The Best Video Players & Codecs For Playing Your AVI Movies

AviMovies03   The Best Video Players & Codecs For Playing Your AVI MoviesI bet this has happened to you! Trying to watch a movie, you ran into issues and then you frantically queried Google for a way to access it. You would think that with a common file format such as .avi this wouldn’t happen.

Well, to be honest with you, this is not necessarily about finding the right video player for your movie. The truth is that video players require codecs to play video files. There are lots of great video players out there and virtually all of them can play AVI movies. First I will show you the best AVI video players, i.e. those that don’t require codecs, and then I will explain how you can get your AVI movie working in all other media players.

[NO LONGER WORKS] VLC Media Player

If you don’t want to hear about codecs and if you’re not attached to Windows Media Player, may I recommend VLC Media Player? The great thing about VLC Media Player is that it natively supports almost every video and audio format on the planet, including AVI. So if you’re looking for the best AVI video player in terms of convenience, you have just found it.

AVIMovies02   The Best Video Players & Codecs For Playing Your AVI Movies

Key Features:

  • requires no codecs for all standard and many other media files.
  • decodes audio.
  • supports subtitles.
  • portable version available.
  • open source and cross platform.

Care to learn more? Check out my article The VLC Media Player ““ Does it Really Play Everything?

You want options? OK, you shall have them. The fact is, there are at least five more players that provide native support for a great number of media files. One is KMPlayer, but it’s difficult because there is bad documentation. Others include MPlayer, Kantaris, and uPlayer. They’re all great in one way or the other, but I would like to speak more about…

GOM Player

GOM Player comes pre-packed with default codecs, so you won’t have to worry about them. When you first launch the player, it takes you through a setup process, which among other things let’s you choose from three playback modes: normal, high quality, and TV output. In other words, you can optimize GOM Player depending on what you want to do with it.

AVIMovies01   The Best Video Players & Codecs For Playing Your AVI Movies

Key Features:

  • comes pre-packed with standard codecs.
  • codec finder for any missing codecs.
  • can play broken AVI files (so can VLC).
  • supports subtitles and subtitle editing.
  • integrated screen capture tool.

Your Video Player Here

So you already have a favorite video player and you don’t want to install and learn about another piece of software? Fair enough. There is a solution for you too.

It doesn’t matter which player you have. It could be the good old Windows Media Player, Winamp, Media Player Classic, or maybe something more extravagant such as Mozilla’s Songbird. What unites all of them is that they require a codec to play back AVI and many other video file formats.

So this is where you finally get to learn about codecs. The word codec is an abbreviation of coder and decoder. In other words, the video was coded into a certain container, e.g. AVI and the media player software needs to decode it in order to be able to play it. The codec is a little program that helps your media player handle the decoding so that it can read and playback the video file.

When it comes to codecs, you have two options. You can either download one multipurpose codec that can handle most standard audio and video files. Or you can download a codec pack that contains all specific codecs for a wide range of media files. I recommend you save resources and go with the first option.

Multipurpose Codec:

Codec Packs:

So what are you going to do? Will you stick to your media player and which codec option will you choose? Or will you download one of the hassle-free AVI video players that comes with all necessary codecs pre-packed? It’s up to you! Let us know what you decided.

Image credits: Andrea Danti

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29 Comments -

Chris

I wonder why no one ever mentions The KMPlayer in similar articles… It is by far the best media player for Windows. No need for any codec whatsoever and it has much more customizability and definitely much more ease of use than any player I have ever used (and I have tried out most of them). Also it is absolutely free.

Ibrahim Ali

I am now using KM Player and (boy it’s awesome!!) I have to agree.

wantabegeek

I am also surprised that KMPlayer is not mentioned very often. Been using this for a few years now and haven’t even thought about trying anything else.

Tina

KMPlayer is mentioned in the article above. I realize that most of our advanced readers love it because it offers so many more features than other free players.

For people that are a little more challenged or prefer simplicity, however, VLC is the better solution. It’s mainstream, has a proper website to back it up, there is better documentation available (forums are very 90s), and I personally find it easier and more intuitive to use.

All of that doesn’t mean either one is better or worse. I would say they just target different audiences. If you just want to watch movies, maybe use subtitles, and occasionally create and use an mp3 playlist, you don’t really need KMPlayer.

PS: Did you see the recent revamp of the VideoLAN website? Looks pretty cool!

