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Old Feb 5, 2013, 02:54 PM   #1
bhadaway
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Best (Software) Media Player for BluRay ISO

VLC is pretty much the king for all audio, video and DVD. But, their BluRay support isn't quite there yet. There are some addons and hacks etc, but it's just not good enough.

Now, I'm not talking about playing actual BluRay discs on a physical hardware BluRay player, I've got that covered.

I've been completely digitizing my entire movie collection both for safekeeping and for convenience. I've got my external hard drive connected to my laptop, which is connected to my big screen. I can watch movies and TV with my Apple Remote on-the-fly.

The setup that I've created is far cooler and superior than any other way currently possible to organize and watch one's media collection. So that's the why and enough of the nerd gushing.

Now that I'm backing up/digitizing my BluRay collection I immediately learned that VLC cannot handle BluRay ISOs (yet) like it can DVD ISOs.

I've searched and I've searched and the best I could find was:

http://www.dvdfab.com/media-player.htm

Which gets the job done, but it's also a bit laggy/buggy and has problems with full screen mode so watching movies is definitely not ideal.

Doesn't matter if it costs money, I'm looking for hands-down, the best way to play my BluRay ISOs directly (not looking to convert or burn onto disc again - which defeats the whole purpose).

Any suggestions? Anyone else already find the holy grail of all media players on Mac?

Thanks

UPDATE - I'll make a list of my findings so far of software that plays BluRay ISO:

- DVDFab Media Player (http://www.dvdfab.com/media-player.htm) It "works", but is buggy and slow, also has issues with full screen. It does appear to support full menus, but takes forever to load.

- iDeer Mac Blu-ray Player (http://www.ideerapp.com/) Really fast and lightweight and plays BluRay ISOs great, does not appear to support full menus.

- Macgo Blu-ray Player (http://www.macblurayplayer.com/download.htm) Appears to be the same program and company as iDeer only I couldn't even get it to load (eternal spinning wheel).

So far, iDeer seems to work the best for straight playing the movie portion of BluRay ISOs, but no support for menus it seems, however you still appear to be able to view special features under "Other Titles" though a bit raw and blind in what you're doing/selecting without menus. Navigation is a little rough too.
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Last edited by bhadaway; Feb 10, 2013 at 06:43 PM.
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Old Feb 10, 2013, 06:07 PM   #2
bhadaway
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Nothing, nada, no way? No one else has any other (media players for Mac that can play BluRay ISO) suggestions?
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Last edited by bhadaway; Feb 10, 2013 at 07:26 PM.
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Old Feb 10, 2013, 07:01 PM   #3
jlc1978
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I play them under Parallels - fats, easy and avoids all the issue swith mac players
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Old Feb 10, 2013, 07:25 PM   #4
bhadaway
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I realize there are some better media players for Windows, but definitely not looking to run a virtual install of Windows every time I want to watch a movie. Way overkill and definitely less than ideal.

For now, iDeer will have to do, it's the best I can find and not half bad. BluRay is still relatively new technology (6-7 years isn't very long for a brand new medium) in which new software has to be developed.

Naturally things will improve, but I still have a feeling there are some quality (but perhaps unknown) players out there that I just haven't found yet.
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Old Feb 12, 2013, 04:16 PM   #5
tbucketman
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Found this software

Mac Blu-Ray Player by MacGo

http://www.macblurayplayer.com/features.htm

I haven't bought it, but it seems as if it might fill your bill. Has anyone used this?
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Old Feb 12, 2013, 04:28 PM   #6
bhadaway
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Right, I already listed that one, didn't work for me. For some reason, the basically duplicate program (obviously by the same person/company) iDeer, works fairly well.

I'm not ready to lay down $50 for it though when I'm not positive it's the best option yet.
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Old Feb 12, 2013, 04:35 PM   #7
tbucketman
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Didn't realize you already posted that one. I noticed it was free for the Mac. Don't know if there is a trial period or not, but you won't have to pay to test it now.
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Old Feb 12, 2013, 05:31 PM   #8
tonywalk
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Have you investigated the Mac version of XBMC?

I'm at work so can't test it myself until tomorrow morning.

Regards,
Tony.
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Old Feb 12, 2013, 06:05 PM   #9
bhadaway
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Nice, XBMC (while a somewhat funky program) gets the job done, and for free.

There doesn't appear to be menu support (mind you, the premium apps don't seem to deliver on this either), but I'll see if there's an addon for it.

Thanks
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Old Feb 12, 2013, 06:23 PM   #10
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Right now, I think it's pretty much XBMC for the win. Really, the only thing that would set a clear victor apart is a program that actually supports menus to emulate the full BluRay experience as intended.

But, I really don't know if that program exists yet.
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Old Feb 27, 2013, 01:43 AM   #11
bhadaway
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Forget all previous replies. VLC is still the king, just takes a little elbow grease.

Mount the ISO (super easy to do natively in Mac OS X - nothing new to download or setup) and then pop open VLC > Open Media > Discs.

Alternatively, if you're having issues mounting, you can just open up the ISO source and go to BDMV > STREAM and play the largest .m2ts file directly in VLC.

It takes a moment to load up a 25gb+ file so give it a minute. Obviously no menus, but you can play the special features manually as well. VLC doesn't suffer from the full screen issues other players do, because it uses the available screen real estate and doesn't confuse between your Mac and TV resolutions.

Considering what's on the market in 2013 for Mac Blu-ray ISO playback, don't spend any money. Use this VLC method until VLC inevitably supports full Blu-ray playback out-of-the-box or until a respectable premium player comes along.
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Old Feb 27, 2013, 04:11 AM   #12
phrehdd
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bhadaway View Post
Alternatively, if you're having issues mounting, you can just open up the ISO source and go to BDMV > STREAM and play the largest .m2ts file directly in VLC.
That only works if the movie is in one M2TS file. Many movies are now branched and that means multiple M2TS files.

