If you’re school was lucky enough to get any of those shiny new Intel Mac’s, then you may already be aware of the issue they have with Windows Media Videos. Out of the box, WMV files can’t be played on Intel Macs running OSX. While you could use bootcamp to load up Windows and play them, that’s a big hassle just to play a video.
There are now two solutions for dealing with those, one professional and one beta.
Flip4Mac WMV Player Pro will handle playing those files and will also allow you to convert them to other more Mac friendly formats. It’ll cost you $29 to buy this completely finished and supported product.
UPDATE: As Hall and Joe Brennan pointed out, the latest version of Windows Media Player combined with the recently updated Flip4Mac will allow you to play WMV files natively in OSX. I haven’t tried it myself yet, but Hall and Joe swear that they work great. FYI, looks like this is the last version of Windows Media Player for OSX. "Microsoft will continue to offer Windows Media Player 9 as a free download for
Macintosh users, but has no plans to provide future updates or product support
for Windows Media Player for Mac."
VLC player has long been recognized as being one of the best ‘universal’ open source video players. It runs on Windows or Mac, and has recently added the ability to play WMV files on an Intel Mac. It hasn’t made it’s way into the official release just yet, but the nightly beta builds are freely available. Just download the most recent one and give it a try. I haven’t had any problems with it, but if you do run into anything, let them know so they can fix it!
Got any other quick tips for video players on Windows or Mac (or Linux if you have an affinity for penguins)? Please share!