Chris

I’m sorry but what is more intuitive about VLC? In KMP for example you can drag and drop subtitles in the video window at any time, you can scan the video with the mouse’s 4th and 5th buttons (fully customizable) and you can load playlists of files with similar names (or entire folders) with double clicking only one file! I have to disagree with you on that and I think it is not a matter of opinion but really something that people just don’t look at because of VLC’s popularity (partly due to the heavy promotion of such articles).

As far as documentation, I don’t think that the non-advanced user will ever read a forum or a help file. My software non-savvy friends bug me all the time with really simple questions that anyone would find with a simple press of F1 or a google search. The advanced user on the other hand will certainly find the vast amount of customization on KMP a video watchers delight.

Also, you have to admit that VLC’s interface is not the easiest on the eyes…

Tina

I agree that the default interface of VLC is pretty ugly…times 10 if you compare it to the sleek interface of KMPlayer. However, there are tons of great skins available for VLC.

The main problem I have with KMPlayer is that it packs way too many options into the right-click menu. It makes navigation less intuitive and more complicated than it needs to be. It’s easier to find stuff when it’s organized in static menus. The right-click menu should be for basic audio/video controls only.

I think that the non-advanced users you describe wouldn’t even download third-party software. They’re happy with Windows Media Payer. But you’re right, most people, whether advanced or not, are too lazy to search for answers (that’s why MakeUseOf Answers works so well ;). Hence, the interface must be obvious and not leave any questions open. Those are the same people by the way, who wouldn’t even dream about customizing 4th or 5th mouse buttons – too complicated.

But then again, KMPlayer is a great software, I do not disagree. It certainly does deserve an article highlighting all its great features. :)

Ulf

Maybe cause earlier versions used open source filters (playback filters) from Media Player Classic without even mentioning them (since the filters are released under a open source license at least this license has to be added).
Also there are rumors that the closed source project uses source code from open source software Media Player Classic.
I wonder why the famous MPC isn´t listed above. The old one isn´t updated anymore but there´s a new project called Media Player Classic Homecinema that has regular updates.
MPC was the first player that played flash video and shockwave flash presentations (FLV and also SWF).

Tina

Ulf, Media Player Classic is listed under ‘Your Video Player Here’. The MPC I used in the past required codecs. Did that change with the Homecinema version you mention?

Saikrishna Pasupuleti

i prefer VLC media player it is easy to use and plays almost any type of file

Tina

KMPlayer is mentioned in the article above. I realize that most of our advanced readers love it because it offers so many more features than other free players.

For people that are a little more challenged or prefer simplicity, however, VLC is the better solution. It’s mainstream, has a proper website to back it up, there is better documentation available (forums are very 90s), and I personally find it easier and more intuitive to use.

All of that doesn’t mean either one is better or worse. I would say they just target different audiences. If you just want to watch movies, maybe use subtitles, and occasionally create and use an mp3 playlist, you don’t really need KMPlayer.

PS: Did you see the recent revamp of the VideoLAN website? Looks pretty cool!

Angel Crimes

What about splayer? It seeks better than vlc while playing mkv files. Check for yourself while doing a short jump on both players

Ulf

Maybe cause earlier versions used open source filters (playback filters) from Media Player Classic without even mentioning them (since the filters are released under a open source license at least this license has to be added).
Also there are rumors that the closed source project uses source code from open source software Media Player Classic.
I wonder why the famous MPC isn´t listed above. The old one isn´t updated anymore but there´s a new project called Media Player Classic Homecinema that has regular updates.
MPC was the first player that played flash video and shockwave flash presentations (FLV and also SWF).

Chris

I’m sorry but what is more intuitive about VLC? In KMP for example you can drag and drop subtitles in the video window at any time, you can scan the video with the mouse’s 4th and 5th buttons (fully customizable) and you can load playlists of files with similar names (or entire folders) with double clicking only one file! I have to disagree with you on that and I think it is not a matter of opinion but really something that people just don’t look at because of VLC’s popularity (partly due to the heavy promotion of such articles).

As far as documentation, I don’t think that the non-advanced user will ever read a forum or a help file. My software non-savvy friends bug me all the time with really simple questions that anyone would find with a simple press of F1 or a google search. The advanced user on the other hand will certainly find the vast amount of customization on KMP a video watchers delight.

