June 28, 2020

MPV — Play videos like a pro. How to play smoothly high bitrate video on macOS

Playing heavy video files from professional cameras may be a challenge even for new laptops, playing may freeze. Sometimes you need to quickly view some footage directly on stage and you don't want to open Adobe Premiere or DaVinci Resolve for this.
MPV — is a lightweight video player that can play heavy files without lag on my old MacBook without discrete GPU. MPV performance is much better than well known VLC player. You can even add simple color grading profiles (like LUT) for ungraded footage like V-Log to see more realistic colors.


All steps are specific for macOS. Since MPV is cross platform, you can adopt this manual for Windows and Linux.

Download app

Download MPV app from here.

Install from brew

You can also use brew to install MPV but note that main repo has only command line version of MPV. It install GUI version you should use brew cask command.

Install GUI version (recommended)

brew cask install mpv

Install command line version

brew install mpv


MPV has no interface and all configuration keeps in text files in home directory.
Download my config .mpv and put in your home directory so it should look like this on macOS:

/Users/coolguy/.mpv/config /Users/coolguy/.mpv/input.conf


My config adds some options to MPV to increase playback performance and color profile for Panasonic V-Log. I only describe my modifications here.

Resize window using mouse scroll

, and .
Step forward/back by one frame

i Display full statistics

c-1 (press c and then 1, not simultaneously)
To enable basic color profile for Panasonic V-Log

Enabled color profile for Panasonic GH5 V-Log vs ungraded

Debug input configuration

When you edit .mpv/input.conf you may want to debug the keyboard input.

mpv --log-file=mpv_debug.log --input-test file.mp4