How to Know the CODEC of Videos Clips?

6 minutes read

Are you experiencing playback issues with your video file? Learn about codecs and how they can affect playback compatibility. Most importantly, find out how to identify the codec of your video file on Windows and Mac operating systems.

Written By
Updated On

What is Codec?

A codec is a computer software that encodes and decodes video or audio files. Every audio and video file relies on a codec to compress the file size and facilitate smooth playback. Codecs typically work in conjunction with system media players.

When a codec is installed on your system, it decodes your videos and music files, which are encoded with a specific codec, allowing the media player to play them. If you encounter issues while playing your videos, it's possible that one of the codecs used to play the video may have become corrupted. Alternatively, it could be that you don't have the correct codec installed on your computer to play the video properly. Many media player, including VLC, has their own set of built-in codecs.

If you want to explore how to find the codec of a video that you are playing? Well, here is the way to do it.

Table Of Contents

Why Identifying Video Codec is Important?

We often come across various types of video files obtained from different sources and through different means. 

For instance, 

  1. We download video files from online sources
  2. Receive video clips recorded using our friends' gadgets
  3. Obtain video clips via email from distant locations
  4. Transfer videos from other systems or devices to our own. 

However, when attempting to play these external video clips on our computers, we frequently encounter playback issues. In some cases, the video files fail to play correctly, while in other instances, they don't play at all.

In such situations, your immediate course of action would likely involve attempting to obtain another copy of the unplayable video, if possible. This can be done by re-downloading the file from the internet or requesting a new copy from the friend who originally sent it to you. However, if obtaining a duplicate of the file is not feasible, you would then explore options to repair the video file.

How to Find Codec of a Video?

It's important to note that not all playback issues or unplayable video files are solely the result of file corruption. Codec problems can also cause general difficulties in playing videos. Therefore, when selecting a video repair tool, it is crucial to ensure compatibility with the specific codec used in the video file. For instance, if you are dealing with MPEG4 video files, you would need a tool that specifically supports this codec. The same principle applies to other codecs as well. Consequently, having knowledge of the codec used in the video file becomes essential for effectively addressing playback issues and selecting the appropriate video repair tools.

How to Find the Codec of a video file using the manual method?

You can easily get video codec information on your Windows and Mac computers using your own operating system functionalities. Just follow this step-by-step guide to do so.

Find the Codec of Video File On Windows:

Go to the location where the video file is stored

  • Select the video whose codec info you want to know.
  • Right-click on the file.
  • Select Properties.
  • Switch to the Summary tab.
  • Check description.
  • You will see audio format and the video compression.
  • These are the used codecs for your video clip.

Find the Codec of Video File On Mac:

Navigate the folder that holds your video clip

  • Pick the video to get its codec info.
  • Right-click on the selected file.
  • Click on Get Info option.
  • Jump to Summary.
  • Go through the information.
  • You can see codecs of both audio and video format.

Find the Codec of Video file on VLC:

  • Open the video using VLC to identify its codec
  • Go to the Playlist and right-click on it
  • Choose Tools.
  • Select Media Information.
  • Don’t forget to mark the checkbox Codec Details.

To address codec-related issues and ensure smooth video playback, it's important to identify the codecs used in the video file. Start by noting down the codecs associated with the video. Then, download the required (noted) codecs from their official websites. Once you completed the download process, install them and open the video file using your regular media player.

If you cannot find the codec information of your video file or if you feel difficulty in checking it manually, or if the video clip is still not playing even after you have installed the codec, then you can make use of various available tools like MediaInfo, VideoInspector, Codec Installer, GSpot, AVIcodec, etc. to get adequate codec and play your video.

Remo Video Repair Software

If your video is not playing due to corruption rather than a codec issue, don't worry. Remo Video Repair software is here to help. It is an advanced yet user-friendly tool to fix corrupt, damaged, broken, and unplayable MP4, MOV, and AVI videos with ease. This tool is compatible with all the latest versions of Windows and Mac operating systems, including Windows 11 and macOS Ventura.

About the Author: Molly Owen

Molly is the Lead Technical Specialist with distinguished knowledge and understanding of Mac computers and operating systems. Being a veteran photographer and video recovery specialist, Molly’s expertise in video formats and file repair has helped restore a lot of videos and cherished memories of users. As a technical specialist, she also believes in learning and…