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Tired of hunting down the various codecs to play your movies in QuickTime? Perian (free and open source) is pretty much the one-stop-shop when it comes to codecs on your Mac. It adds support for over two-dozen different types of media that QuickTime doesn’t ordinarily support:

  • AVI, FLV (Flash video, such as YouTube movies), and MKV file formats
  • MS-MPEG4 v1 & v2, DivX, 3ivX, H.264, FLV1, FSV1, VP6, H263I, VP3, HuffYUV, FFVHuff, MPEG1 & MPEG2 Video, Fraps, Windows Media Audio v1 & v2, Flash ADPCM, Xiph Vorbis (in Matroska), MPEG Layer II Audio
  • AVI support for AAC, AC3 Audio, H.264, MPEG4, and VBR MP3
  • Subtitle support for SSA and SRT

The only one I can think of that it doesn’t support is Windows Media Video (WMV), but you can use the free Flip4Mac for that.

As you can see in the screenshot above there aren’t a lot of options to configure, but you wouldn’t really expect that there would be since this is pretty much a codec megapack. Whether this is actually necessary is debatable since there are cross-platform media players like VLC that work with large numbers of media types, but Perian will come in handy if you want to stick with QuickTime.

Perian for Mac