VLC

VLC Media Player is a powerful, cross-platform multimedia player from the VideoLAN non-profit organization that plays “most multimedia files as well as DVDs, audio CDs, VCDs, and various streaming protocols.” Other features include subtitle support, extensive controls over video display, video and audio filters, deinterlace, transcoding, metering, a customizable user interface (“skins”), support for a huge collection of media formats and protocols, and much more.

VLC Vetinari was a major update, bringing support for hardware decoding (“to get 4K and 8K playback!”); 10-bit and HDR material; 360 video and 3D audio (“up to Ambisoncics 3rd order”) and “audio passthrough for HD audio codecs”; streaming to Chromecast (“even in formats not supported natively”); browsing of local network drives and NAS, playback of Blu-Ray Java menus, and quite a bit more.

VLC Media Player 3.0.10 is free, open-source donationware for OS X 10.7 and up, as well as Linux, Windows and Android. (Older versions are also available for earlier Macs.)

VLC Media Player’s latest release includes security patches, Catalina tweaks, and other improvements.

  • Multiple DVD fixes & improvements
  • Better adaptive streaming support
  • Fix video rendering on macOS
  • Various MP4 improvements
  • Better macOS Catalina support
  • Adds support for SMB2/3 shares
  • It also fixes security issues notably various DOSes in the microDNS service discovery
  • And a dozen more issues…

VLC for Mobile 3.2.8 is free for iOS 9 and up, with support for cloud sync (Dropbox, GDrive, OneDrive, Box, iCloud Drive, iTunes), direct downloads and through WiFi sharing, as well as streaming from SMB, FTP, UPnP/DLNA media servers and the web.

Handbrake

HandBrake is an open-source, cross-platform app for converting (transcoding) a wide variety of video sources into other formats for different devices or applications. Features include built-in presets for many common formats (plus the ability to create custom presets), control over quality levels, previewing results, a queue for multiple encodes, the ability to transcode a “point to point” selection from the source video, subtitles and chapter marker control, audio dynamic range compression, filters, and more.

HandBrake 1.3.2 is a free download for OS X 10.11 and up, as well as Windows and Linux. The most recent release fixes a number of glitches, following a substantial 1.3.0 update with various macOS changes.

Darkroom

Darkroom is an iOS app from Bergen Co. for photo and video editing on iPads, iPhones and iPod Touch. Features include support for Raw images and Apple’s Live Photos and Portrait photos, a rich collection of image editing tools, filters and grain tools, the ability to create “insets” (borders), a Raw editing engine, metadata and histogram display, “realtime color grading” for video, hashtags, batch processing, and a variety of export options (and destinations), including optional watermarking.

Darkroom: Photo & Video Editor 4.6.1 can be downloaded free of charge for iOS 11 and later with a 3-day trial but requires in-app purchases for full features, priced at $3.99/mo., $19.99/yr. or “$49.99 forever.”

OBS Studio

OBS Studio (Open Broadcaster Software) is cross-platform software from Hugh Bailey (“Jim”) and others for live streaming, audio/video recording, screen capture and more. Features include “high-performance, real-time” audio/video capture and mixing with multiple sources; “scenes” to save configurations/views; support for “images, text, browser windows, webcams, capture cards and more”; customizable transitions; a modular, customizable “dock” user interface; an auto-configuration wizard; an API that supports plugins, and scripts (Lua and Python); and more. (See OBS Wiki for more details.)

OBS Studio 24.0.6 is freely downloadable open-source donation/sponsorware for macOS 10.12 and later, Linux, and Windows.

Ecamm Live

Ecamm Live, from Ecamm Network LLC, is Mac software that creates a full-featured “broadcast studio” for live-streaming to various platforms (YouTube, Twitch, Switchboard, Restream.io, etc.) or recording. Capabilities include multiple audio and video inputs, support for live comments, Mac screen sharing, sound effects and video playback, overlays (text, image, PDF, video), Skype interviews, green screen, picture-in-picture, aspect ratio options, scenes (preset feature setups), and more. (See guides, features, and tutorial videos for more information.)

Ecamm Live 3.4.4 is priced starting at $15/mo. with “Pro” features at $25/mo. for macOS 10.12 or later with a 14-day watermarked demo after creating an account.

iMovie

iMovie, Apple’s basic video editing app, with 4K support, titles, effects/filters, etc., runs on both macOS and iOS.

iMovie 10.1.14 is a free download for macOS 10.14.6 or later with bug fixes in the most recent Apple update.

iMovie 2.2.9 is a free download for iOS 13.4 with some additional capabilities and bug fixes in a new release:

• Use iMovie on iPad with Magic Keyboard, a mouse, or a trackpad for a new way to create movies and trailers (requires iPadOS 13.4)
• Use keyboard shortcuts to toggle between the five inspector modes when a clip is selected: Action, Speed adjustments, Volume, Titles, and Filters
• Use keyboard shortcuts to quickly rotate video 90-degrees clockwise or counterclockwise
• Tap the Download All button at the top of the soundtracks list to download all bundled soundtracks at once
• Add PNG, GIF, TIFF, and BMP files to your movie
• Performance and stability improvements

Signal

Signal is a secure, cross-platform communications system that offers encrypted voice calls, text messaging and group chat, video calls and the ability to send a photo, video or document.

