How to Play Windows Media Files on Your Mac

March 10, 2009

in applications,digital media,Macintosh,photos and video

by David Strom

Yes, it is a Windows world out there, as those of us that use Macs on a daily basis know. And while the Internet has leveled the playing field somewhat, it can be annoying to come across the occasional Windows Media audio or video file that you would like to view on your Mac. There is a simple solution: download Telestream’s Flip4Mac and you won’t ever have to worry again.

You’ll need either an Intel or PowerPC running Mac OS X v10.3.9, 10.4 or later, along with QuickTime v 7.0 or later. Versions of Windows Media files that can be viewed include all since v7.

The free version allows you to play WMA’s and WMV’s inside your QuickTime player and it also installs a plug-in so you can view the same files inside your Safari browser. It replaces the plug-in that you get from Microsoft. There is really nothing to do, other than open the movie and play it. If you want to edit or convert movies to other formats, you will have to purchase one of the other versions that start at $30, along with having one of the Apple editing products such as QuickTime Pro or Final Cut Pro. One drawback with the product is that it won’t work with files that have been protected by Windows digital rights management, but since fewer people are using this, it should become less of an issue.

David Strom is an expert on Internet and networking technologies who was the former editor-in-chief at Network Computing, Tom’s, and He currently writes regularly for PC World, Baseline Magazine, and the New York Times and is also a professional speaker, podcaster and blogs at and