DivX for Mac Review
Mac users may not be quite as familiar as their Windows owning peers with the DivX codec. Apple already has an MPEG4 based codec in QuickTime – and DivX is based on the same source. Controversially, the codec has become popular as a way to compress DVD quality video files for download – in many cases, illegally via tools such as BitTorrent.
Ever ready to take advantage of a trend, the electronics industry has begun to build DivX playback capability into DVD players. Not so curious when you think that this is the same industry that derided home taping while selling double cassette decks back in the 1980s. Still, there are legitimate uses for DivX and this ‘pro’ package showcases most of them.
The centrepiece is the DivX player – a slick video viewer for watching DivX encoded video. This is free to download if you don’t need the video conversion tools that make up the rest of the bundle.
You also get the DivX codec so you can play back encoded video using other viewers and a web player. The developers host ‘Stage 6’, a YouTube-styled site that showcases online video at resolutions higher than you might be used to.
Hand over £12.99 to upgrade the package to the Pro version, and you unlock the DivX converter and the ‘professional’ version of the compression codec. The enhanced codec can be used with your Mac’s QuickTime tools to output higher res, ripped video for web or disk, with granular control over quality.
As a Mac user, you don’t need DivX – you already have QuickTime for playback. As an alternative to QuickTime Pro for video compression, DivX is a canny competitor – priced to attract potential defectors. If you have a DivX enabled DVD player, then there’s no contest at all.