However, I use VLC quite often along with MPlayerX for fast views. I also have XBMC and Plex. They all serve a purpose.

Apple dropped the ball on blu ray playback and even if one can get a decent player, Apple in its infinite wisdom elected to NOT support HD Audio (DTS-Master as example). You can get Dolby Digital and DTS playback. XBMC and Plex will read a file that has HD audio and play it back at its core giving DTS or Dolby Digital which is a fair start.

Apple likes to tell us discs are dead but the reality is, there abandonment of the disc drive and altogether ignoring the "bag of hurt" blu ray, in my estimates is their desire to get us into their iTunes purchases. There is nothing "cutting edge" about the missing disc player or castrated multi-media playback of Apple devices. The Apple hardware is plenty capable of playback but Apple blocks much of it the same way that Sony's PS3 wont play VC-1 M2TS files or MKV. They make a choice for their own supposed financial gain.
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Old Feb 27, 2013, 01:31 PM   #13
bhadaway
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Quote:
Many movies are now branched and that means multiple M2TS files.
I haven't run into that yet myself.

While I agree, it's inconvenient that Apple made that choice for whatever reason, it's not really that big of a deal. You can easily pick up an external Blu-ray burner/player, which is what I always did for DVD anyways as to not wear out the original hardware, especially when it comes time to upgrade and offload the old laptop.

In any case, even if Apple supported Blu-ray discs, I doubt it would support Blu-ray ISO (digitally - maybe we could still do the pseudo mounting playback thing, but would it be any better that VLC?) and we'd be in the same boat juggling all the software players. I realize there was some finality to my last reply, but I'm still searching for the best solution. I'm a minimalist and I'm pretty serious about finding the easiest solution, so I'll report back once I have the answer.
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Old Feb 27, 2013, 02:36 PM   #14
phrehdd
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Originally Posted by bhadaway View Post
I haven't run into that yet myself.

While I agree, it's inconvenient that Apple made that choice for whatever reason, it's not really that big of a deal. You can easily pick up an external Blu-ray burner/player, which is what I always did for DVD anyways as to not wear out the original hardware, especially when it comes time to upgrade and offload the old laptop.

In any case, even if Apple supported Blu-ray discs, I doubt it would support Blu-ray ISO (digitally - maybe we could still do the pseudo mounting playback thing, but would it be any better that VLC?) and we'd be in the same boat juggling all the software players. I realize there was some finality to my last reply, but I'm still searching for the best solution. I'm a minimalist and I'm pretty serious about finding the easiest solution, so I'll report back once I have the answer.
We are in agreement on the state of affairs for Mac with respect to Blu Ray.

If Apple had supported Blu Ray, yes there would have been several player software out there by now. The issue is less about playing ISO or disc and more about the ability to play the best audio on the Blu Ray discs which Apple has in a sense, blocked via EFI and OSX. The truth is, the hardware can handle all of it. This was noted when people run Linux or Windows on an Apple computer.

Perhaps the short run answer is to run either Windows or Linux with appropriate software on a Mac for full featured playback. It is pretty sad that Jobs created a "bag of hurt" for Apple users when opting to decide for us all we don't want Blu Ray on Apple.
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Old Feb 27, 2013, 02:47 PM   #15
bhadaway
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Well, actually, the topic is specifically about:

Best (Software) Media Player for BluRay ISO

Not hardware. While the hardware part is an interesting topic, it's not the topic at hand.

The discussion is concerning what's the best software option for ISO, not hardware for physical disc playback. The two are entirely different and I don't want them to be confused or considered interchangeable.

Apple's choice to not support a Blu-ray drive doesn't really concern me. I have an external drive that handles all the latest Blu-ray tech and I have my PS3 for casual movie watching.

What concerns me, is the best way to play my digitized movie library.

Right now, VLC and XBMC are probably the best options, but still leave a lot to be desired.
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Old May 27, 2013, 04:32 AM   #16
bhadaway
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Yeah, iDeer ended up being the best choice for me too in the end.

No menus, but you can easily switch to special features, alternate versions etc under Titles.

To be honest, it might actually be a better experience without the menus and loading and having to navigate through that.

No BS trailers, intros, loading animations or having to wait for sometimes slow, unintuitive and animated menu transitions.

What I'm sure is really just the programmers not being able to yet offer a full and proper playback experience may be a blessing in disguise, because it just lets you get to the content instantly.
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Old May 27, 2013, 06:14 AM   #17
PJM82
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I recently had the same issue as you, but also wanted to play the discs themselves. I saw macgo in one of the megabundles and have been nothing but impressed. Not had any of the issues you had when using the full version. The trial version was quirky to say the least.
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Old Jul 26, 2013, 04:57 AM   #18
phrehdd
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bhadaway View Post
Well, actually, the topic is specifically about:

Best (Software) Media Player for BluRay ISO

Not hardware. While the hardware part is an interesting topic, it's not the topic at hand.

The discussion is concerning what's the best software option for ISO, not hardware for physical disc playback. The two are entirely different and I don't want them to be confused or considered interchangeable.

Apple's choice to not support a Blu-ray drive doesn't really concern me. I have an external drive that handles all the latest Blu-ray tech and I have my PS3 for casual movie watching.

What concerns me, is the best way to play my digitized movie library.

Right now, VLC and XBMC are probably the best options, but still leave a lot to be desired.
Any of those ISO able software player able to handle HD Audio? If not, then discussion of hardware is also a given part of the equation for "playback" of disc, single files, ISO etc.

For stereo and DTS/Dolby 5.1, I give XBMC and VLC the nod.
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