Since AVI is a Microsoft proprietary format, a default macOS installation does not support it. The issue can be resolved by using a video player for Mac, of which there are plenty. A third-party multimedia app can be downloaded as a .dmg or found on the App Store. Either way, you don’t just want to get a random player – it’s wise to pick out the best combination of features. The cost is also a significant factor to consider.
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Free AVI Player for Mac: Elmedia Player
Available both from its own website and from the App Store, Elmedia Player is a powerful AVI player for macOS, featuring countless codecs, perfect HD playback, and AirPlay compatibility. The UI is intuitive and easy to navigate. Best of all, you can download and use the free version – it plays all the same formats as PRO.
But the upgrade is still worth it, enabling video and audio tuning, automatic screenshot series, and streaming. Try it for yourself – with bookmarks, playlist exporting, and all the playback adjustments you could ask for, Elmedia Player will certainly leave a strong impression.
– Compatible with most media formats, including AVI
– One-click streaming over AirPlay and DLNA
– Opens external audio and subtitles with sync
– Playback options, such as playback speed
– Advanced audio and video configuration
License: free version available, PRO can be purchased for $19.95
Platforms: macOS only
JustPlay is a simple, inexpensive player, but it’s practical and well-designed. Playlists, bookmarks, audio visualization, external audio, subtitles, and detailed audio/video options are all included. Play MOV, WMV, MKV, and many more codecs. It works as an MP4 player Mac app as well.
JustPlay is perfectly capable of HD playback. If you need to find subtitles, there’s a built-in search function. The app will remember any options you chose for a given file – like added tracks and the previous position on the timeline.
– Supports nearly any media file
– Video tuner with color correction and brightness
– 10-band audio equalizer with presets
– Saves playlists and bookmarks
License: costs $4.99
Aiseesoft Free Mac AVI Player
Aiseesoft is a player that’s focused on delivering the most authentic HD video and audio playback. There’s nothing fancy – audio and video settings, playlists, track selection, and screenshots. It supports Blu-ray, which is helpful if you have a physical DVD collection.
Notably, instead of restricting its features, Aiseesoft Free AVI Player for Mac limits the formats that you can open in the free version. So, if you only want to use it for AVI, you’ll face no restrictions. It is quite expensive, however.
– Blu-ray compatibility
– Full HD, Ultra HD playback
– Lossless audio functionality
License: free trial version, $36.00 for a lifetime license
Platforms: Mac, Windows
Macgo Free AVI Video Player for Mac
Macgo provides the necessary minimum of features that you need to enjoy AVI. This player claims to “remove all known AVI protections” – presumably, this concerns DRM. Like other players, it can open and sync subtitles and audio.
The Blu-ray version of the player is compatible with DVD menus, enhancing the range of playable files, which is already larger than QuickTime.
– AVI protection removal
– DVD menu support
Platforms: Mac, Windows
Even though it’s available for under 5$, Movist breaks the mold with its innovative interface. The sliding panels can be used much quicker than a drop-down menu. But it’s more than great design – Movist offers a high degree of subtitle customization, including 3D subtitles and letterboxing. It’s certainly useful for AVI movies, since subtitles are easy to find.
Uniquely, Movist provides auto-filling playlists, attempting to find and add all episodes in a series. Since AVI can be used to store TV shows, the feature shines when combined with this format.
– Extensive subtitle configuration
– Playlist auto-filling and export
– Unique, robust interface
License: $4.99 on the App Store
Cisdem Video Player
Cisdem is a minimalistic player that will, nonetheless, play 4K and 8K AVI videos flawlessly. It includes playlist functionality, and the playback controls can be detached and used separately – for instance, this can be handy when listening to music.
The fully upgraded version allows you to convert a multitude of formats to MP3, MP4, and other standard media codecs. Helpful if you want to convert your library to better-accessible files, but it’s not as good as a dedicated converter.
– Plays many formats
– Media file conversion
License: free, $9.99 for a full lifetime license
Platforms: Mac only
Total Video Player
While it’s pretty average, Total Video Player does bring new things to the table. Unlike many other players, it can open broken or incomplete media files – which is especially relevant, since AVI often has issues with aspect ratio.
The Total Video Player supports Retina for maximum smoothness, it can play UHD movies, rewind, and it can automatically open subtitles that are in the same folder as your AVI video.
– Opens damaged files
– Automatic subtitle opening
License: free to try, $29.99 for the lifetime license (enables Blu-ray support)
Final Video Player
Final Video Player leaves out all the options you could find in the aforementioned players, except for playlists. Audio tracks can’t be changed. The only thing you can do is open videos one at a time. It is, essentially, an AVI player for Mac, and nothing more.
However, it brings something new to the table. Final Video Player boasts “multi-play kernel technology”, a type of hardware acceleration that eases the strain that high-definition videos place on your CPU.
– Multi-core playback
IINA strives to emulate the macOS experience – it supports every feature you’d find on a MacBook: Retina, Touch Bar, Gestures, Picture-in-Picture, and Dark Mode. Placing the timeline at the top of the player window is a bold move, too.
As a VLC competitor, IINA can play AVI and any other file compatible with FFmpeg. Its UI is customizable, meaning that you can adapt it to suit your needs. Also, it has a plug-in framework, meaning that the player can be enhanced further by its users.
– All MacBook features supported
– Customizable, innovative UI
– A promising plug-in system
License: totally free
Platforms: macOS only
Plex is a streaming platform, but it can handle your AVI files, too. You do need an account to use it, but, on the upside, you get to use the Plex Library, which is powerful and useful for media sorting and collecting. It is more limited in comparison to dedicated players, like VLC or IINA.
For instance, there are no options for playback speed. Overall, Plex is better used for streaming, rather than using it as a free AVI player for Mac.
– Library with scanning and sorting
– Network syncing
License: free, $4.99 monthly for Plex Pass
Platforms: macOS, Windows, iOS, Android
What is an AVI?
AVI players have the necessary codecs to open “Audio Video Interleave” files. The format was developed by Microsoft. Both official and third-party decoding software is available for these files. Since it’s a widespread media type, most modern third-party players can open AVI without any plug-ins. AVI is one of the older formats, so it lacks some functions that you’d find in MP4 or MKV.
|Widespread codec that’s easy to play||Compression is less efficient than newer formats|
|High quality achievable; recommended for master files||Lossy format with artifacts appearing at high compression levels|
|Useful for DVD encoding||Metadata is limited; interactivity is absent|
|Natively supported on Windows||Aspect ratio issues may appear|
Generally, there’s a lot of choice when it comes to AVI players. For this reason, it’s possible to get great players with complete feature sets. Decide which one suits you best and enjoy your movies.