, MP3, QuickTime, and OGG files.
  2. Record the movies/music you are playing with VLC
  3. Adjust playback speed (slower, normal, and faster)
  4. Support external subtitles and Closed Captions

Cons:

  1. Outdated user interface
  2. Delay a little while playing the media files

#3. MPlayerX for Mac

Compatibility: Mac OS X 10.7 or above

MPlayerX is one of the fastest choices to play MPEG (damaged MPEG files included), MP4, AVI, ASF, WMV, MOV, WAV, OGG/OGM, CD audio, etc. Plus, this best media player for Mac supports multi-touch, gesture, auto-encode subtitles, and online YouTube/Vimeo playback. But don't confuse MPlayerX and MPlayer OSX Extended. They are two completely different programs.

best free video player for mac 03- MPlayerX

Pros:

  1. Stand-alone video player for Mac
  2. Support various output formats and devices
  3. Auto convert subtitles for media files

Cons:

  1. Injects pop-up ads or advertising banners which may bring a virus
  2. Take up too much CPU
  3. Encounter problem when open the software and ask you to eject the disk image

#4. QuickTime Player for Mac

Compatibility: Mac OS X 10.6.6 or above

QuickTime Player, bundled with the Mac operating system, is Apple's flagship software. It ensures you to view Internet video, HD movie trailers, and personal media. This best media player for Mac is slick and easy to use. You can quickly export your videos to 4k, 1080p, 720p, 480p (based on original resolution) or extract them as M4A audio. It also functions as a screen recorder. You can record your playing movie, track, or anything on your current desktop.

However, it supports limited video formats. For more formats available like FLV, you have to install external plug-in Perian.

best free video player for mac 04- QuickTime

Pros:

  1. No additional installation required
  2. Provide you with advanced H.264 video compression technology to help deliver perfect HD video with less storage space.
  3. Record your Mac screen

Cons:

  1. A bit slow to launch
  2. Can’t work with common subtitle files
  3. Can’t open MKV, WMV, WMA, AVI, FLV, etc.

#5. Elmedia Player for Mac

Compatibility: OS X 10.9.0 or later

A multifunctional free media player for Mac, Elmedia Player supports a wide range of common and not so common audio & video formats, including FLV, SWF, WMV, AVI, MOV, MP4, MP3, DAT, FLAC, M4V, MPG, MKV, and more. It can play virtually all media files on your Mac. Although it has some other special features, such as downloading online videos from YouTube and adjusting audio settings, they are not free and need to be upgraded.
best free video player for mac 05- Elmedia Player

Pros:

  1. Play online videos without ads
  2. Support embedded and external subtitles
  3. Save and load playlist
  4. Reset audio delay

Cons:

  1. Consume major CPU
  2. Might lose video quality when swiping back and forth
  3. Only pro version allows to take screenshots

#6. 5KPlayer for Mac

Compatibility: OS X 10.8.0 or higher

5KPlayer is a mixture of free AirPlay media streamer, online video downloader, music player and movie player for Mac. All HD, 4K, 5K videos including MKV, MTS, AVCHD are supported. With AirPlay streaming tech, you can as AirPlay sender/receiver: stream video music from iPhone, iPad to PC or from PC to Apple TV. Although the best Mac video player lets you download videos from YouTube, Vimeo, Dailymotion, etc., the download process will be bit slower.

best free video player for mac 06- 5KPlayer

Pros:

  1. Embedded copious codecs for playing different audio, video, and DVD.
  2. No need to install additional codec or pack.
  3. Import subtitle and switch soundtrack
  4. Manage YouTube downloaded videos, DLNA server, and playlist in library

Cons:

  1. Install Bonjour voluntarily without any hint when you need to make AirPlay work
  2. The media player will get stuck when playing high resolution & long videos

#7. Realplayer for Mac

Compatibility: Mac OS X 10.9 or later

Realplayer can play all formats of videos. This best video player Mac is a universal media player that automatically recognizes the file format of the video or audio file you want to play. So you can count on it to reliably play the most popular audio and video file formats including AVI, MP4, MP3, WMA, WAV, FLV, MPEG, and more. It requires a fairly powerful machine for some functions. Several applications need to be installed in advance to launch the application properly.

best free video player for mac 07- Realplayer

Pros:

  1. Offer several visualization ways for listening and locates your media files automatically.
  2. Include handy downloading and conversion features that may benefit some users.

