One of the first thing most new switchers ask when they get their first Mac is how do they watch movie files that they downloaded online, some of the most popular ones are like avi and wmv files. By default, the only media player in your Mac is the QuickTime player, which does not support many formats out of the box. So here are three solutions that you need, to allow your Mac to view the files you need.
First thing to do is to download the “VLC media player”:http://www.videolan.org/ from VideoLAN. This app can play almost all formats available online, including DVDs and VCDs and best of all, it is FREE!
However, if you are looking to play the various video formats straight from your Finder with Quick Look or QuickTime, there are two products that will complete the threesome.
The first one is “Perian”:http://perian.org – the swiss-army knife of QuickTime® components. This covers most formats available except Windows Media.
When you install Perian, it appears as a Preference Pane in your System Preference and allows QuickTime to decode all the various file formats and watch those files.
Here’s the list of supported media:
- File formats: AVI, DIVX, FLV, MKV, GVI, VP6, and VFW
- Video types: MS-MPEG4 v1 & v2, DivX, 3ivx, H.264, Sorenson H.263, FLV/Sorenson Spark, FSV1, VP6, H263i, VP3, HuffYUV, FFVHuff, MPEG1 & MPEG2 Video, Fraps, Snow, NuppelVideo, Techsmith Screen Capture, DosBox Capture
- Audio types: Windows Media Audio v1 & v2, Flash ADPCM, Xiph Vorbis (in Matroska), and MPEG Layer I & II Audio, True Audio, DTS Coherent Acoustics, Nellymoser ASAO
- AVI support for: AAC, AC3 Audio, H.264, MPEG4, and VBR MP3
- Subtitle support for SSA/ASS and SRT
Download it “here”:http://perian.cachefly.net/Perian_1.1.3.dmg
And if you need to watch anything that is in Windows Media format, you will need “Flip4Mac”:http://www.microsoft.com/windows/windowsmedia/player/wmcomponents.mspx, that was acquired by Microsoft a while back.
Both the Perian and Flip4Mac makes it possible to watch these files right from your Desktop using Quick Look (press SPACEBAR when you select the file in Finder) or preview it when you choose Get Info (Cmd+I).