Open AVI File – What is and How to Play – Format and Programs

File type: Audio Video Interleave


What is

The AVI file extension is used with Audio Video Interleave files. This commonly used wrapper format or video container was created by Microsoft to contain video data. Files with the .avi format are encoded in various codecs and usually use minimal compression than other similar formats like MOV or MPEG.

It can be opened by a variety of video players but it must able to support the codec used in encoding the video data.

The files with the .avi are in a container format for multimedia which was first introduced in November 1992 by Microsoft.

It was a part of their technology called Video for Windows.

It is used to store both video and audio in a file container that enables synchronous playback of audio and video. Similar to the DVD format, the files with the .avi format are able to support multiple streaming of video and audio.


Detailed information

Category: Video Files
File format: Proprietary
Open with Windows: NullSoft Winamp, VLC Media Player, Roxio Easy Media Creator, CyberLink PowerDirector, Micoasft Windows Media Player, Apple QuickTime Player, other movie players with the supporting codecs
Open with Linux: VLC Media Player, Xine Multimedia player
The format was derived from RIFF (Resource Interchange File Format) that divides files data into chunks.
By using the RIFF format, audio and visual data in the movie chunk is encoded or can be decoded by a codec.
The codec is then able to translate between raw data and the compressed format used within the chunk.
A file with the .avi file extension can carry audio and visual data in the chunk in any compressed form.