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Why can't Quicktime handle AVI files?

post #1 of 26
Thread Starter 
Why are there so many AVI files Quicktime can't play? I've got the latest version, but still with a lot of movies in this format I get an invisible or plain white movie track and broken up sound or, in quicktime player, a message saying something like: there was a problem translating.

Is there something I can do or a Plugin I can download to fix this?

Andrew
post #2 of 26
.avi is a dumb format. use Vlc to play avi movies.

(<a href="http://www.videolan.org/" target="_blank">http://www.videolan.org/</a>)
post #3 of 26
Yup, VLC is your Mac solution to VCDS, DVDS, avi and dvi.
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post #4 of 26
VLC is handy, but not very stable.

The bigger issue here (climbing on my soap box):

I can't belive Apple expects PC users to SWITCH to the Mac, and at the same time Apple markets itself as a "digital hub". All my PC friends live and breath divix and avi, and would FREAK OUT if they had to put as much time and energy into movie fies as I have to. It's very ironic that Apple is silent on this video format. Maybe I am alone on this issue, but I think Apple needs to provide more codecs, and fast!
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post #5 of 26
VLC works flawlessly for me all the time. that doesn't seem like much effort. by the same token, i had to download a divx player for my PC too. it's life.

if you want to have Quicktime work better, check for updates. there are a pile of codecs it will automatically download to improve avi compatibility.
post #6 of 26
Get <a href="http://www.divx.com/divx/mac/" target="_blank">DivX for Mac OS</a> [9 + X compatible] to solve most of your .avi troubles. It's a quick install and fairly fast conversion of the mischieveous (sp?) soundtracks.
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post #7 of 26
much better solution, <a href="http://www.3ivx.com" target="_blank">3ivx</a>.
download the 3ivx plugin and get divx doctor. 3ivx will let you see the video in QT and divx doctor will convert the audio into somthing other than pops and cracks. been using both for months and they work great
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post #8 of 26
Better solution. Get a little thing called MPlayer for OS X. It's a small freeware media player that will play any format, and it does fullscreen too. It's not the best interface but it does allow sequential playback if you have a movie that is divided into parts, and it also allows fullscreen playback. I've never had problems playing movies with it. Even movies where using all the DivX and 3ivX and DivX Doctor II didn't work, MPlayer will play them.

Look for it at VersionTracker.
post #9 of 26
Luca, I have never had a problem with DivX Doctor II.

[ 01-01-2003: Message edited by: Nick Weiss ]</p>
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post #10 of 26
[quote]Originally posted by dstranathan:
<strong>
I can't belive Apple expects PC users to SWITCH to the Mac, and at the same time Apple markets itself as a "digital hub". All my PC friends live and breath divix and avi, and would FREAK OUT if they had to put as much time and energy into movie fies as I have to. It's very ironic that Apple is silent on this video format. Maybe I am alone on this issue, but I think Apple needs to provide more codecs, and fast!</strong><hr></blockquote>
Shows how much you know about divx on pcs, they dont come with it and its an absolute whore to install and get working right, at least vlc works most of the time and doesnt come with spyware like divx does if you dont shop around a bit
post #11 of 26
For some reason I've never gotten vlc to work for me. Is there something I'm missing because it never works.
post #12 of 26
[quote]Originally posted by EmAn:
<strong>For some reason I've never gotten vlc to work for me. Is there something I'm missing because it never works.</strong><hr></blockquote>

Step 1. Open vlc.
Step 2. Select "Open file" from the "File" menu, and navigate to the file.
Step 3. theres no step 3. [sound of jeff goldblum laughing]

post #13 of 26
[quote]Originally posted by thuh Freak:
<strong>

Step 1. Open vlc.
Step 2. Select "Open file" from the "File" menu, and navigate to the file.
Step 3. theres no step 3. [sound of jeff goldblum laughing]

