Understanding AVI: Everything You Need to Know

Written by John Harris, Updated on October 03, 2023

AVI, short for Audio Video Interleave, is a versatile multimedia container format for storing audio and video data. Microsoft introduced it as part of its Videos for Windows technology, and it has remained one of the most widely used video file formats for nearly two decades.

AVI File Format Overview

  • AVI Format Description: AVI files contain audio and video data, allowing synchronized playback. Similar to DVD video, AVI supports multiple audio and video data streams.
  • Compatibility: AVI files can be played on various systems, including Windows, Mac, UNIX, and Linux, supported by popular web browsers.
  • File Extensions: .avi
  • Mime Types: video/avi, video/msvideo, video/x-msvideo, image/avi, video/xmpg2, application/x-troff-msvideo, audio/aiff, audio/avi Uncompressed AVI

AVI files can be created without compression, resulting in extremely large file sizes. However, this method preserves video quality without the need for additional codecs. Still, it's generally not recommended, and lossless compression formats like Huffyuv are preferred.

Popular Audio and Video Codecs for AVI

  • Video Codecs: AVI files use various codecs for compression, including DivX, Xvid, Cinepak, Indeo, DV, and Motion JPEG for compressed video and Full Frame, RGB, and YUV2 for uncompressed video.
  • Audio Codecs: Supported audio codecs include MP3 and Microsoft's ADPCM for compressed audio and PCM for uncompressed audio.

Music Players Compatible with AVI

AVI files can be played using various media players, but compatibility depends on the codecs used. Some popular players for different platforms include:

For Windows:

  • Windows Media Player
  • Windows Video
  • Adobe Flash Professional CS6
  • RealPlayer
  • ALLPlayer
  • VLC media player
  • Roxio Creator NXT Pro
  • Winamp Media Player 5.6

For Mac OS:

  • Apple QuickTime Player
  • Adobe Flash Professional CS6
  • VLC media player
  • RealPlayer
  • Elmedia Player

Advantages of AVI

  • Compatibility: AVI files can be played on a wide range of media players, ensuring accessibility for users across different platforms.
  • Quality: AVI supports high-quality audio and video, making it suitable for storing uncompressed or minimally compressed content.
  • Editing: Video editors often prefer AVI due to its compatibility with editing software, allowing for seamless post-production work.
  • Wide Adoption: AVI's long-standing presence in the multimedia industry has resulted in widespread support and usage.
  • Multiplatform: AVI is not limited to Windows; it can be used on various operating systems, including macOS and Linux.
  • Codec Flexibility: AVI offers many codec choices, enabling efficient compression.
  • Mainstream Player Support: AVI files are compatible with popular media players like Windows Media Player.
  • DVD Creation: AVI can serve as a starting point for creating playable DVDs.

Disadvantages of AVI

  • Resolution and Frame Limitations: AVI files are limited to 320 x 240 resolution and 30 frames per second, limiting their suitability for full-screen, full-motion video.
  • File Size Limit: AVI files have a 2 GB size limit, restricting their use for large video projects.
  • VBR Data Issues: AVI may not reliably support some specific types of VBR data, such as MP3 audio at sample rates below 32 KHz.
  • File Damage: Occasionally, AVI files may become damaged or broken, leading to playback issues.

Also Read: How to Fix Windows Cannot Play AVI file?


Despite its age, AVI remains a versatile and widely used video format, offering advantages and disadvantages depending on your specific multimedia needs. Understanding its characteristics and limitations is crucial for effective video handling.

If your AVI video files are corrupted, you can use a professional video repair tool like Remo Repair AVI anytime to repair them.

Repair Corrupt Videos Easily

Why Choose Remo?

100% safeSecure

100% SatisfactionGuarantee

10 Million+Downloads

Free TechSupport

Live Chat24/7 Support