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Mac OS X Computers & Apple Software Supported Video Formats

What are the best video formats for Mac including MacBook Pro, MacBook, MacBook Air, iMac, MacMini and iMac Pro? Does Mac computer support video formats like DVDs, Blu-rays, AVCHD, M2TS, MTS, WMV, FLV, and MPG? For those who want to know the best video format readable on Macs, this article may well suit you.

What Are the Best Video Formats for Mac Computer?

Mac supported video file formats: QuickTime Movie (.mov), MPEG-4 (.mp4, .m4v), MPEG-2 (OSX 10.0-10.6 are exclusive), MPEG-1, 3GPP, 3GPP2, AVCHD (OSX 10.0-10.7 are exclusive), AVI ((Motion JPEG only), DV;

Mac supported video codecs: MPEG-2, MPEG-4, H.264, H.263 H.261, Apple ProRes, Apple Pixlet, Animation, Cinepak, Component Video, DV, DVC Pro 50, Graphics, Motion JPEG, Photo JPEG, Sorenson Video 2, Sorenson Video 3, H.263, H.261, Apple ProRes, Apple Pixlet, Animation, Cinepak, Component Video, DV, DVC Pro 50, Graphics, Motion JPEG, Photo JPEG, Sorenson Video 2, Sorenson Video 3

Mac supported audio file formats: M4A, m4b, .m4p (all are iTunes audio), MP3, Core Audio (.caf), AIFF, AU, SD2, WAV, SND, AMR

Mac supported audio codecs: AAC, HE-AAC, Apple Lossless,MP3, AMR Narrowband, MS ADPCM, QDesign Music 2, Qualcomm PureVoice (QCELP), IMA 4:1, MACE 3:1 (Mac OS X 10.6.x only), MACE 6:1 (Mac OS X 10.6.x only), ALaw 2:1, ULaw 2:1, Integer (24-bit, 32-bit), Floating Point (32-Bit,64-Bit)

The video and audio formats listed above are fair-weather fan of Mac computer. And not all supported video formats can be called the best video formats for Mac, but the following three surely can:

# MOV: uses a proprietary compression algorithm developed by Apple Computer. Naturally, MOV is the standard and best video format for Mac. It is known to have the best video quality of all three streaming formats listed here.

# MP4: encoded with MPEG-4 video or H.264 (preferred) video are also considered as one of the best video formats compatible with Mac OS.

# M4V: Generally, Apple uses M4V encode video files, such as TV episodes, movies, and music videos, in its iTunes Store. The copyright of M4V files may be protected by using Apple's FairPlay DRM copy protection.

How to Make Other Unfriendly Videos Playable on Mac Computer?

For any audio/video files that are not included in the list above, the use of a conversion software like the Pavtube iMedia Converter for Mac is necessary to make them playable on Mac. It is capable of ripping Blu-ray and DVD sources, and converting a variety of video and audio files to make your Mac play every digital media files. It also offers full support for all Mac OS X versions, including the latest release, macOS High Sierra.

Plus, it also let you edit the video file you like. The built-in video editing functions include trimming, cropping, merging, rotating, applying effects to videos, adding watermarks and subtitles and more. It is deserved to have a try due to its strong ability of handing various source video files.

Only three steps to make Blu-ray/DVD/All video and audio files playable on your Mac computer:

1. Add Blu-ray/DVD/video files

After downloading, install and launch the Mac Video Converter application, then click "Add Disc" or “Add Video” button to import video files to the program. You can add multiple files at a time thanks to the batch conversion. Loaded files can be previewed on the right.

2. Select Output format

Click the format bar and choose output format for Mac OS X, here choose MP4, MOV or M4V from “Common Video”. HD MP4, MOV format from “HD Video” is also a good choice to get a perfect HD video quality.

3. Start the conversion

Hit "Convert" button on the main interface to start encoding your source video files on Mac OS X. When the conversion finishes, you can freely play the incompatible videos on your Mac Pro, MacBook, iMac, Mac Mini, etc.With this easy to use program, you won’t be worry about video incompatibility issues any more.