</strong><hr></blockquote>

<img src="graemlins/lol.gif" border="0" alt="[Laughing]" /> I'm not that dumb. I do that and the files never play.
post #14 of 26
I've heard great things about vlc here at AI, so I got it. From everything I've seen, I think it kinda sucks.
post #15 of 26
[quote]Originally posted by iBrowse:
<strong>I've heard great things about vlc here at AI, so I got it. From everything I've seen, I think it kinda sucks.</strong><hr></blockquote>

At least it works for you.
post #16 of 26
stop bitching EmAn. did you try to delete the prefs of vlc ?
post #17 of 26
VLC works most of the time. Sometimes it chokes on SVCDs. I have A LOT of DivX and having to convert a DivX before each time I play it is ludacis to me. Here's what I've found about DivX in OS X:

Quicktime hates DivX ... there's a bug in quicktime that doesn't allow it to parse variable bitrate audio in divx files. ( codecs can't fix this to my knowledge )

VLC works most of the time, but playing divx over the network and off of CD sometimes doesn't cut it.

MPlayer works best most of the time for playing over the network and off of CD, but MPlayer ( at least the OSX port, not the version on the fink tree ) seems to lose audio/video sync A LOT. ( best remedy to this is to hit the left arrow key and then the right arrow key. This jumps behind like 15 seconds, and then forward 15 seconds, which usually forces the a/v to sync )

[edit : MPlayer loses sync a lot while playing off CD or over the network. It doesn't lose sync that much off the Hard Drive, but it DOES lose sync more so than VLC in my experience]

[edit : To fix sync in VLC pause the movie until the audio catches up and start playing again. VLC has problems with a/v sync after being paused for more than a few minutes, this maybe a problem resolved with more memory though (I only have 256meg). If you paused for a while and are having probs use the pause fix a couple times. ]

The best way to play DivX streamed across a network ( at least over SAMBA from a WinXP box or a Debian box in my experience ) is to use a network cable. The 10baseT that you get over 802.11b ( airport for those that don't know it ) isn't enough bandwidth and the 100baseT seems to be *just* enough. It rarely gets out of sync over a cable.

MPlayer also doesn't like widescreen DivXs where the black portions at the top and bottom are cut off. For some reason I can't get it to display it using the fullscreen on my TiBook. ( it only uses a square section in the middle ... the same section that OSX uses at 800x600 non-streched resolution ) I think this has something to do with MPlayer switching to the non-stretched 800x600 resolution at fullscreen. VLC on the otherhand WILL display these using the fullscreen.

For DVDs the best is DVD Player.app I haven't tried VLC, but somestimes it can be flakey just use DVD Player. It's never given me any problems.

VLC really needs subtitle support. I like to keep my subtitles for DivX in separate files instead of embedding them into the video because once embedded into the video you can't pull them back out to use a diffferent language. MPlayer supports this with the -sub option, but VLC doesn't to my knowledge.

VLC also doesn't support .ogm. MPlayer does, but it doesn't have support to soft subs in .ogm. The OGg Media format is pretty new so they still have some time to catch up with that, but there are Windows Codecs and Direct Show filters that support all that currently.

If your DivX files have windows media audio for the audio track you're in trouble. MPlayer supports windows media audio, but only on x86 machines, since the support is through the use of the windows binary .DLLs which are x86 compiled. Unless you think that you can convince MS to release them or recompile them for Mac.

Ask if you have questions I'll be glad to answer. I've had a lot of experience using VLC and MPlayer on my PowerBook and found that the best solution was to just hook up me x86 debian box to my TV and play the movies that way.

[edit : Quicktime has the variable bitrate audio ( only with VBR mp3s to my knowledge ) with ALL .AVI files ... not just DivX like I said. It's a problem in QT's AVi parser. But VBR mp3 is used in most DivX so that's where the problem occurs the most. Sorry for any confusion]

[ 01-04-2003: Message edited by: pyr3 ]

[ 01-04-2003: Message edited by: pyr3 ]</p>
post #18 of 26
[quote]Originally posted by Defiant:
<strong>stop bitching EmAn.</strong><hr></blockquote>

