Cannot play certain AVI files. Possible file type and/or codecproblem?

Discussion in 'Amateur Video Production' started by shaz likd, Dec 26, 2007.

  1. shaz likd

    shaz likd Guest

    I cannot play certain AVI files....more than one. I get the following
    error message:

    "Windows Media Player cannot play the file. The Player might not
    support the file type or might not support the codec that was used to
    compress the file."

    I am not getting a specific alpha/numerical error code of any sort,
    nor does Windows Media Player automatically search for a particular
    Codec while I am online (even though this particular option has been
    enabled in Media Player). I have tried to analyse what type of Codec
    is required using the following Codec Analysing Utilities:

    Windows XP Video Decoder Checkup Utility

    None of these Codec Analysing Utilities will tell me either what File
    Type I am trying to play, or what Codec is required. Can someone
    please help me? I have been scouring the Internet for some useful
    information, but I keep hitting a brick wall. Can someone me?
    shaz likd, Dec 26, 2007
    1. Advertisements

  2. shaz likd

    Sister Mary Guest

    It could Divx. Also there are some file types that will never play
    in WMP, try this:
    Sister Mary, Dec 26, 2007
    1. Advertisements

  3. shaz likd

    Lookout Guest

    Lookout, Dec 26, 2007
  4. shaz likd

    zachd [MSFT] Guest

    Shaz already mentions having used GSpot and having it fail. It's pretty
    easy to figure out the codec in an AVI file. Even if you don't have any
    tools to help you, you can simply use a hex viewer (or your equivalent of
    notepad...). If those tools aren't seeing it, I'd say the file is wonky.
    Since there's no pointer to any files to look at, we're all dead in the
    water as far as investigation and can simply conclude so far that the file
    is wonky. The question being asked isn't difficult, figuring it out through
    blind guessing is the difficult part. It could be a misextensioned ZIP for
    all we know. GraphEdt might point out what file type it is, but --- all
    good help here presumes that we know more about the file or can access it.

    Windows Media Player only will download codecs for use in Windows Media
    files, really.
    If you want it to help hook you up with non-Windows Media codecs, use the
    Web Help button on the Error dialog. That should point you to the codec
    needed (if identifiable).
    zachd [MSFT], Dec 26, 2007
  5. shaz likd

    psongman Guest

    Yeah, I am having the same problem. Regardless of what they say, Media
    Player Classic doesn't work either. Whoever is encoding these avi
    files they don't know what they are doing. I don't know why that is
    the video file of choice, I never have that much trouble with the

    So, can someone help or tell us how to get these avi files to play,
    VLC doesn't work, neither ACE nor BsPlayer (actually BS player keeps
    getting worse and worse with each version). There must be a player
    that works for all out there. If not, someone please design one, can't
    be that difficult. Hope you can help us, psongman
    psongman, Dec 26, 2007
  6. As others have said, you refer to this occurring with 'certain AVI
    files', but haven't provided any example. So dead end!

    Same for longman.
    Terry Pinnell, Dec 27, 2007
  7. shaz likd

    zachd [MSFT] Guest

    Given the data you've provided (as well as not providing any sort of pointer
    or reference to the file, heck, even first 500 or so characters in the file
    would be helpful), these simply aren't AVI files, they're corrupt files that
    people fobbed off on you in a deliberate attempt to waste your time.

    GSpot should be able to easily identify the codec involved. It's not rocket
    science. If that's not working, the file is bogus.

    It sounds like they're wasting your time: please don't waste our time
    helping them waste your time. =)
    zachd [MSFT], Dec 27, 2007
  8. Typo, meant 'psongman', sorry.
    Terry Pinnell, Dec 27, 2007
  9. OK, then, what *do* they say? Exactly.
    Where did these files come from? A known reliable source?
    Can others playback these files? Can you ask them?
    How do you know that they are even AVI files at all?
    Note that the file name and extention can be changed
    by anybody in a few keystrokes.
    You'll need to provide better information to work with before
    anybody can help you.
    Richard Crowley, Dec 27, 2007
  10. "psongman" wrote ...
    AVI is not a codec. It is a container file. It could contain video/audio
    encoded by any of literally hundreds of different codecs. (Which is
    why utilities like Gspot exist: to identify what's inside.)

