Playing AVI with QuickTime on Mac Troubleshooting

Have trouble playing AVI with QuickTime on Mac OS X? Yes, a lot of Mac users may have this problem. Some may even find that their QuickTime player can play some AVI videos not another. So why is this inconsistency? Is this a problem of the QuickTime player or the AVI video files? In this article, we will discuss why some Audio Video Interleaved (AVI) multimedia files do not play in QuickTime and provides methods for playing AVIs on Mac OS X.

Playing AVI with QuickTime on Mac Troubleshooting

AVI stands for Audio Video Interleave. The .AVI format is what is known as a container format. It specifies a way in which a file may contain audio and video data. It does not specify how that data is encoded. The encoding of audio and video data is specified in what are known as codecs. A codec (short for COmpressor/DECompressor) tells the computer how to decode the audio and video tracks that have been encoded within the .AVI file. QuickTime Player can use numerous codecs by default. You can also add additional codecs to extend QuickTime’s features using plug-ins or third-party installations.

Ok. Now we know that if the AVI video is using video or audio codec that is known to QuickTime player, they will not play properly with QuickTime. For example, many DivX encoded files carry the .avi extension. QuickTime does not include native DivX support, even though QuickTime 6 and later support the ISO Standard MPEG-4 media compression format and DivX is based on the MPEG-4 standard.

How to Know the Codec of the AVI videos using QuickTime Player?

If you want to know the codec used in the AVI video, you can open the file in QuickTime Player. From the Window menu, choose Show Movie Info or Show Movie Inspector (the name may vary on different versions of QuickTime player). The codec is listed next to Format.

How to Play AVI Videos on Mac OS X?

We have found that the following four methods will enable viewing most AVI files that do not play in QuickTime.

Method 1. Install QuickTime Component – Perian

Perian is an excellent, free, and open source QuickTime component. If you want to use QuickTime as your main video player, you may choose to download Perian because it provides the necessary codecs or components that will allow you to play AVI on Mac.

Method 2. Convert AVI to QuickTime movies or Mac compatible formats

A specially designed Mac video converter is preferred. This is the recommended solution if you want to play or edit your videos on other Apple software and devices, such as QuickTime, iTunes, iMovie, iPad, iPhone, etc. This video converter is fully compatible with Mac OS X, Mountain Lion, Lion, and Snow Leopard. Following Mac video converting tutorial makes the whole conversion process quite simple: How to convert videos to MP4 format?

Method 3. Other than QuickTime, use another player

You can download and install the freeware VLC Media Player for OS X.

Now We know the methods to play AVI files that do not play in QuickTime. If you find other methods to play AVI video on Mac, leave us a message in the comment section so other users can benefit from your skills and experience.