File Extension .Avi

AVI stands for “Audio Video Interleave” and files with this file extension contain multimedia streams information. The AVI format was originally owned and developed by the Microsoft Corporation in the early 90’s to allow them to store both audio and video information in one single file for simultaneous playback purposes. Storing both audio and data video in one file requires two different compression codec for each data stream though. This is achieved by interleaving chunks of audio and video data in one file. This is the reason why AVI files can use varying audio and video compression algorithms, making it popular among different media players that support these different compression algorithms.

Aside from normal audio and video files, AVI files may also contain DV AVI data which is usually produced using a Mini DV tape camcorder. The files produced using this device are AVI files as well though usually big in size (in several gigabytes) but in very good image quality. AVI files in this context however are only used to edit audio and video but data is then compressed in other algorithms where it can be written in CDs and/or DVDs. Thus, any Windows media (audio and video) player can play AVI files.

FLV is a vide container or wrapper that typically uses less compression and so it is similar to other popular formats like MPEG and MOV. AVI files can be opened/played using various multimedia players though as long as the player supports the codec used to encode the AVI file. Below are some of these programs that support AVI files:

Mac OS Apple QuickTime Player

Roxio Toast 11

Roxio Popcorn 4

Adobe Flash CS5

Eltima Elmedia Player

VideoLAN VLC Media Player

Windows Microsoft Windows Media Player

CyberLink PowerDirector 9

CyberLink PowerDVD 11

Roxio Creator 2011

Adobe Flash CS5

Eltima SWF Video Converter

Xilisoft Video Converter Ultimate

VideoLAN VLC Media Player

Nullsoft Winamp Media Player 5.6

ALLPlayer

Linux Xine

VideoLAN VLC Media Player

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