As it turns out, Apple’s venerable media player has some competition; mostly because Apple treats QuckTime Player more like abandonware, but free can be difficult to compete against. When it comes to playing movies and music I’m something of an Apple purist. There are other music players, and I’ve tried nearly a dozen through the years, but iTunes and QuickTime Player work fine for most of music needs.
There might be a dozen media players available for the Mac, but the video file formats I prefer are the ones that QuickTime Player handles with ease, so that’s what gets the nod. Most of the time. Increasingly I need options and different solutions.
QuickTime Player does not play every video file and more frequently I get a file which just won’t open and play. For those instances I keep a couple of extra players on hand, including one that’s been around in various forms and names for years. It’s called Elmedia Video Player. It’s free, but has an in-app purchase pro version which is priced about the same as lunch for two at McDonald’s.
What you get with Elmedia Video Player is an app that looks and feels a bit like Apple’s player in OS X, but with options to view different video file formats. It also plays YouTube (mostly; YouTube can be quirky) and Vimeo videos which makes for a better experience than using Safari or Chrome which display advertisements.
One aspect of Elmedia Video Player is very Apple-like. That’s the attention to subtitles. You can download videos with subtitles but they’re customizable; encoding, font style and size, font color, even border color. There’s also a thoughtful control to move the subtitles forwards or backwards a bit to make sure the text is in sync with the audio.
The player handles most video file formats ranging from DivX, WMV, FLV, SWF, AVI, MOV, but also audio formats MP4, MP3, and AAC, but unlike QuickTime Player, Elmedia Player has options for multiple playlists which makes it a good music player.
What about the Pro version?
The free player is just that. A media player. The Pro version comes with additional controls to handle video color, contrast, brightness, saturation and other color settings. Audio gets features, too, including the all important audio equalizer and a variety of equalizer presets, and it gets to the high end of the spectrum with settings for AC-3/DTS through S/PDIF (if you don’t know what those are, don’t worry, it won’t matter).
Elmedia Video Player should be retitled as a media player because it does audio, too, but that’s a nit. Otherwise, what you get for free is decent, but the pro version does more, including still images from freeze frame, and AirPlay support, too. Nicely done and priced at about two combo meals from McDonald’s.