It’s no secret that Macs have a problem with media playback, shipping with extremely limited options available. Some media files are simply unplayable without third party software. That’s part of the reason why players like VLC have become so popular (it’s the only player I will use). But where’s the fun in that? Where are all the choices? What about democracy? That’s where Elmedia Player comes in.
Elmedia Player comes in a free version as well as a PRO version ($20). I was lucky enough to obtain a copy of the PRO version for testing purposes and will share my thoughts on that version later. As far as the free version goes, it is a fine alternative to VLC Player, but offers no real reason to switch if you are already a VLC user. Both versions of Elmedia Player will play the following formats: FLV, SWF, XAP, RM and RV, AVI, MOV, MP4, WMV, DIVX, DAT, and more. Both allow for the creation of playlists as well. And in a nice twist, Elmedia has decided to include built-in playback of online video with their mini-broswer, which you can see in the screenshot labelled “Browse Now”.
In the PRO version there is a whole bunch of options that became available to you like converting any movie file into a series of still images or take screenshots of individual moments or download streaming/online videos directly to your hard drive. That last point was my favorite feature offered by Elmedia and the function was handled beautifully. Rather than having two windows open at once, Elmedia Player PRO uses that built-in mini web browser to help you locate the online videos of your choice. From there, select the Video tab from the options and find the correct media file in the list (Hint: YouTube videos are usually FLV). And that’s it! You now have that video saved to your hard drive to watch at your leisure.
All in all, Elmedia Player is great. It works well enough to be your primary media player, but things really get interesting when you purchase the PRO version and access the advanced user options. The user interface is clean and very similar to iTunes, which means for the average user it should be easy to pick up and play around with.
If you wish to download the program or take a deeper look at the offerings, point your cursor in the direction of their official website. If you do try out the player, let us know about your experience. Love it? Hate it? Like it? We want to know.