HTML5 isn’t everywhere yet, and Flash may be a zombie but it’s still walking.
Despite the rapid adoption rate of H.264 videos, there are still millions of Windows Media Video files taking up space. Microsoft stopped development of the Mac version of Windows Media Player years ago, so how does a law abiding Mac user play Windows videos? There’s only one way– Flip4Mac.
This free browser plugin plays Windows videos on your Mac (and, works within QuickTime Player). Installation is simple (including an installation of Microsoft’s SilverLight Flash-like player) and the plugin works with Safari, Firefox, and Chrome.
Flip4Mac has a number of functions that make it a must-have for Mac users. There’s the standalone player (which looks and works like QuickTime Player) for Windows audio and media files.
Both PowerPoint and Keynote apps can play Windows media files using Flip4Mac. And, it’s even integrated into the Mac’s Finder. Simply select a Windows media file and use Quick Look to preview the file.
It’s free, so what’s not to like?
Flip4Mac won’t bother you with upgrade options, but that’s the catch. There’s an option to upgrade to the ProPlayer version ($29), or the Studio version ($49), or the Studio Pro HD version ($179). Each level brings additional functionality, including importing WMA and WMV files and converting them to QuickTime compatible file formats.
The Studio version can export Mac video files as Windows Media video with single pass encoding, and the Studio Pro HD version exports video as WMV files with HD, pro audio, and 2-pass variable bit ratio encoding.
In other words, if you don’t pay all you can do is play. If you pay, you can export video files in multiple formats.
Windows Media video and audio may not be dead, but usage is less than Adobe’s Flash, which is slowly fading away. Regardless, Flip4Mac has worked well on my Mac for years and it’s priced right.