Exe to avi or other video format?
May 25, 2011 10:16 AM   Subscribe

Where can I find software that will convert a video in .exe into an actual video format like avi...etc?

Our office keeps receiving law enforment videos in .exe format that are not compatible with our transcription software. Any help is appreciated! Please be gentle with my post as I've been a longtime MeFi lurker and this is my first post of any kind.
posted by kal0kagathia to Computers & Internet (7 answers total)
Any way to tell what the EXE is doing ? I'm assuming the video is embedded in the exe, and the exe is a player/wrapper for the video. This way, you don't have to worry if the recipient of the video has the right video player, codec, etc to actually play the video. They click the exe, the video plays. Very handy in that sense.

So try to do some homework: when playing the video, is it launching windows media player, or its own player ? Any logo/name displayed ? Can you run the exe from the command line with say "-help" or "-?" and get hints if it can self-extract the video ?

If the video is in some proprietary format, you may be SOL. Or have to buy software from the camera company that the law enforcement folks use. Can you ask the sources about getting the raw video file rather than the exe ? (I would be pretty certain the camera doesn't record to the exe, but a raw format, so something/somewhere along the line bundles the video into the exe).
posted by k5.user at 10:27 AM on May 25, 2011

I'd be a bit suspicious of videos received in .exe format. I'd be concerned about viruses. Are you sure they are legit?

Zip files are sometimes contained in .exe files. I'd check these files with some zip program, like winzip or 7zip. You may find that they contain an .avi file inside them when opened as a zip archive.
posted by DarkForest at 10:31 AM on May 25, 2011

You could probably use an EXE resource extractor like this one (I just found it via Google, but it seems legit enough).

One possibility is that these are Flash videos in an EXE container, in which case you'd have to extract the video AGAIN from the Flash file (.swf) that you extract from the EXE (I imagine there are multiple ways to do this too)...

But yeah, the best solution is to get whoever's doing this to quit sending you funny EXEs. That's bad news.
posted by neckro23 at 10:35 AM on May 25, 2011

Response by poster: Lol, the .exes are legit. They come from the District Attorney's office via discovery to our office. K5, the video launches its own software called "integral media player." I will try the command line and let you know.

We're Public Defenders so it would make sense that it is in some proprietary format that needs some software we can't afford.

Thanks everyone so far.
posted by kal0kagathia at 10:43 AM on May 25, 2011

The most common way viruses are downloaded is through human error and email attachments. Sending ".exe" attachments is a definite no-no, and the DA's office is really leaving themselves exposed. Just because they come from a trusted source does not mean they will always be safe. It would be a really good idea to download the exe files onto some sort of quarantined device. If you don't have the IT support to do that, find a spare machine, disconnect it from your network and the internet, and play with these files.
posted by KokuRyu at 10:57 AM on May 25, 2011 [1 favorite]

Lay off with the .exe freakout. The videos are most likely from a Pelco security camera. Their Integral Media Player exports as self contained .EXE. It appears to be very difficult to convert back to a standard video format, although lots of people have posted on the web over the past 6 years looking for a way.

You can download the player by itself here but that would only help you get from a xpv video file to an .exe.

Dirty solution: Set up a screen recording program to record the video in the .exe playing, viola you have an .avi file.
posted by ChrisHartley at 11:07 AM on May 25, 2011 [2 favorites]

I realize this may not be possible but if you can post a sample of one of these files somewhere I can take a look at writing a script to extract the video into a standard format.
posted by Rhomboid at 7:18 PM on May 25, 2011

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