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AVI Codecs for Media Players

written by: Kristina Dems•edited by: Amy Carson•updated: 5/19/2011

Different types of an AVI codec for media player software are available for download individually or as part of a bundle. Having these codecs installed give you wide support for a wide variety of videos in different bit rates.

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    A number of AVI codec for media player software help you play Video for Windows files with support for a wide variety of bit rates and other video formats. Here are some of the most popular ones that are available.

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    This codec is also known as RealVideo Fractal. It is optimized to handle low data rate videos, usually those that are designed to be embedded on web pages. This is one of the earliest codecs that came with most of the earliest media players. It is no longer being developed but it is still being used in modern media players.

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    This codec is also one of th oldest codecs for video. It is optimized for video conferencing, but of course it can also be used for video files offline, especially those with low data rate and have relatively low motion. Its next iteration is the H.263 codec which offers better quality but still is optimized for low data rates. This advancement of the initial codec is the starting point for the MPEG format's development. MPEG is optimized for higher data rate. Performance in H.261 and H.263 goes down in higher data rates, so if you have these codecs in your low end machine, you might experience a lot of slow downs if you use them to play videos.

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    VDOLive is optimized for streaming video. It plays movies in true streaming mode, which means playback is continuous with no substantial pauses regardless of your connection speed. This is done by optimizing the bandwidth and data ratio of a connection. This is only possible if the server serving the video files have a special VDOLive software installed. Without this software, streaming will not work. Another downside to this codec is that since it presents video continuously after adjusting to the available bandwidth, the video quality might suffer with poor images or poor sound.

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    The Indeo codec was developed by Intel. It features the ability to decompress and compress video, as well as Progressive Download that is a feature that allows for high quality playback of videos via Internet connection. Its compression quality maintains good video quality and great performance when using processors with MMX technology. This codec also offers flexibility in key frame intervals that involve a single key frame in a file, all frames being a key frame in a file and an interval that can be set anywhere from every 2 frames to evry n frames where n is a value with no upper limit. In addition to this flexibility in key frames, it also has flexibility in application as it can be incorporated in multimedia applications and games.

    The Indeo codec is now being developed by Ligos. Its development involves constantly improving the compression algorithm to provide better video quality and playback performance. Its flexibility is still its primary strength as it can handle playing videos at different bit rates with significant differences in quality.

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    Cinepak is one of the most versatile codecs available as it is compatible with most computer systems available, new and old. It is optimized to play small movies from CD-ROM drives but it also provides good performance in movies with higher data rates. It is included in most of the popular media players because of this versatile nature, even though newer codecs offer better quality and better performance in slower machines.

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    One of the most popular codecs for video available is DivX. It became a major player in video codecs because of its ability to playback and encode digital videos in different video formats. Its greatest strength is its compression technology that allows for high definition video to be encoded using minimal file sizes. This makes it ideal for video downloads in different formats, including AVI. It even features noise reduction in videos with minimum impact to the video quality. This is very useful especially for people who record videos using DV cameras. This codec often comes bundled with the DivX player, the DivX Converter and other DivX software.

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    Xvid is an open source codec that features compression technology that is widely used in video that are stored in hard drives and those available on the Internet. Its high compression rate without sacrificing video quality is its main strength. In addition to this exceptional compression capability, its free and open nature make it an excellent codec to be continuously developed by anyone. This ensures the longevity of the codec to be very high.

    Some of its builds are developed by individuals while others are done by whole communities. A couple of the most popular builds of the Xvid codec are Nice's XviD codec and Koepi's XviD codec. Different builds include improvements like masks, filters, and support for additional FourCC codes.

    Different kinds of an AVI codec for media player applications can be downloaded and installed individually or they can be acquired as part of a bundle. Installing bundles of codecs ensures you have the widest coverage for all kinds of formats and bit rates possible.

    You may also be interested in reading The Best Codec Pack.

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