A notice to all of our users and supporters

We began the Perian project over 6 years ago. We wanted to simplify viewing your content. Our team has attained that goal and with that in mind, Perian will be retired soon. Our stewardship has been a blast but it's time for all of us to move on.

From the beginning we kept Perian simple. Our preferences were minimal, updating was easy, and we gradually grew the product to add in extras like subtitles and different formats. We've contributed a lot. Today, Perian stands as complete as it ever will be under our stewardship.

There are some projects that we never got to. As an example, we would have liked an official, flexible, and well-documented import API to speed up MKV. We hit a brick wall there. Still, we reached a great stopping point and Perian's installed userbase proves how valuable this tool became to so many people.

Starting 90 days after the final Perian release, we will no longer provide support. We'll wrap up our loose ends, pack up our bags, and move on to new and exciting projects.

Here's what our roadmap looks like:

Here's what we're looking for from you, our users

A final word: If and when Perian stops working, try looking into VLC or MPlayer OS X. Sure, they're not Perian, but they offer great software still under development.

Thanks for all of your support over the years. It has meant a lot to all of us.

Chris Forsythe
Graham Booker
Alexander Strange
Augie Fackler

PS We would like to thank Erica Sadun for helping us write this letter, and for general guidance.

File formats

Video types

Audio types

AVI support


The Perian Project Team members

Please contact the Perian Project Team ONLY via the mailing list.

Perian would like to highlight the included third-party software libraries

Perian source code is available under the LGPL v2.1 or later

We offer a mailing list to communicate and collaborate

We are proud to offer links to related software in the community

The Perian Project would like to thank special contributors

Installation and Removal of Perian

Please consider removing obsolete QuickTime Components: FFusion, Xvid Delegate, 3ivX, DivX, DivX Decoder, XviD, msmpeg4v1, msmpeg4v2, AviImporter, EX_M4S2, Casio AVI Importer, AC3 Codec, and MatroskaQT.

How do I remove Perian?
Open the System Preferences. Select the Perian pane and 'Remove.' Now 'Show All' preference panes, control-click the Perian pane and 'Remove "Perian" Preference Pane.'

Frequently Asked Questions

Why does it take so long for MKV to load?

QuickTime expects to know the location of every single frame in a movie in order to play it. This is easy with its native format, MOV/MP4, but more difficult for several others, including MKV. Perian has to read in the entire file in order for seeking and playback to work.

Does hardware acceleration for H.264 work with Perian?

QuickTime supports hardware acceleration for some profiles of H.264; however, which profiles these are is not documented and may change on different Mac models. We do our best not to interfere, and some MKV files are known to work with hardware-accelerated decoding.

I thought Perian allowed me to play MPEG files, but it can't. Why?

The term MPEG covers more than just a file type; it also defines audio and video compression methods. Perian allows playback of these audio and video compression techniques, but it does not allow the ability to open the MPEG file format. This is due to limitations within QuickTime itself, and we cannot solve it until Apple designs a better interface. See our rdar on the subject.

Will there be a version of Perian for the iPhone?

Unfortunately no, the iPhone does not have QuickTime. Since Perian is a third party component for QuickTime, we would need the iPhone to have QuickTime before we could get Perian onto the iPhone.

What if QuickTime for the iPhone ends up in a future update?

We are concerned that the iPhone, while a great device, is just too slow to play the type of files that you would use Perian to play.

I submitted a bug report and I was told it was fixed in SVN; what does this mean?

SVN refers to the system which the developers use to store the source code that makes Perian. If an issue has been fixed in SVN, then that means the developers have tracked down the issue, and believes it to be fixed. At this stage, it requires further testing after which it will be included in the next release.