Windows Legacy OS forum

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Can't play avi files in Media Player

by Crashlake / January 28, 2005 3:02 PM PST

When I try to play avi files in Windows Media Player I get a message saying it is trying to connect and download codecs, but then says can't find them , error, any ideas

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Try again.
by Papa Echo / January 28, 2005 6:05 PM PST

What is the exact error message ?

If you are not using the latest version of WMP, get it downloaded. (that is, if you still want to use Windows Media Player).

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Or you can Google
by MarkFlax Forum moderator / January 28, 2005 6:51 PM PST
In reply to: Try again.

for Codecs yourself.

If you goto and download their free DivX player, this will install with many of the codecs you need to play avi's and other file types.

It will install the codecs for WMP to play the avi as well.

Good luck,


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Thanks Mark
by zanada / November 12, 2006 6:29 AM PST
In reply to: Or you can Google

Mark I really want to thank you. Codecs can be a beast for the uninishiated. God knows how much time I logged on this without any luck. Then I read your post. Now everything is a go.

I had updated to WMP 10 and was getting error downloading codecs when attempting to play avi's

Thanks guy.

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That's only one codec
by jackson dougless / November 12, 2006 10:45 AM PST
In reply to: Or you can Google

Divx is but one codec, and the Divx player will only play (last I checked) either Divx or MPEG-1 video with MPEG-1 or MP3 audio. It was also a steaming pile the last time I tried it, but that was probably 2-3 years ago.

One of the best things to do, is download a recent build of ffdshow for Windows. It's a very highly optimized multi-codec decoding program, that can decode just about any type of video you throw at it. It even comes with a handy audio codec decoder component. All highly optimized to make use of CPU instructions like MMX and SSE2 whenever possible. Allowing it to often times be more efficient at playback than the official codec packages.

With that, I like to include Media Player Classic. A great free and lightweight alternative to Windows Media Player that doesn't skimp on the features. It focuses on being a great video player, and little else. WMP has bloated into a video player, and audio player, a portal to an online music and video downloading service, and all manner of other garbage. It's big, it's slow, it lacks useful configuration options, it's encumbered by draconian DRM, and it has no real developmental focus. Media Player Classic, OTOH, has more or less reached the point of being the perfect video player for Windows. Just like WinAmp 2.95 was pretty much the perfect audio player.

There's also VLC Player which is a one package solution, combining an internal version of ffdshow along with a player. IMO, it's not quite as good as Media Player Classic, but it's a good solid second.

You can also get Windows versions of the almost de facto standard media player for Linux and other *nix operating systems, Mplayer. It's a lot like VLC Player, only assumes a lot more knowledge and understanding of things. It's very powerful, and very flexible, it just takes a large investment of time and effort to familiarize yourself with its many facets.

Windows Media Player is at the bottom of the pile in my book. Used only as a last resort, and only for the shortest possible period of time.

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Media player.
by bananablunts / December 24, 2008 4:18 AM PST
In reply to: That's only one codec

Maybe for you, but the main reason I use windows media player is because you can make many playlists and have them in a list on the side. what other media players will do this? winamp does, but its way too slow. you scroll down a big list and it basically freezes for 3sec before it can go down the list.

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You are replying to a post that is 2 years old.
by MarkFlax Forum moderator / December 24, 2008 5:35 AM PST
In reply to: Media player.

Did you know that?


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by bananablunts / December 24, 2008 5:43 AM PST

nope, the dates are in tiny text and i wasnt really paying attention to that. but i was directed to this thread by one of your moderators. Wink

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does not help WMP
by dratner / December 23, 2008 6:50 AM PST
In reply to: Or you can Google

I installed divx, rebooted and WMP still does not play avi's.

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Here's why it didn't help.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / December 23, 2008 6:52 AM PST
In reply to: does not help WMP

Your avi is not encoded with DivX. This area mystifies some but it's this simple. Install the CODEC that is needed to play your AVI.

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(NT) how?
by dratner / December 23, 2008 6:59 AM PST
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Try a tool to discover the encoding. LINK ONLY!
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / December 23, 2008 7:03 AM PST
In reply to: how?
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This is the answer!
by dratner / December 23, 2008 8:48 PM PST

I installed GSPOT, opened the .avi file and GSPOT displayed the video codec that it used. I Googled the codec, dl'd it and installed it. WMP now plays the file. Thanks so much.

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(NT) (NT) Winamp plays avi files,no need for additional codecs
by jonah jones / January 28, 2005 7:47 PM PST
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Try this...
by CascaLonginus / December 23, 2008 9:39 AM PST

Here is a link to a site where you can download for free a codec pack, this codec pack once installed on your computer will allow you to play almost any audio and video file out there. this codec pack is big, so if you dont want that big of a codec pack on your computer, the second link is to a smaller one that should be good for most intents and purposes.

Link 1:

Link 2: click on the download link next to basic..for the smaller codec pack

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