A hat tip to Alister Chapman – Apple have added MXF support for macOS via the latest Pro Video Formats update.
You have to be running macOS Sierra but once you’ve downloaded and installed you should be able to play MXF files in QuickTime player and via the Finder, without having to transcode.
You’ll still need the right codecs installed on your machine (MXF is just a wrapper for various flavours of video) but the update also includes a variety of popular professional codecs:
Apple Intermediate Codec
XDCAM EX / HD / HD422
I’m currently rocking OS X El Capitan (so retro!) so can’t test here, but Alister reports that some of his MXF files are seen by the OS as audio files and so the video won’t play. Still, as he says, this feels like a ‘step in the right direction’ and is certainly a compelling reason to update to the latest version of OSX, er, macOS, for anyone using MXF-wrapped files.
Do back up before you start monkeying around with your OS though, and maybe don’t embark on this particular journey if you’re on deadline or in the middle of a crucial project. Yes, that might be the voice of experience talking.