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Q: How come I can open some AVI files, but not others?

A: AVI (Audio Video Interleave) is a commonly used video format. Therefore, it is likely you will need to open an .AVI file at some point. The good news is that most video players support AVI files. The bad news is that your video player might not support the specific AVI file you are trying to open.

This is because AVI is a container format, which contains audio and video data that is encoded using an audio or video codec. Since the media stored in an AVI file may be encoded using one of several different media codecs, it is possible your player does not support the codecs used by the AVI file.

Therefore, you may find that you can open some AVI files without any problems, while other AVI files won't open at all. You may also open a video file in which the audio plays, but there is no video. This happens when the media player supports the audio codec, but not the video codec. If your player supports the video codec, but not the audio codec, the video will play, but there won't be any sound.

So how can I open AVI files?

AVI files can only be played back if the correct codecs are installed. Therefore, you may need to install additional codecs or codec packs to play certain AVI files. You can use programs like VideoInspector, GSpot, and MediaInfo to check which codecs an AVI file uses. Then you can search for the codecs online and download the ones you need. Most codecs are freely available and come with an installer that installs the codecs for whatever media player you choose.

Once the correct codecs are installed, you should be able to open and play the video files that would not previously open. Alternatively, you can try downloading and installing other media players, which may have the correct codecs included with them. For a list of video playback programs, visit the Video Players page.

Updated: June 15, 2011