A very common problem Mac users have is playing Windows Media Video (WMV) files. When your Mac tries to open WMV files by default in QuickTime, commonly you'll receive an error message along the lines of 'This is not a movie file'. The reason for this is because WMV files use Microsoft proprietary codecs that don't work in OS X. This is really annoying if someone sends you a WMV video clip by e-mail or if you want to download a WMV clip from the net.
In 2006, Microsoft discontinued making Windows Media Player for Macs meaning there was no longer a tailor made player for the WMV format for OS X. Fortunately, there are a few free and easy solutions.
Here are our top 3 WMV compatible players for Mac:
Flip4Mac Plugin This is probably the easiest solution as it enables QuickTime to playback WMV files. This plugin created by Telestream allows you to import, export and play Windows Media video and audio files on your Mac. The Flip4Mac WMV plug-in also works with other QuickTime based applications such as iMovie and Final Cut Pro meaning you can even edit WMV files on Mac too.
VLC Media Player The most versatile player out there allows you to play WMV files as well without the Flip4Mac Plugin. However, this is just a playback solution - it won't allow you to edit WMV in QuickTime supported applications, such as iMovie and Final Cut. The great thing about VLC Media Player however is that it's lightweight, fast and can handle almost any media format you throw at it.
MPlayer OSX This player emerged out of the Google Codes project as an attempt to create an all-round player. MPlayer OSX is a simple but powerful video player designed specifically for Mac and can handle WMV playback. It features more options and preferences than VLC Player with the only drawback that the first time it plays a video, it has to build a font cache which can take a while but only has to be done once.