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Member Since: Oct 27, 2005
Posts: 4,714
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Originally Posted by MacNewbie View Post
im just wondering why the other software i downloaded "Perian" says that it wll let u play avi videos and mpeg4s yet it doesnt considering how highly regarded this product is amongst mac users im confused as to why it wont play on mine..
Don't forget that the .avi file is just a simple container in which the sound and audio files are kept. Just because it's an .avi file doesn't mean that QuickTime will play it as the audio or video may have been encoded using a codec that is unfamiliar to QuickTime.

I had a look around and found this:

Learn why an .AVI file may not play as expected in QuickTime Player.

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.

When QuickTime opens an .AVI file, it checks to see which codecs were used to encode the audio and video tracks within it. For example, an .AVI file may contain a video track encoded in the Cinepak codec and an audio track encoded with the ALaw 2:1 codec. If both the audio and the video were compressed using a codec that QuickTime can use, the file will play normally. If the audio or video or both were created using codecs that QuickTime cannot use, you may see a message like the following:

"QuickTime is missing the software needed to perform this operation. Unfortunately, it is not available on the QuickTime server"

"You may experience problems playing a video track in "filename.avi" because the required compressor could not be found."
These messages are not an indication that anything is wrong with QuickTime Player.
These codecs below are also useful and fill more specific need rather than act as a swiss army knife like Perian.

3ivX codec. A free version of this MPEG4 codec is available for Mac users on their download page.
A52 codec. This codec is very useful for viewing .avi files encoded with A52 audio.
AC3 codec. This codec is very useful for viewing .avi files encoded with AC3 audio.
DivX for Mac codec. A free version is available for watching DivX movies, a commercial solution for encoding movies is available as a free 15 day demo. Free beta versions (including DivX 6 for Intel based macs) are also available from
Flip4Mac. A free solution, offering playback of AVI, ASF, ASX and non-DRM protected WMA and WMV files.
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