How can I find out what codec an avi is using?

Discussion in 'Mac Apps and Mac App Store' started by bpetruzzo, Jul 12, 2009.

  1. bpetruzzo macrumors regular

    Oct 22, 2005
    I've got a lot of videos that were created on a PC using Adobe Premiere a long time ago. They're all AVI files which won't play on my mac. I'm hoping I'll be able to find whatever codec they're using, but first I need to figure out what codec that is. How can I figure that out?
  2. lorductape macrumors 6502


    Jun 23, 2006
    t3h usa
    well first of all they WILL play on the mac. try VLC or Doubletwist.
  3. bpetruzzo thread starter macrumors regular

    Oct 22, 2005
    Hmm. Well, would you look at that. I've had VLC all this time and didn't think to try it. I'm still interested in seeing if there's a way to bring it into QT though. I prefer to keep things integrated. Can I view the codec in VLC?
  4. MisterMe macrumors G4


    Jul 17, 2002
    Install Flip4Mac for WMV and Perian [almost] everything else.
  5. Cinder6 macrumors 6502


    Jul 9, 2009
    To find out the codec used:

    1. Open
    2. cd to the directory that has the file in question
    3. Type 'file thevideofileyouwant.avi'

    That'll tell you the codec used. The 'file' command is actually very useful in finding out information for a lot of different filetypes.

    Here's an example from my system. Hopefully it's readable; my prompt is color-coded and doesn't look great when it's in B&W.
    └─(~:%)── cd Movies                                                ──(Jul 13)─┘
    └─(~/Movies:%)── file Chrono\ Resurrection.avi                     ──(Jul 13)─┘
    Chrono Resurrection.avi: RIFF (little-endian) data, AVI, 640 x 480, ~30 fps,
    video: DivX 5, audio: uncompressed PCM (stereo, 22050 Hz)
  6. Queso macrumors G4

    Mar 4, 2006
    Open the movie in VLC, then go to the Window menu and open the Media Information dialog. The codec for each stream is listed.
  7. sven- macrumors member

    May 14, 2009

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