Other features include a simple user interface (especially in comparison with Apple’s Messages app), and good performance, even over limited bandwidth connections. The app can communicate with other Signal users it finds via your iPhone Contacts after you activate your phone number on the system. (See Signal support pages for more details.)

Signal Private Messenger 3.6.1 is a free, open-source download for iOS 10 and up.

Signal Desktop 1.32.1 is a free app for OS X 10.10 and up, Linux (Debian-based) or Windows, linking to your iPhone Signal account (with the phone scanning a QR code that’s displayed on the Mac screen).

As an Open Source project supported by grants and donations, Signal can put users first. There are no ads, no affiliate marketers, no creepy tracking. Just open technology for a fast, simple, and secure messaging experience.

Subler

Subler is a Mac app from Damiano Galassi that can combine (“mux“) media types within MP4 files. The software handles subtitles (“compatible with all Apple’s devices – iPod, AppleTV, iPhone, QuickTime”), audio, video, chapters and closed captions, plus metadata editing and support for TMDb, TVDB and the iTunes Store. (File format support includes mov, mp4 and mkv; h264; AAC, AC3; Scenarist and VobSub.)

Subler 1.6.2 is an open-source, donationware download for OS X 10.11 and up. (Older versions support earlier Mac systems.) The latest releases bring various tweaks and improvements.

LosslessCut

LosslessCut is a cross-platform program from Mikael Finstad for losslessly trimming/cutting video and audio files. (It’s based on FFmpeg, Chromium, and Electron). Other features include:

  • Lossless re-merge of selected segments (for cutting out commercials etc.)
  • Lossless merge of arbitrary files (with identical codecs)
  • Lossless extracting of all data streams from a file (explode video, audio, subtitle and other streams of a file into separate files)
  • Take full-resolution snapshots from videos in JPEG/PNG format
  • Manual input range of cutpoints
  • Can include primary streams (audio/video), or all streams
  • Can remove audio track
  • Apply a timecode offset
  • Remux into different output format
  • Change rotation/orientation metadata in videos. Great for rotating phone videos that come out the wrong way without actually re-encoding the video.

LosslessCut 2.7.1 is freely downloadable open-source software for OS X 10.10 and later, Linux, and Windows.

Permute

Permute is a drag-and-drop video converter from Charlie Monroe Software with presets for common destinations, such as Apple TV, iPhone, iPad, and Xbox. It includes support for custom presets, the ability to “stitch” multiple audio/video files together, a Cue Cutter to split files based on .cue data, support for iPhone ringtones, WebP and SVG, scheduling, individual track export, fixes for certain troublesome files, hardware acceleration, built-in help, keyboard shortcuts,  conversion of .dvdmedia and VIDEO_TS folders to ISO files and more.

Permute 3.4.3 is priced at $14.99 for OS X 10.11 and up with a free 7-day trial download available.

Downie

Downie is a Mac app from Charlie Monroe Software for downloading videos from Internet sites – YouTube, Vimeo and a thousand others. Features include 4K video support with YouTube, postprocessing (e.g. automatic conversion to MP4 or iTunes), automatic retry (plus pause/resume), online searching, delayed download start, web browser extensions, dark and simplified user interface options, built-in help, and more.

Downie 3.9.8 is priced at $19.99 for OS X 10.11 and up with a free 14-day trial download available.

Asus ProArt PA32UCX, PA32UC and PA27UCX

ProArt Display PA32UCX is a new, high-end professional display from Asustek Computer Inc. that rivals Apple’s upcoming 6K display, though it puts only 4K UHD on its 32-inch panel. Connections include dual Thunderbolt 3 ports (with 60W power delivery), three HDMI 2.0b connections and DisplayPort 1.2, plus three USB 3.0 Type A “downstream” connectors. Unlike Apple’s display, the ProArt PA32UCG includes a fully adjustable stand (plus VESA compatibility). Its 10-bit IPS panel features mini-LED backlighting with 1000+ zones of local dimming, 1200 nits peak brightness, 1000:1 contrast (1,000,000:1 HDR), and “smart” HDR for multiple HDR formats and PQ curves. Color features include pre-calibration (Delta E < 1) and hardware calibrator compatibility, with profile saving, a 14-bit lookup table (LUT), and colorspace coverage of 99% DCI-P3, 99.5% Adobe RGB, 100% sRGB, 100% Rec. 709 and 89% Rec.2020, plus a plethora of color modes and adjustments.

ProArt Display PA32UCX [Amazon] recently began shipping, list-priced at $3999.

ProArt PA32UC [Amazon] is a less expensive model with similar features, including Thunderbolt 3, list-priced at $1599.

ProArt PA27UCX is an unreleased 27-inch version with HDMI, DisplayPort, and USB Type-C ports, but no Thunderbolt 3 support.