Apple Software Supported Video Formats

1. QuickTime

MOV is native to the QuickTime player, which is the reason why it is referred to as the QuickTime format. However, QuickTime has the capability to play a range of other audio and video files, more particularly QuickTime Player 7 and higher. According to Apple support center, QuickTime can play all the files listed below:

Media type

File formats

Codecs or components

  • QuickTime Movie (.mov)
  • MPEG-4 (.mp4, .m4v)
  • MPEG-2 (OS X Lion or later)
  • MPEG-1
  • 3GPP
  • 3GPP2
  • AVCHD (OS X Mountain Lion or later)
  • AVI (Motion JPEG only)
  • DV
  • MPEG-2 (OS X Lion or later)
  • MPEG-4 (Part 2)
  • H.264
  • H.263
  • H.261
  • Apple ProRes
  • Apple Pixlet
  • Animation
  • Cinepak
  • Component Video
  • DV
  • DVC Pro 50
  • Graphics
  • Motion JPEG
  • Photo JPEG
  • Sorenson Video 2
  • Sorenson Video 3
  • iTunes Audio (.m4a, .m4b, .m4p)
  • MP3
  • Core Audio (.caf)
  • AIFF
  • AU
  • SD2
  • WAV
  • SND
  • AMR  
  • AAC (MPEG-4 Audio)
  • HE-AAC
  • Apple Lossless
  • MP3
  • AMR Narrowband
  • QDesign Music 2
  • Qualcomm PureVoice (QCELP)
  • IMA 4:1
  • MACE 3:1 (Mac OS X v10.6.x only)
  • MACE 6:1 (Mac OS X v10.6.x only)
  • ALaw 2:1
  • ULaw 2:1
  • 24-Bit Integer
  • 32-Bit Integer
  • 32-Bit Floating Point
  • 64-Bit Floating Point

Read More:

Play MKV Files with QuickTime Player on Mac | Can't Open MP4 Files with QuickTime, Solved! | Play 4K Video with QuickTime Player

2. iTunes

According to Apple, iTunes supports any video format that works with QuickTime and files purchased or downloaded from iTunes store.



Audio Book



TV Shows

  • H.264 codecs - mp4, m4v, mov
  • MPEG-4 codecs - mp4, m4v, mov
  • iTunes Audio - m4p, m4b, m4a
  • Core Audio - caf
  • MP3
  • WAV
  • AIFF
  • AU
  • SD2
  • SND
  • AMR
  • M4R
  • M4B
  • M4A
  • AAC
  • MP3
  • ITL
  • XML
  • M4R

iTunes ringtone can be downloaded from the iTunes database as well. To create your own ringtones, you can use Aimersoft Music Recorder for Mac. It can directly save the recorded song or sound in the M4R format so users can easily assigned it as a ringtone for the iPhone.

  • M4V

Read More:

Play ISO Files on iTunes or Sync to iOS Devices | Sync MKV Films to iTunes Library | Convert Blu-ray to iTunes (Mac)

3. Final Cut Pro

Final Cut Pro is a professional video editing software used on Macs. The video file formats it can work on are as follows:

Apple Animation Codec, Apple ProRe, Apple Intermediate Codec, AVC-Intra , DV, AVCHD, DVCPRO HD, HDV, H.264, iFrame, MPEG IMX, Motion JPEG, Redcode Raw, XAVC, XCAM, QuickTime Formats

Read More:

Import Blu-ray to Final Cut Pro | Convert DVD to Apple ProRes HQ for FCP X | Convert AVI/MKV/MP4/M4V/FLV for FCP editing

4. iMovie

To edit video files in iMovie, the following formats can be used:

DV Widescreen, DV, HDV, MPEG-4

For any issues importing and editing video files in iMovie, you can have a look at the articles below:

Convert and Compress H.265 for iMovie Editing | Import Android Videos to iMovie for Editing | Import VOB to iMovie on Mac OS X

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