Use Perian for Quicktime to play FLV, MKV, AVI, etc. on Mac OS X

One frustrating aspect of life as a Mac user is the bewildering array of semi-compatible video formats such as AVI, FLV, and MKV file formats on a near daily basis.

Out of the box, QuickTime only supports a few video formats such as H.264 and MPEG-4. However, a lot of video files are still encoded using DivX or XviD. Also, if you’re extremely unlucky you may have a few old WMV-encoded files which you would like to play.

So some of your videos seem to play in QuickTime, like AVI format, others require VideoLan Client or mPlayer or FLV Player. You could just re-encode all of these files to H.264 using this Video Converter for Mac (Mac OS X Lion included).
Perian
Perian’s goal is to become the Swiss army knife of video codecs for QuickTime. With Perian installed, you should be able to play everything from DivX/AC3 to FLV to VBR/MP3. It even handles playback of WMV files. Perian is open-source and can be downloaded here.

Note: If you want to put videos such as MKV, WMV, AVI, FLV on your iPod, iPhone or other mobile devices, you need to use Video Converter for Mac to convert these videos to iPod compatible format.
Install and use Perian
Install and use Perian

Download the package and drag the QuickTime component to the Library -> QuickTime folder of your choice: your user’s Library (so it’s just for you) or the top-level Library (for everyone on the machine).

Perian

Restart any apps that use QuickTime (QuickTime Player, iTunes, your browser, etc.), and you’re done.

Note: You can drag the QuickTime component to the Library -> QuickTime folder of your choice: your user’s Library (so it’s just for you) or the top-level Library (for everyone on the machine).

Restart any apps that use QuickTime

You’ll find that QuickTime can now magically handle a diverse array of additional video formats: DivX, XviD, FLV, AVI, MS-MPEG4 v1, MS-MPEG4 v2, MS-MPEG4 v3, DivX 3.11 alpha, 3ivX, Sorenson H.263, Flash Screen Video, Truemotion VP6, and these formats when they are inside an AVI file — h.264, mpeg4, AAC, AC3 Audio, and VBR MP3.

Perian is quite nice because everything “just works” right out of the box. The problem is that Perian provides somewhat sub-par quality compared to getting the codecs direct from the source. So, as nice as just using Perian would be, quality lovers will have to forego the convenience. (note, if you installed Perian at this point and now have decided not to use it, you must navigate to the /Library/QuickTime and remove the Perian.component file, otherwise replacement codecs will be screwed up)

Here are other Third-Party Codecs for Quicktime Player .

If you want to play these videos such as MKV, WMV, AVI, FLV on iPod, you need use Video Converter for Mac to convert the videos.

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