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It's been a long time coming, but there's finally a program that will play Blu-ray movies on a Mac. It's unimaginatively - though aptly - named Mac Blu-ray Player.


For various reasons, Apple never offered Blu-ray support in Mac OS X. Back in 2008, Steve Jobs famously referred to Blu-ray as "a bag of hurt", but some observers believe the company's decision was more about a decision to concentrate on online rather than physical content delivery (ie, the iTunes Store).

A more recent example of that thinking is the way Final Cut Pro X lacks the 'pro' DVD authoring facilities that were provided with Final Cut Studio.

And while attaching a Blu-ray drive to a Mac is no big deal and software such as Toast can burn Blu-ray discs, there hasn't been a way of playing back commercial (ie, DRMed) Blu-ray movies on a Mac. Until now.

Macgo's Mac Blu-ray Player (the company also offers a Windows version) claims to decrypt any Blu-ray Disc or DVD and play back the video and audio content without quality loss. One drawback is that an active Internet connection is required to use the program,

Other supported media formats include AAC, AC3, AVI, FLV, MKV, MOV, MP3, MP4, MPEG, RMVB, VideoCD, WMA, and WMV. Another feature is Twitter and Facebook integration.

Mac Blu-ray Player costs $US39.95. A three-month free trial is offered, but a watermark is displayed over the content (and there may be some other limitations) until a licence is purchased. Free updates are promised.

 

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Stephen Withers

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Stephen Withers is one of Australia¹s most experienced IT journalists, having begun his career in the days of 8-bit 'microcomputers'. He covers the gamut from gadgets to enterprise systems. In previous lives he has been an academic, a systems programmer, an IT support manager, and an online services manager. Stephen holds an honours degree in Management Sciences, a PhD in Industrial and Business Studies, and is a senior member of the Australian Computer Society.

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