Mac Blu-ray Player – An Intuitive and Easy-to-Use Blu-ray Player

key review info
application features
  • Intuitive interface
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Blu-ray discs have been around since 2006 and have successfully replaced DVDs when it comes to distributing movies and video content in general. Although Apple does not offer an internal or external Blu-ray writer, you can buy one through various online stores.

You also need an application capable of playing the disc and here is where Mac Blu-ray Player steps in.

Mac Blu-ray Player is a user-oriented OS X Blu-ray disc player, designed to play not only Blu-ray discs but also a wide variety of video, audio and image file formats.

The application comes in a 35.4 MB DMG disk image that you have to download and mount in order to install the demo version. The installation process is pretty straightforward: you just have to copy Mac Blu-ray Player to your Mac’s Applications folder. You will have to give up 97.9 MB of your Mac’s hard drive free space if you want to keep the app on your HDD.

The only inconvenience of the demo version is the watermark displayed while playing Blu-ray movies. If you decide to buy the app you have to pay $59.95 for a registration code.

The Looks

Mac Blu-ray Player features a well-designed interface giving you the option to open a video file, a CD, DVD or Blu-ray disc.

The process of switching between the window and full screen interface is quite smooth and quick. You can use the app’s full screen mode, by clicking on the button located in the bottom right hand corner of the window, or the OS X’s full screen mode, by clicking on the button in the top right corner of the app’s window.

Unfortunately, you can only choose between two almost identical built-in themes, Christmas Day and Maxwell, the only difference between them being the color of the “Play” button.  Though, you do have the option to change Mac Blu-ray Player’s background image via the Window menu.

While in Mac Blu-ray Player's playback screen, you can use an HUD styled toolbar that enables you to get a quick overview of the elapsed and the remaining time of the video, along with the name of the currently played video. Also, while in the full screen mode, this toolbar will automatically disappear after a couple of seconds and reappear if you move your mouse.

The Works

Mac Blu-ray Player has been designed to be used as a full-screen multimedia player, capable of opening numerous video, audio and image file formats.

The bottom toolbar helps you open the desired file, play, pause, jump from one chapter to another and skim through the video. However, you cannot use the Play/Pause, Fast-forward or Re-wind system default keyboard shortcuts, but you can learn to use the intuitive predefined hotkeys.

You can also update your Facebook status or Tweet the name of the movie you are currently watching.

Once you've inserted a Blu-ray or any other type of video disc, Mac Blu-ray Player will automatically recognize it and will start playing it, without any action needed on your part.

By right-clicking inside the player's window, you can jump from one title or chapter to another, take a snapshot, enter the full screen mode and load the desired subtitle or audio track.

If your audio or subtitle track is out of sync, you can use the Synchronization sub-menu, available under the Controls menu, in order to re-sync them.

Mac Blu-ray Player also enables you to choose the audio track, the audio channel and the audio device you want to use during playback.

The Deinterlace function is another handy and useful feature that proves its usefulness when you need to play interlaced videos recorded from an analog TV or 1080i movies grabbed from an HDTV source. Advanced users can easily access this function via the Video menu and choose a type of deinterlacing from the pre-defined list.

In addition, Mac Blu-ray Player also features an Adjustments window designed to help you change the brightness, saturation, contrast, gamma and hue value with just a few mouse clicks.

This feature proves its utility when viewing lower quality files and you wish to enhance the saturation or change the brightness of the video.

More experienced users have the possibility to force the detection of Dolby Surround and enable the headphone surround effect, along with the volume normalizer via the Preferences window. Moreover, you can manually increase or decrease the volume normalizer value once the feature is activated.

Although the Mac Blu-ray Player application looks good on paper, we encountered some problems when trying to play a Blu-ray disk. Thus, on more than one occasion, it failed to load the disk and managed to successfully play the movie only after multiple tries.

On top of that, Mac Blu-ray Player is not very kind to your Mac’s resources. During our testing period, we observed a CPU load of up to 120% of the 2 GHz dual-core processor and the RAM usage went up to 420-500MB, while playing a Blu-ray disc. As expected, these values might vary according to your Mac’s specifications and the type of Blu-ray disc or content being played.

The Good

Mac Blu-ray Player is a user-friendly and easy-to-use multimedia player capable of playing Blu-ray and various other video discs, and it also provides the necessary tools to re-synchronize the subtitle and audio tracks.

Additionally, the built-in Adjustments controls allow you to correct the video's color, saturation or contrast imperfections with just a few mouse clicks.

The Bad

During our testing period, we've encountered playback compatibility issues on several occasions. After multiple attempts, we were able to successfully load and play a Blu-ray disc.

Furthermore, it would have been greatly appreciated if users could choose between more than just two themes, or if they could at least download new ones.

The Truth

All in all, Mac Blu-ray Player is a well-designed Blu-ray disc player that will help you enjoy your Blu-ray collection and play a wide variety of video discs.

Although there is not much room for customizability, the subtitle and audio re-synchronization features make up for this oversight.

If you are able to get past the aforementioned flaws and you are willing to pay almost $60 for the app, then Mac Blu-ray Player might be the application for you.

Here are some snapshots of the application in action:

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user interface 4
features 4
ease of use 4
pricing / value 3

final rating 3
Editor's review
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