MPlayer Plays It All

QuickTime is pretty slick, especially if you have the Pro version that offers more control and allows you to put together movie clips and photos. The problem with QuickTime Movie Player is that it lacks a nice interface that will allow you to organize your clips or give more than basic information about the clip you are viewing.

Enter MPlayer OS X, an Open Source movie player that was originally available for Linux. The iMi in MPlayer OS X is for "multimedia," which should give you some idea why this is a popular application in the *nix world.

MPlayer OS X can play movies in a large variety of formats. Did a friend send you a RealMedia movie of his fishing trip, but you refuse to get RealMedia Player because you hate the nosey questions Real asks you before allowing you to download their player? Maybe your Aunt Edna sent you a DVD created on her PC of her poking around Machu Picchu. While the DVD should play with Appleis DVDPlayer, Aunt Edna used the DivX format, which isnit supported natively in QuickTime. Even if you have apps that can handle each of these situations and others, wouldnit it be nice to have one app that handles them all and more? MPlayer OS X may just be that app.

MPlayer handles DivX, RealMedia, QuickTime, and more, all in a tidy package that costs you nothing but the time it takes to download and install it. The interface is simple and has an organization feature similar to that found in iPhoto or iTunes. Whatis more, MPlayer is optimized to use the G4is AltiVec portion of your processor so movies run like they were made for your Mac. From the MPlayer OS X README file:

Multimedia player with playlist, supporting playback of all widely used media types (MPEG 1-4, DivX, AVI, ASF, Ogg Vorbis, RealMedia, QuickTime Movie, MPEG layer 1-3, AC3, WindowsMediaAudio etc.) and movie subtitles of various formats (MicroDVD Player, Subrip, etc.). It is based on MPlayer - movie player for Linux.

MPlayer OS X is still in beta but it is a definite keeper. Get it at

Vern Seward keeps a look out for those Unix apps making their way to the Mac so you donit have to.