AVI which stands for Audio Video Interleave is a multimedia cointainer format used for storing audio and video information. It contains both audio and video data in a container file which allows synchronous audio-with-video playback.  It was introduced by Microsoft as part of its videos for Windows technology. In general, AVI files contain multiple streams of different types of. Similar to DVD video format, these AVI files support multiple streaming of audio and video data.

AVI was one of the first digital formats that intermix the small chunks of both video and audio data, and hence the name Audio Video Interleave. The main advantage of AVI is its simple architecture that enables it to run on different systems like Windows, Mac, UNIX, and Linux and is also supported by all popular browsers. Even though the AVI file format is almost 20 years old, it is still one of the most widely-used video file formats in existence today.

File Extensions: .avi
Mime type: 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 even without Compression, which results in extremely large file sizes. However, there is no loss of quality from the input video to the saved file. This doesn’t require any codecs to be installed, either for saving or playback. This is generally not recommended. Instead it's better to use a Lossless Compression format like Huffyuv.

Popular Audio and Video codecs for AVI:

The data contained in the AVI files will be encoded in codecs that allows the files to use less compression when compared to other video file formats, like the MPEG and MOV file formats. However, an AVI container supports any compression schemes for both Audio and video data. As losted below:

Video codec
Compressed: DivX, Xvid, Cinepak, Indeo, DV and Motion JPEG (Compressed),
Uncompressed: Full Frame, RGB and YUV2

Audio Codec
Compressed: MP3 and Microsoft's ADPCM (MS ADPCM)
Uncompressed: PCM

Music players that support AVI:

AVI files can be played by various video players; however the player should support the codec that is used to encode the video data. It can also be seen with VLC Player, MPlayer, The KMPlayer etc. the detailed list is as given below:

 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 etc.

For Mac OS:  Apple QuickTime Player, Adobe Flash Professional CS6, VLC media player, RealPlayer, Elmedia Player etc.

Advantages of AVI:

  • Provides huge choices for codecs, thus helps in achieving a high rate of compression
  • AVI can even play in mainstream media players such as Windows Media Player
  • AVI can also be used as a starting point to create playable DVDs

Disadvantages of AVI:

  • AVI files are limited to 320 x 240 resolution, and 30 frames per second, which is not adequate for full-screen, full-motion video
  • AVI files have a 2 GB size limit, restricting their use to some degree
  • Does not contain some specific types of VBR data (such as MP3 audio at sample rates below 32 KHz) reliably

Sometimes AVI files may be broken or damaged and hence refuse to play. If you are going through similar situation then click on the given link to fix unplayable AVI file.

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