    However, note that just because someone put ".avi" on the end of
    a filename doesn't make it an AVI file.
    Of course, since we don't know what "these avi files" means, nobody
    can really help you. Did you want us to just take a wild guess?
    Richard Crowley, Dec 27, 2007
  11. shaz likd

    meerkat Guest

    Open one of your`AVI`s with Wordpad, and the first few
    Characters, should look something like this...
    RIFFjBAVI LISTOhdrlavih8 .

    `Cos that`s what an AVI looks like.
    meerkat, Dec 27, 2007
  12. shaz likd

    Lookout Guest

    Post one for everyone to see.
    Lookout, Dec 27, 2007
  13. shaz likd

    shaz likd Guest

    The files I am referring to are allegedly AVI files which I have
    downloaded using bearsharelite. I am not going to identify them (for
    obvious reasons). They may be corrupted files and/or not AVI files at
    all. Having said that, there is no way (that I'm aware of) to perform
    any detailed analysis on any type of files.....until I have downloaded
    I have tried opening them with NotePad, and with WordPad. This simply
    locks up my computer, and I then need to reboot.
    Any suggestions?
    shaz likd, Dec 29, 2007
  14. shaz likd

    Paul Guest

    You can get a hex editor here. This will allow you
    to examine a file, and shouldn't lock up. Now, the
    downside of this one, is it seems to draw the
    whole file into RAM. It took almost 2 minutes to
    open a 410MB file, so the architecture of this
    tool leaves a bit to be desired. (I mostly use it
    for small files, like BIOS images.)

    The previous tool I was using, was an evaluation
    version of this one. But since the eval expired,
    I loaded up the other one. I don't remember if this
    one is a pig about RAM or not, but it is worth a
    try. (Breakpoint Software)

    Paul, Dec 29, 2007
  15. shaz likd

    A.Ghanim Guest

    A.Ghanim, Dec 30, 2007
  16. shaz likd

    Hunt Guest

    Have not read the entire thread, so you may have gotten this already. AVI is a
    wrapper, and can contain all sorts of material, both on the Video & Audio end.
    The CODECs can be all across the board.

    G-Spot will tell you the CODECs used, and will check the file in both Video &
    Audio, plus tell you if you have the proper CODECs on your machine. It's
    freeware, and about the best little utility going.

    Only drawback that I know, is that it does not have scripting, to do batch
    testing, one file after another, but that is the only weak spot.

    Hunt, Jan 11, 2008
  17. shaz likd

    Hunt Guest


    He mentioned CODEC utilities, not G-Spot specifically. There are a ton of
    utilities out there, and G-Spot is "spot-on" in all cases, that I've used it

    Usually, following up the MS error message leads to "we don't know what the
    problem is, but you are missing something... " [Obviously a paraphrase]

    Another utility, that does not apply to specific media, but to one's system,
    is Sherlock CODEC Detective. It will tell you if you have a problem CODEC.

    Hunt, Jan 11, 2008
  18. shaz likd

    ded Guest

    In that heavy crosspost I've snipped out most groups,
    AVI file types become unplayable if more that four entries in header are
    corrupt, if that is the case with your AVI files they can be fixed with
    AVI fixer:
    Click the free download but also click the tutorial link.
    Also many recent versions of Ulead, Pinnacle, Roxio and the latest Nero
    software can fix corrupt AVI header files, but they ain't free.

    ded, Jan 11, 2008
  19. shaz likd

    zachd [MSFT] Guest

    Yeah, I worked with John to change that around a year ago or so (the support
    is best in WMP11, WMP10 and previous don't necessarily send up the
    fourCC/formattag - you can note if it did in the URL being used for Web
    Help, since it's a simple GET request). The Microsoft error response system
    now should correctly identify the missing codec as long as the error comes
    from a "codec missing" error pathway. You should still be able to get a few
    "an installed codec is *broken*" cases where you don't get the
    fourCC/formattag response, but generally this should all be handled now. If
    you know of a case where it's not handled, or a fourCC/formattag that
    doesn't have a friendly name attached, post up in the
    microsoft.public.windowsmedia.player newsgroup and I'll check it out when/if
    I get a chance.

    zachd [MSFT], Jan 11, 2008
    1. Advertisements

Ask a Question

Want to reply to this thread or ask your own question?

You'll need to choose a username for the site, which only take a couple of moments (here). After that, you can post your question and our members will help you out.