mpeg4 asf vs. avi .. why is AVI less accessable and requires CODEC ???

Discussion in 'Amateur Video Production' started by jason, Feb 10, 2006.

  1. jason

    jason Guest

    I have this cheap mpeg4 recorder that produces ASF. I find mpeg4 ASF
    files to be very accessable and mobile. I'm looking to upgrade, but
    many mpeg4 video recording cameras produce AVI files... That format is
    not so accessable, requiring a codec be installed for windows media
    9.0. What's up with that? Will i have no choice but to convert my
    videos to make them most accessable over the internet? What format is
    recommended for accessablitly and speed?

    The camera I'm looking at is the Samsung A55w because of it's mpeg4 vga
    30fps capability and 5x optical zoom. The camera I've been using for
    video is an AIPTEK which can do VGA at about 11 FPS. Mainly, I'm
    looking to merge photo and video, and don';t really mind the AIPTEK
    less than perfect video quality. Other cameras I've looked at include
    CASIO exlim 7

    Can anybody recommend a prefered format and possibly a camera. I only
    need it to do VGA at 15fps in MPEG4 format in a codec that can be read
    by the default Windows Media Player .. I suspect ASF and WMV file

    Thanks in advance for any help or information!
    jason, Feb 10, 2006
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  2. jason wrote ...
    Don't look now, but your ASF files require a codec to read/write
    also (as do all RIFF files like WAV, AVI, etc.) You complaint
    seems to be that you didn't get the codec you needed installed

    You will likely find that AVI files give you far wider usefulness
    than ASF files. But you may have to do a bit of work to sort out
    the codec(s).
    Richard Crowley, Feb 10, 2006
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  3. jason

    RS Guest

    Everything requires a codec to play. Windows simply comes pre-installed
    with a few of the specific windows ones.

    First, get a program like Gspot, which will tell you what codec those
    Avi files are in (Standard one sentence tutorial: Avi is not a format,
    its just a file extension and the file can be encoded in several
    different formats.)

    Find out the codec, then get an install it.

    Wanna convert that to mpg4? is a good place to go for
    detailed tutorials.
    RS, Feb 10, 2006
  4. jason

    jason Guest

    No expert here... looking for help and guidence so i can make the best

    That windows comes pre-installed with specific codecs is a HUGE factor
    in determining what format to use. I would think.

    RIGHT NOW, If you wanted to put video on the internet, and needed it to
    be EASILY and QUICKLY viewable to a wide international audience of
    users what format would you use?

    Thanks for any additional help and information.
    jason, Feb 10, 2006
  5. jason wrote ...
    My preference would be WMV.
    My reasons include...
    * High quality/filesize ratio.
    * Free viewer.
    * Free encoder.
    * Viewers available for many platoforms.
    * Most computers are running an MS OS and have viewer already installed.
    * Not a cancer-like adware viewer like Real (avoid at any cost!)
    * Not an annoying nagware like Quicktime. (only use if you must)
    Richard Crowley, Feb 10, 2006
  6. jason wrote ...
    Note that the choice of file formats (and codecs) you make for
    capture, local storage, production (editing, etc.) are likely to be
    very different than an appropriate choice for internet distribution.

    Likely the widest-used high quality non-broadcast capture, storage
    and editing file format used by folks here is AVI using the built-in
    Microsoft DV codec. This combination is frequently called

    Which file format and codec you use is dependent on several things
    including your source (camcorder, VCR, etc.), connection method
    (Firewire, USB, etc.), your capture software, editing software, etc.

    For internet distribution, my choice is WMV (Windows Media Video)
    for reasons I outlined in my other response.
    Richard Crowley, Feb 10, 2006
  7. jason

    jason Guest

    Is the MPEG4-AVI format used by the Samsung A55W the same as DV-AVI ?..
    wondering because vanilla windows media player can't view it without a
    codec. If not, I wonder if any cameras are recording in somthing
    vanilla Windows media player will play? MPEG seems desirable because I
    think it get 3-4 times more compression.

    If WMV is ideal for internet distribution, is it a big deal to convert
    those MPEG4 AVI files to WMV? and would gret compression be lost? If
    possible, what sw would you recommend.

    I'm thinking there must be some reason camera manufactures are not
    writing out to .ASF file type like the digital cams are, perhaps some
    issue with more than 11FPS VGA.

    Many thanks for the great info!
    jason, Feb 10, 2006
  8. jason

    RS Guest

    Well, I happen to be partial to the Flash Video format. Quality is good,
    and nearly every browser will play flash content, so you don't have to
    worry codecs or operating systems. Quicktime movies are usually not a
    problem, anyone who dosen't have the quicktime player can get it easily
    enough. Wmv files, should play in any windows machine.
    RS, Feb 10, 2006
  9. jason

    RS Guest

    Your camera is recording highly compressed video into a memory card I
    believe. Conversion to other format will likely sacrifice quality.

    A google search pops up a whole ton of people hawking converters.
    Nothing popped up on I suppose because coversion out of
    Asf format is not a hot topic. Everyones all Divx and Xvid for their
    Btorrent downloads these days.
    RS, Feb 10, 2006
  10. jason

    jason Guest


    I'm looking to go from AVI (mpeg4) to WMV or ASF.
    jason, Feb 10, 2006
  11. jason wrote ...
    No. MPEG is virtally *always* compressed significantly
    more than DV. There are likely NO still cameras which
    produce DV video. If they did, they would be called video
    cameras which also take still pictures. There are many
    examples of those kinds of cameras out there.
    Not surprising. The "video" produced by most still cameras
    tends to be rather proprietary to the particular make (and
    even model) of the camera. There doesn't appear to be much
    standardization there.

    IMHO, any kind of "video" out of a still camera is a novelty
    and a bonus. It doesn't hold up well to any kind of post-
    production (editing, converting. etc.)
    I would be surprised if you discovered any. The people who
    design those still cameras just threw in the "video" function as
    an afterthought and weren't worried about compatibility with
    anything else.
    Absolutely. That is why they use it. Otherwise you could get
    no useful recording time on any of the storage devices in
    typical still cameras. Unfortunately, they use proprietary
    codecs that make it difficult to exchange the files with others.
    I'm sure it is possible. Maybe directly, more likely through
    one (or more?) intermediate files/codecs?
    would be the place to look/inquire about conversion from
    one particular codec to another.
    If it were me I would be very grateful if *anything* useful
    came out the other end. But who knows, you might just
    get lucky. (This is why people don't use still cameras to
    shoot "video") But we have no idea what your application
    or expectations are, so maybe this is OK for you?
    The only tool for creating WMV is (free) Windows Media
    Encoder. You should first download and try WME to see
    if it will recognize the codec that your camera's file uses.

    If not, you may have to convert your camera MPEG file
    to DV-AVI or something and then use WME to create
    the WMV file.
    I see it like the old story about the trained bear. It is
    not the issue of the bear's limited vocabulary, but the
    amazing feat the the bear is speaking at all. That is how
    I see video files produced by still cameras. They are
    pure gravy and I have extremely low expectations from
    Richard Crowley, Feb 10, 2006
  12. "RS" wrote ...
    Yes, IMHO, Flash is a very good candidate as likely even more people
    have Flash player installed than have WMP. However the process
    for creating the files is either expensive or very "fiddly" and difficult
    for novice users. If it was as easy/cheap as making WMV, it would
    be better than Windows Media formats.
    Richard Crowley, Feb 10, 2006
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