<img src="graemlins/lol.gif" border="0" alt="[Laughing]" />
post #19 of 26
[quote]Originally posted by alcimedes:
<strong>VLC works flawlessly for me all the time. that doesn't seem like much effort. by the same token, i had to download a divx player for my PC too. it's life.

if you want to have Quicktime work better, check for updates. there are a pile of codecs it will automatically download to improve avi compatibility.</strong><hr></blockquote>

VLC doesn't have very good caching. Streaming from slow media can be a problem. Also, VLC's interface in OSX is somewhat lacking. I wish that the interface were more like Apple's own DVD player with respect to the control window. In Windows and Linux, you can click on the video window and get a menu, even at fullscreen. On OSX, when you are fullscreen you only have two option. You can either memorize the shortcuts for the controls, or you have to un-fullscreen the movie to do something to it. This is only minor, but it is an issue that I wish they would address. As well, I wish that they had a slide bar for the audio volume. Sometimes the audio is adjusted too low and I use the 'Max Volume' control, but I wish there was a slider for that as well.

As for downloading DivX players for Windows, in windows DivX works in the system codecs and you can play DivX in Windows Media Player and you can use any video player that uses the system codecs as well to play DivX. This is what most people do. What dstranathan is trying to say is that Apple should fix quicktime so that it can parse AVIs correctly. This is a quicktime bug and not a codec issue. Many parties have submitted this bug to Apple and I cannot believe that they do not know about it at all. A lot of people were disappoint when it wasn't fixed in QT6. Fixing this in quicktime is a major issue because most people that are switching from Windows will see QuickTime as the Mac Video Player, much in the same way that most people only use Windows Media Player in windows.
post #20 of 26
Quicktime hates DivX ... there's a bug in quicktime that doesn't allow it to parse variable bitrate audio in divx files. ( codecs can't fix this to my knowledge )

QuickTime doesn't hate DivX. QuickTime works with DivX codecs fine. What QuickTime hates is when lame-arsed Wintel pirates hack-up the avi shell. QuickTime doesn't support hacks, like DivX in avi. the QuickTime Movie format is designed to accomodate DivX and MP3, which is why .mov DivXs work. Just download the latest offical DivX codec and use DivX validator. It's easy enough, and keeps files playable on PCs so you can share.

The best way to play DivX streamed across a network ( at least over SAMBA from a WinXP box or a Debian box in my experience ) is to use a network cable. The 10baseT that you get over 802.11b ( airport for those that don't know it ) isn't enough bandwidth and the 100baseT seems to be *just* enough. It rarely gets out of sync over a cable.

Nit-pick: 10BaseT refers to the 10Mb/s Cat5 standard, nothing to do with Wi-Fi/Airport. 802.11b is 11Mb/s, not 10Mb/s as well.

VLC also doesn't support .ogm. MPlayer does, but it doesn't have support to soft subs in .ogm. The OGg Media format is pretty new so they still have some time to catch up with that, but there are Windows Codecs and Direct Show filters that support all that currently.

Not many people give a rat's arse about OGG.

If your DivX files have windows media audio for the audio track you're in trouble. MPlayer supports windows media audio, but only on x86 machines, since the support is through the use of the windows binary .DLLs which are x86 compiled. Unless you think that you can convince MS to release them or recompile them for Mac.

Post DivX 3 files use .mp3, so for most recently encoded files you're fine.

Barto
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post #21 of 26
Looks like a couple companies now have DIVX codecs out for OS X (3ivx D4 PR2 for OSX, and the DivX Video 5.component, etc) , so which should I use?

Also, can someone give me a brief history of .avi and divx please? I dont understand them and all the web sites I have found are too geeked out for me. I just want a simple comparison of the 2 formats please.
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post #22 of 26
QuickTime doesn't hate DivX. QuickTime works with DivX codecs fine. What QuickTime hates is when lame-arsed Wintel pirates hack-up the avi shell. QuickTime doesn't support hacks, like DivX in avi. the QuickTime Movie format is designed to accomodate DivX and MP3, which is why .mov DivXs work. Just download the latest offical DivX codec and use DivX validator. It's easy enough, and keeps files playable on PCs so you can share.

