When Apple releases the successor to macOS Mojave there will no longer be any support for 32 bit applications including QuickTime 7 Pro. In addition, its replacement QuickTime Player will no longer play unsupported codecs like Avid’s DNxHD format. With macOS Mojave, even now if you try and play an Avid DNxHD video, it starts converting it. As a consequence I have been on the lookout for a simple player to function as a replacement to the QuickTime 7 player and I think I have found it in Optimus Player from Darren Mo which has only just been released.
Darren has built Optimus Player on top of the FFmpeg software libraries, the same libraries that are used in the ffWorks video conversion software that I covered in our recent article Two Ways To Create Pro Tools Friendly Avid DNxHD Video Files Without Using MPEG Streamclip - Expert Tutorial. As a result the Optimus Player can play all the major file formats, with support for 250+ file formats and 400+ codecs including Avid’s DNxHD formats.
Designed For Mac
Optimus Player has been created to feel right at home on your Mac with multi-touch gestures and standard keyboard shortcuts for controlling playback, as well as features like video hardware acceleration for smooth playback and longer battery life and window restoration so you can pick up where you left off after restarting the app or your device.
macOS Mojave Or Later
One thing we found when we downloaded it is that it needs macOS Mojave 10.14 or later. As you can see if you try it on an earlier macOS you get this warning message.
AirPlay 2 Audio (Experimental)
Darren claims that Optimus Player is the first third-party macOS app to support AirPlay 2 audio, which enables you to stream lossless music to multiple rooms or enjoy a movie through stereo speakers.
Regular AirPlay audio is fully supported out-of-the-box. However, Darren warns that AirPlay 2 support is experimental; it requires the installation of a helper tool (which is provided) and it requires System Integrity Protection to be disabled.
Optimus Player has also been designed to leverage the powerful video and graphics technologies built into macOS to faithfully reproduce colour with greater colour accuracy than VLC. As Darren explains…
“Color management cannot guarantee perfect color accuracy; however, not using color management (or implementing it incorrectly as some media players do) will have obvious negative effects on the faithful reproduction of an image”.
There is a test video which Darren explains as…
“consisting of three colors: 100% sRGB red, 100% sRGB green, and 100% sRGB blue. The color space of the test video is the Ultra HD (Rec. 2020) color space. The test video was created in Final Cut Pro, an industry-standard video editor, and was tested on Optimus Player 1.0.0 and VLC 3.0.6 using default settings. Display color values were measured using the Digital Color Meter app in “Display native values” mode while the display color profile was set to “sRGB IEC61966-2.1”.”
But the simple answer for us audio people, is that Optimus Player has been designed so you see the colour as the director saw it in the edit, after grading etc.
A Letter From The Developer
This is a letter from Darren Mo which speaks volumes to us and although he designed it for watching movies, it should prove to be a very useful tools for us.
“I created Optimus Player because I was disappointed with the state of media players on the Mac; I wanted to build something much better.
I have been using pre-release versions of Optimus Player for a few months now to watch movies and TV shows; I love it and I can’t go back. The app was designed to elevate every aspect of the viewing experience—from video quality and AirPlay audio to subtitle accessibility and the elegance of the user interface. Try out the app on a couple of files from your collection; there is a 10-day free trial!
I naïvely thought I could finish developing the app in a single hackathon. In reality, it took me 6 months after quitting my full-time job to deliver a Version 1 that I would be proud of. If you love Optimus Player, then please buy it! Your support will help me develop new features and make more high-quality apps in the future.”
Optimus Player offers a free 10-day trial, with a full license available for use on 5 machines for just $5. Developer Darren Mo even accepts Apple Pay. What’s not to like? What video player solutions are you looking at in a post Mojave world?