Cons:

  1. Work slowly
  2. Less user-friendly to use

#8. DivX Player for Mac

Compatibility: Mac OS X 10.5.0 or above

DivX Player delivers high-quality video playback for AVI, DIVX, MKV, MP4, and more. It is the best video player Mac to watch DivX, MKV, and HEVC up to 4K films. You can use its built-in TransferWizard to burn videos to DVD/USB/computer. It also comes with DivX Codec Pack and a free 15-day trial of DivX Plus Converter for those who plan to convert.

best free video player for mac 08- DivX Player

Pros:

  1. Support playing HD 720P/1080P, UHD 4K video movies
  2. Open video directly with URL
  3. Import video files into library

Cons:

  1. Large installation file and install other software without permission
  2. Poor compatibility with the latest system
  3. Lack some key features, e.g. rewind and forward

#9. Movist Video Player for Mac

Compatibility: OS X 10.10.0 or late

Movist, based on QuickTime and FFmpeg, is another best media player for Mac. It has the ability to encode/decode a multitude of formats and add subtitles. You can do some general and advanced settings for better and convenient video playback. However, the new versions like 2.4.2, 2.4.3 are not free now, which charge $4.99 or $7.99 (Movist Pro). To get Movist free video player for Mac, you should install the old version like 0.6.8 or before.

best free video player for mac 09- Movist Video Player

Pros:

  1. Simple to operate
  2. Support playlist
  3. Many customizable options

Cons:

  1. The new versions are not free now

#10. NicePlayer for Mac

Compatibility: Mac OS X 10.5 or above

NicePlayer is the best Video Player for Mac with a multi-engine player designed for playing movies nicely. This program features full-screen or borderless floating windows, useful controls for scrubbing or queuing movies, and on-the-fly playlist creation.

best free video player for mac 10- NicePlayer

Pros:

  1. Lightweight and compatible with most formats
  2. Can adjust the aspect ratio
  3. Make a suitable presentation with the aid of toolbar (Half Size, Double Size, Fill Screen, Fill Width, etc.)

Cons:

  1. Can’t handle AVI, MKV or MPG videos.
  2. No support for subtitles and changing audio sources, etc.
  3. Unable to play the videos by dragging it to the software
  4. Not convenient to switch to another video

What is Media Player (Software)?

We often need the best media player for Mac, but before installing new software it is good to get some knowledge about it.

According to the explanation from Wikipedia, a media player (software) is a handy program that can help you play videos, music, movies, and other multimedia files on the computer. All media players display standard media control icons: play, pause, fast-forward, back forward, and stop buttons.

How to Use the Best Video Player for Mac?

All video players mentioned above are easy to use. Let's take Cisdem Video Player as an example:

Step 1. Download and install the best free video player for Mac, then launch it.

Free Download

Step 2. Drag and drop the video file you wish to watch to the interface of the software.

open the best media player for mac

Step 3. Click button to start video play on Mac.

start to play

How to Change the Default Video Player on Mac?

QuickTime Player is the default Mac media player. You can change it into the best video player for Mac you think.

Step 1. Locate the media file you wish to play.

Step 2. Right-click on it, a drop-down menu will appear.

Step 3. Choose “Open With” > “Other”, which brings up a dialog for selecting the application to open your media file.

right click to choose

Step 4. Choose your best media player Mac, check the box- “Always Open With”, and click on “Open”.

Conclusion

I deem that you already have the best media player for Mac in your mind, just download it on Mac and have a try if it is right the thing as you expected. Here I advise those who still feel a little confused to choose from, I push Cisdem Video Player for Mac in front of you. it gets more and more reputation and becomes a stable status among the market. 4K video, 5K/1080p HD videos, all of popular SD & HD standard video formats which other free video player tools unable to support, or add subtitle files, Cisdem Video Player for Mac can all fix it. What’s the best I enjoy, it offers crisp and clear visual image, I feel the video playing quite high quality.

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Rosa Reyes
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Rosa has worked in Mac software industry for more than eight years. She believes that the purpose of software is to make life better and work more productively. In addition to writing, Rosa is also an avid runner.

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  • Jason

    Great list! I've downloaded 5k player for its airplay utility, working good so far.

    6 years ago Reply

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    • Daisy

      Same here, now I can easily AirPlay videos from my MacBook Pro to my bedroom TV ^^

      5 years ago

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