VLC is a free cross-platform multimedia player that handles a wide range of video and audio formats, including DVD, audio, CD and VCD, as well as many streaming protocols.
VLC media player
VLC has long been my go-to player, even for watching DVDs. OS X includes its own DVD player, but VLC gives me a bit more control. Some home theater enthusiasts say VLC produces better images than Apple's DVD player, but I think that depends on the equipment you're using.
VLC also handles many more video and audio codecs (compression/decompression devices or programs) than OS X can handle on its own. If you've ever tried to watch a multimedia file or listen to an audio stream and received a message that a necessary codec wasn't found, VLC should eliminate that problem.
Another benefit of VLC is its ability to perform media conversions, which we explain in the Copy DVDs to Your Mac: VLC and HandBrake article.
VLC media player is free; a $5.00 donation is requested.
See other software choices from Tom's Mac Software Picks.