How do I find codec/media player for an .avi file?
March 9, 2005 12:17 AM   Subscribe

How do I find correct codec/media player for an .avi file?

I downloaded a tv show and the audio is fine. I've tried WinMP, Quicktime, Realtime and a couple of other (now uninstalled) players all of which said they couldn't find the right codec.
However, it was called an .avi file on the torrent site but didn't have that extension when downloaded. I did change the ext. to .avi - but either way same thing happened - no visuals. (but I can't remember what the original ext. name was....nothing I knew)
Is it likely corrupted or is there some way I can check &c?
posted by peacay to Computers & Internet (10 answers total)
More info would help:

What platform are you on?
What extension did the file originally have?
Do any of the error messages you are getting specify which codec is missing?

If you're on OS X, my experience is that VLC will play any video file you throw at it, with the exception of AVI files encoded with Indeo. Have to use QT Player in Classic with extra codecs for those.
posted by toddshot at 12:32 AM on March 9, 2005

VLC seconded. it'll handle most anything.
on win xp here.
posted by juv3nal at 12:34 AM on March 9, 2005

I've found more often than not that if the audio plays, but the video won't, it's either DivX or 3ivX. Download them both (a bit of googling will sort you out) and see if that helps.

Don't bother with VLC, as it still wont' play it if you haven't got the codec installed.
posted by cheaily at 1:10 AM on March 9, 2005

VLC has support for divx and 3ivx built in for all platforms.
Way to go dismissing a program you apparently don't know anything about.
posted by juv3nal at 1:51 AM on March 9, 2005

The correct answer to any questions about video files not playing is Use VLC.
posted by ascullion at 1:55 AM on March 9, 2005

Response by poster: Thanks all. I took the easy/safe option and got the megapack of codecs. Worked straight away.
posted by peacay at 1:57 AM on March 9, 2005

Actually, I would say that the easy/safe method is as others have mentioned is to use VLC - a very reliable stand alone exe with the codecs built in (ignore cheaily - he wrong). That way you avoid the risk of installing spyware/adware/viruses. And if that doesn't work use gspot to find out the actual codec you need.
posted by chill at 5:53 AM on March 9, 2005

The K-Lite codec pack is usually total overkill and installs a lot of stuff on your computer. Next time, check out the DefilerPak, which is a good minimalist codec pack that plays just about everything and relies on 99% open source software (the exception is the old-school divx audio codec), so you actually know what the hell you're installing. Or, like many said above, VLC is a great standalone player that doesn't install a lot of junk and is good to use when your installed codecs get a bit out of hand.
posted by zsazsa at 7:48 AM on March 9, 2005

Let's not overlook ffdshow, the finest of all codec packs.
posted by Who_Am_I at 8:36 AM on March 9, 2005

You can also use AVIcodec to find out what codec that the file needs. And then just install that codec.
posted by graventy at 9:13 AM on March 9, 2005

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