Saturday, August 20, 2011

Watching Blu-Ray on a Mac

It seems like Steve Jobs has something against Blu-Ray having in the past described implementing it on the Mac as being "a world of hurt". MacGo or the Mac Blu-ray Player  didn't feel the hurt and developed what they describe as being "the first universal media player for Mac in the world". As I can't find an alternative, I can't dispute that claim (it also works on PCs and likely isn't the first on that platform). In addition to playing blu-ray movies on a Mac it has support for many other movie, video, audio, music and photo formats. It's like it's trying to be a VLC alternative with Blu-Ray capabilities. The system requirements for the MacOsX software is 10.5 or higher on at least an Intel Core2 Duo 2.4GHz.

So how well does it work? I borrowed a friends $30 Blu-Ray player and plugged it in the USB on my MacBook Pro. The computer recognized the drive and the software ran the movie. The stability was questionable (it crashed a couple of times on opening) and you don't want to have too much running in the background (it's a bit of a system hog) but it worked. I also tested it on a ripped Blu-Ray file and it worked better on that data so the problem may be with the inexpensive external drive my friend bought - but that's the only drive I have access to right now so I have no way to confirm either way.

The software is available now for free for 3 months so it's worth having a look at if you have an external drive. It does work well (menus aside) when playing ripped ISO files so I can recommend it for that function (and I won't even judge you as to from where you obtained those files :D) but so does VLC and I found that a little more stable.

As far as I know this is the only way to play Blu-Ray disks on a mac so it's a welcome addition. It's free for three months so it's worth downloading and testing to see if it fills the gap for you. It's $40 after the trial period.

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