WOW! All this time I’ve been running the wrong AC3 codec on my Mac Mini!

Last week, I found one that works soooo much better! To find it, I actually had to search for “a52 codec” and not “ac3 codec”. Go figure!

It is GPL licensed and merely based on the “a52 library”. But I really wonder were a52 comes from. Too late to investigate tonight though ;)

Update: a52 is now included in a codec pack called Perian and you can even get 5.1 surround sound out of it.

Update: the easiest solution now seems to just use the VLC media player and not worry about the codecs (VLC has everything it needs included).

Comments from long ago:

Comment from: Brent

Thank you so much! I had been struggling with getting AC3 encoded files to playback in Quicktime on my Intel-based Mac Pro as well as my iMac. You are a life saver!

2006-12-18 14-58

Comment from: Pete


2007-10-12 18-00

Comment from: dave underhill

you hero!!! this is the only ac3 codec that has worked for me - thankyou thankyou thankyou :-)

2007-10-13 19-34

Comment from: andras

thanks! it’s great!

2007-11-04 17-31

Comment from: Jay

You are the best of the best, Ive been searching AC3 codecs all day just to try and play one movie and nothing worked until now…Its been a long journey, so thx for helping me out

2007-12-02 05-09

Comment from: Johnny

thanks man it really works great!

2007-12-03 00-45

Comment from: MarsGirl

Thanks! I’ve been looking for an AC3 codec that works on my Intel MacBook for months. I’ve tried several others and this is the first one to work! You rock!

2008-01-06 17-59

Comment from: misha misha

Thank you very much!!! I spend all day just to fix that problem on my mac. thank you!!!

2008-01-12 21-56

Comment from: Sergio

Thanks one more time as with all the previous people, your help has been very much appreciated.

2008-03-11 17-00

Comment from: Donaldo

Amazing, not sure how you sleuthed AC52 but you are right. I had to re-import the movie ( in my case I rebuilt it from rar files) When I tried to open the existing movie no luck , then I noticed in the read-me file that this is actually called a AC3MovieImport.component , so I re-imported the movie and IT WORKS, thanks man.

2008-04-02 22-09

Comment from: Tomy Illnigga




2008-04-10 19-46

Comment from: david

Hey thanks a lot man! It worked!

2008-05-04 15-09

Comment from: James

nice one, worked straight away when I reopened the movie on my mac book pro, other ac3’s weren’t working before this one.

2008-05-11 09-03

Comment from: Seely

Thanks so much! I’ve been looking all over for an Ac3 codec to work on my intel mac and this works great. Worked without even needing a reboot. awesome.

2008-05-20 03-19

Comment from: Omar

A miracle!

2008-07-01 08-32

A miracle! :)

2008-07-02 12-47

Comment from: Rasec

Thank you very much, thanks to your effort compile this codec i can return to my normal duties, and finally stop looking for this codec. I thought it was AC3 but this was great!!! Work right out the installation! Thanks Again!! you been blaze.

2008-07-08 09-38

Comment from: A

Thanks so much!

2008-07-27 22-24

Comment from: san

THANK YOU!!!!!!!!!!!!! Thank you so much!!! It works!!!

2008-08-03 04-48

Comment from: Azur

You rule! This codec worked like a charm. Thanks for posting this.

2008-08-21 21-50

Comment from: TheDude

Worked AWESOME!!! Thank you.

2008-08-26 10-49

Comment from: A Visitor

Thank you!

2008-09-25 20-55

Comment from: Jonathan

Thanks very much for your efforts. I can now hear a avi movie in Quick time.


2008-09-26 09-38

Comment from: Sid

Thanks so much. I had my doubts but it does work.

2008-11-30 22-16

Comment from: scott

thanks so much. really appreciate people out there making life easier for others after struggling through issues themselves. thanks again.

2009-01-06 05-57

Comment from: Manuel Alberdi

What can I say? Just a huge GRACIAS from Madrid, Spain.

2009-04-05 22-53

Comment from: Adam

Man I still can’t seem to get it working, and I don’t have an AC3 codec for it to conflict with.

2009-05-07 02-44

Comment from: Griffy

Worked GREAT! All I had to do was re-launch Quicktime and no problems whatsoever. Thanks!

2009-08-21 20-00

Comment from: nugget

Thanks so much! The Perian link worked perfectly. Much better than all the (useless to me) Windows forums I had to wade through. cheers with pompoms

2009-09-30 18-19

Comment from: dual

Fantastico!!! Thamk you so much!!!

2009-10-11 20-03

Comment from: lj

You are wonderful! I have been looking for this for quite a while! Thanks :)

2009-10-25 03-23

Comment from: Benny

Is it working in Frontrow and m4v Format?! I’ll convert all my movies in Apple TV format but with AC3 and run it on Frontrow… I want to use my Dolby Digital 5.1 on it… Does it work?

Thanks for your reply

Benny :D

2009-10-30 17-45

Comment from: Ron

I LOVE YOU. Nohomo

2009-12-10 04-26

Comment from: Ace

I searched for over half an hour thru dozens of codec sites…THANK YOU SO MUCH…now i can use quicktime and not have a dozen players…you rule…thanks again

2010-02-21 11-39

Comment from: Smarty

This is the only thing that really works! Thanks so much!

2010-03-21 10-54

Comment from: Ammy

to think that this is the very first website to come up in google and i ignored it for about an hour of useless searching!

thanks, works in both quicktime & divX :)


2010-05-24 10-11

Comment from: Jake

could some give me an instructional on how to do this? im having trouble understanding what to do…

2010-08-16 23-10

Comment from: cristian

great!!! It works just perfect!! thanks a lot man.

2010-09-13 16-35

Comment from: Nick

Thanks man…

2011-01-18 08-58

Comment from: Lisa

OMG!! I cannot believe it! I have been searching for days to get an ac3.avi file to play on my computer, and it was as simple as installing the download you provided, and away it played in Quicktime. Thank you so much.

2011-04-18 08-03

Comment from: Angie

AWESOME!!!! I have been searching for a few hours now trying to find AC3 Direct Show Decoder and couldn’t find anything that would work. But this DOES. Thank you soooooo much. Perfect Perfect Perfect :)))))

2011-08-29 02-56

Comment from: oma

bless you for putting up this blog you are are man a life saver.

worked straight away


2011-11-26 07-14

Comment from: Matouche

True internet legend, thankyou!

2012-02-16 01-57

Comment from: BK

wow, thanks a mill!!!! Perian is brilliant and effortless, opened up world of sound tracks on my dowloaded mac porn!

2012-03-05 13-28

Comment from: Clair

Thank you very much, a long search ended and a Saturday night saved : )

2012-03-10 23-53