Also, you have to admit that VLC’s interface is not the easiest on the eyes…

Dav532000

I just use Windows Media Player, install Klite codec pack mega, and it plays anything, it is only the codecs that prevents WMP from playing most files, so once installed no problems with play back.

Vignesh Sarma

I have been using kmplayer for a while now.What i like about is the quick loading,good seeking.Also when i play files that are split into two it seamlessly plays the next file.All in all it is pretty surprising package.I have used all the other players mentioned here and i find kmplayer the least troublesome.
If you haven’t tried it yet i suggest you give it a try.

Thedatabug

Since I discovered SPlayer (ShooterPlayer) It has become my favourite and has replaced all the above. Its very light on resources needs no codecs. Has always played everything Ive thrown at it. Looks nicer than VLC despite having a very simple UI. A really cool feature that is disabled by default is it automatically searches and downloads subtitles. (you can switch this off in the options). The only downside is this is a chinese developed program so you have to search for the english version.

Thedatabug

err I should have said that subtitle download is ENabled by degault but can be switched off.

Aibek

option to auto download subtitles is pretty cool, will have to check it
out. thanks for the input!

Vignesh Sarma

I have been using kmplayer for a while now.What i like about is the quick loading,good seeking.Also when i play files that are split into two it seamlessly plays the next file.All in all it is pretty surprising package.I have used all the other players mentioned here and i find kmplayer the least troublesome.
If you haven’t tried it yet i suggest you give it a try.

Tina

I agree that the default interface of VLC is pretty ugly…times 10 if you compare it to the sleek interface of KMPlayer. However, there are tons of great skins available for VLC.

The main problem I have with KMPlayer is that it packs way too many options into the right-click menu. It makes navigation less intuitive and more complicated than it needs to be. It’s easier to find stuff when it’s organized in static menus. The right-click menu should be for basic audio/video controls only.

I think that the non-advanced users you describe wouldn’t even download third-party software. They’re happy with Windows Media Payer. But you’re right, most people, whether advanced or not, are too lazy to search for answers (that’s why MakeUseOf Answers works so well ;). Hence, the interface must be obvious and not leave any questions open. Those are the same people by the way, who wouldn’t even dream about customizing 4th or 5th mouse buttons – too complicated.

But then again, KMPlayer is a great software, I do not disagree. It certainly does deserve an article highlighting all its great features. :)

Mub999

Kmplayer FTW

Mike

I go with VLC over GOM Player over MPlayer… one exception being Quicktime X with Perian and other plugins :)

One thing I don’t like about GOM is that it doesn’t support MPEG2, DTS and AC3 by default. But then again, couldn’t live without GOMtv (http://www.gomtv.net)

sakai

I’ve found that MPC home and the CCCP (combined comunity codec pack) create the best visuals for free. If you want to go a little bit farther, MPC home and CoreAVC create beautiful videos but you’ll need to shell out some money for a CUDA card and CoreAVC itself

Mike

I go with VLC over GOM Player over MPlayer… one exception being Quicktime X with Perian and other plugins :)

One thing I don’t like about GOM is that it doesn’t support MPEG2, DTS and AC3 by default. But then again, couldn’t live without GOMtv (www.gomtv.net)

Aibek

option to auto download subtitles is pretty cool, will have to check it
out. thanks for the input!

Rono_solo

Splayer is lightest & has the better interface comparison to mentioned every player above.Kmplayer is the buggiest player I have ever used.It has a ugy interface & a lot of confusing advanced option.It also unable to handle real media files properly.Sometime When I play some moviefile in fullscreen mode it goes black & nothing can seen.vlc is good but i don’t like its interface.Gomplayer is not a offline player.but if you think about crossplatform player vlc is the best.

sut

After many years I have recently replaced KMPlayer with SPlayer as my default for video. Unlike KMPlayer there is a fully supported portable version which is a major plus. No right-click menu overload, and is the easiest on the eye of any of the major contenders.

DarkDuck

I Like VLC. It works well in Linux and Windows.

Perch72

I Think By Far The KM Player Is The Best Out There I’ve Tried Many players & The Interface Of The KM Is Good & It Plays Anything. You Can Customize It The Way You Want If You Right Click On The Screen You Can Change From Basic To Advanced Options I Would Not Recommend Windows Media Player Classic Or The K-Lite Codec Pack I’ve Had Trouble With Them In The Past But Thats Just My Opinion