For modern Mac users, the imminent demise of venerable QuickTime 7 is unlikely to ruffle too many feathers. After all, the media player lacked the simplistic elegance of successor QuickTime X, despite richer codec support and pro capabilities like the ability to add and remove audio tracks. Worse yet, Apple has yet to bring feature parity to the updated QuickTime Player a decade after its introduction.
This glaring oversight paves the way for third-party Mac media player apps like JustPlay, a lightweight alternative capable of playing nearly any kind of video or audio you can throw at it, from Apple-friendly MP4 and MOV (including ProRes) to pesky AVI and MKV files, all without conversions or installing codecs.
Jack of all players
Hardware-accelerated decoding provides fluid playback of HD, 4K, and even 8K video, although less-common MXF files didn’t fare quite as well. I downloaded the full-resolution Ghost Towns in 8K from YouTube, a Google VP9-encoded MKV file which played with nary a stutter or hiccup while looking exceptionally crisp on a 27-inch iMac Retina 5K.
JustPlay works with BDMV folders ripped from Blu-ray, but there’s currently no support for menu selection, navigation, or playing directly from disc. DVD VOB files are also playable. The only files that couldn’t be opened were R3D videos shot with a RED camera—but to be fair, they wouldn’t play in apps like VLC either.
Take that, QuickTime
Comprehensive format support aside, there are other reasons to kick QuickTime Player to the curb. JustPlay is far more flexible when it comes to viewing, offering a dozen different aspect ratio options, deinterlacing for older videos, and a handy Video Tuner to adjust brightness, saturation, contrast, gamma,…