Yes, it was a hack but since most DivX is released in .avi and nothing I've heard of will encode DivX into .mov directly, then I'd say it's incompatible with 'divx' by shear volume of divx files. (by directly I mean encode from source ... without an existing DivX file)

As for PC compatibility, I thought that it converted the .avi DivXs into .mov format DivX. Wouldn't that mean that I would need to use QT on PC to play them (QT for windows sorta sucks)? I don't know a whole lot about QT formats new or old, so enlighten me. Even if it doesn't it would be annoying in windows since .mov is usually associated with QT for windows.

Nit-pick: 10BaseT refers to the 10Mb/s Cat5 standard, nothing to do with Wi-Fi/Airport. 802.11b is 11Mb/s, not 10Mb/s as well.

Dude, that really was a nitpick. I said 10baseT as an estimate. Since 802.11b and 10baseT are so close I just say 802.11b has 10baseT speed, though it's technically not correct. Seeing as 10baseT is 10Mb/s it's *about* 802.11b transfer speeds. And since some people still use 10baseT networks that's also giving them a heads-up that streaming could be bad news.

Not many people give a rat's arse about OGG.

Actually a lot of people do since it's closer to .vob than .avi is. It supports multiple audio, and subtitle tracks (this is of most interest to anime groups since there are Jap audio and Eng audio and Eng subs to go with Jap audio, since a lot of the voices in the english versions sound like they used to be the voice for 'Barney the purple dinosaur', but that's another topic). And it doesn't use '.avi hacks by wintel hackers'. Meaning that QT support for .ogm could be good for DivX.

Post DivX 3 files use .mp3, so for most recently encoded files you're fine.

Most recently encoded files? I'll grant you that most DivX doesn't use wma. I only said that as a FYI. Most recent DivX encodes use DivX3. You'd be surprized at the number of DivX files that are recent and using DivX3. XviD seems to be in a 'testing' phase of a lot of places too, with mixed XviD and DivX releases (not one files with mixed codecs, but mixed files ... some releases are DivX and some are XviD). I've even seen some files releases using entirely Open Source codecs (XviD for video, vorbis for audio, and ogm as the container).

[ 01-05-2003: Message edited by: pyr3 ]</p>
post #23 of 26
[quote]Originally posted by dstranathan:
<strong>Looks like a couple companies now have DIVX codecs out for OS X (3ivx D4 PR2 for OSX, and the DivX Video 5.component, etc) , so which should I use?

Also, can someone give me a brief history of .avi and divx please? I dont understand them and all the web sites I have found are too geeked out for me. I just want a simple comparison of the 2 formats please.</strong><hr></blockquote>

If you want to be able to keep sharing files with PC users, use the official (DivX) codec. The codec includes "DivX Validator" which makes DivX files readable in QuickTime while keeping them in AVI. (Answered pyr3's question here as well).

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post #24 of 26
[quote]Originally posted by Barto:
<strong>

If you want to be able to keep sharing files with PC users, use the official (DivX) codec. The codec includes "DivX Validator" which makes DivX files readable in QuickTime while keeping them in AVI. (Answered pyr3's question here as well).

Barto</strong><hr></blockquote>

Does DivX Validator work on VBR audio, though? Last I heard it didn't work too well.
post #25 of 26
It's worked on everything I've thrown at it, with the exception of DivX 3 files.

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post #26 of 26
[quote]Originally posted by pyr3:
<strong>
As for downloading DivX players for Windows, in windows DivX works in the system codecs and you can play DivX in Windows Media Player and you can use any video player that uses the system codecs as well to play DivX.
</strong><hr></blockquote>

I think what he was referring to is the fact that Windows does not ship with the necessary codecs to play DivX files - you have to download & install those first, and this can be a bit of a pain (at least it used to be before the Nimo Codec Pack came along). Once you have done this, you can indeed use any Windows movie player to watch your stuff (well, almost, WMPlayer.exe sometimes has some issues finding the video track).

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