How to Watch Movies with DVD Player in Mountain Lion

The DVD Player application in OS X Mountain Lion includes snazzy little on-screen controllers. They enable you to watch your movies on your Mac in pretty much the same way you’d watch them on your TV with your DVD player.

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If you’ve changed your preferences, DVD Player might not start automatically.

Follow these steps to watch a DVD:

  1. Insert a video DVD into your Mac.

    This step automatically launches the DVD Player application; if it doesn’t, you can double-click the DVD Player icon in the Applications folder or single-click it in Launchpad to start it.

    If you don’t see the little controller gadgets, you can choose Window→Show Controller (shortcut: Command+Option+C) to display the gray remote control–like gadget shown at the top of the figure, or you can move your cursor to the very bottom of the screen to see the transparent overlay controls shown at the bottom of the figure.

    The transparent overlay works only in Full Screen mode.

  2. Use the controls to play, stop, or pause your DVD and more.

    The controls themselves should be self-explanatory to anyone who has ever used a set-top DVD player. If they’re not familiar to you, hover the cursor over any control to reveal a tooltip. This works for buttons on either type of controller.

  3. Use the Controller drawer if you like to give DVD Player less commonly used, but still useful, commands.

    To open (top right) or close (top left) the little Controller drawer, choose Controls→Open/Close Control Drawer, press Command+], or click the little pull tab (where you see the arrow cursors) and drag.

    The controller might disappear after a few seconds. To make it reappear, jiggle the mouse or choose Window→Show Controller (shortcut Command+Option+C).

    If you’re in Full Screen mode, the menu bar won’t appear unless you move the cursor to the top of the screen. Doing so also makes the chapters/bookmarks/video clips overlay — which you use to choose a chapter, bookmark, or clip — appear just below the menu bar.

    And the transparent controller shown at the bottom of the figure won’t appear unless you move the cursor to the bottom of the screen.

    So move the cursor to the top of the screen to see the menu bar and chapters/bookmarks/video clips overlay, and move it to the bottom of the screen to see the transparent controller.

  4. Sit back and enjoy the inserted DVD movie on your Mac screen.

There really isn’t much more to it than that, but here are a few other useful tips and hints for using DVD Player:

  • The View menu lets you choose viewing sizes for your movie, including Full Screen, which usually looks best.

  • The Go menu lets you navigate to the DVD menu, beginning of the disc, previous or next chapter, or forward or back 5 seconds, with convenient keyboard shortcuts for each of these commands. It also includes several convenient submenus including Title, Chapter, and Bookmarks.

  • To create a bookmark so you can jump directly to this exact moment in the movie, use the on-screen controls to find the point you want to bookmark. Pause at that point and choose Go→Bookmarks. The Bookmarks window opens.

    Click the little plus button at the bottom and then type a name for this bookmark (or accept the name DVD Player offers — Bookmark 1, Bookmark 2, and so).

    Click the Add button and you’re done. Now you can skip right to this frame of the movie from the Bookmarks submenu (in the Go menu) by double-clicking it in the Bookmarks window, or by selecting it in the bookmarks panel of the chapters/bookmarks/video clips overlay.

    Move your cursor to the top of the screen in Full Screen mode to see the movie’s chapters and bookmarks.

  • Many user-configurable options are available in the Preferences window: DVD Player→Preferences (keyboard shortcut: Command+,).

  • For more information about almost any DVD Player feature, choose Help→DVD Player Help.

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