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Playing video files in Vivien

Discussion in 'Technical Support' started by Dany, Dec 2, 2020.

  1. Dany

    Dany Administrator
    Staff Member

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    Vivien 2021 is able to load and play back video files with .mpg, .avi, .mp4, .mkv, .wmv and .mov extensions. However, in the world of video files, extensions mean little, because it is the CODEC that the video in the file was encoded with that determines whether it will actually play back or not. This is a very important concept to understand, as most video files can have their extension changed and they will still play back, so long as the CODEC that was used to encode the video in that file is present. For example, a video file encoded with the Xvid CODEC can be called Xvid_video.avi, Xvid_video.mpg, Xvid_video.mov, Xvid_video.wmv, and so on, but regardless of the extension, the file will ONLY play back if the Xvid CODEC is installed on the computer where Vivien is used.

    As a general rule, if WinAmp (available from http://www.winamp.com/) and/or Windows Media Player (typically installed together with Windows) can play the video file, Vivien will be able to do so too. It is important to note that a video player such as VLC will ALWYAS be able to play almost any video file, regardless of extension or CODEC, because such players have CODECs built-in and therefore do not depend on CODECs being installed on the computer to play back the file; therefore, just because a file plays in VLC does not necessarily mean that it will play in Vivien.

    To find out what CODEC a video was encoded with, you may use MediaInfo (available from https://mediaarea.net/en/MediaInfo) or any other such utility. To find out if the necessary CODEC is installed on your computer, you may use InstalledCodec (available from http://www.nirsoft.net/utils/installed_codec.html) or another similar utility. To find, download and install CODECs that are missing from your system, I recommend a simple Google search. Finally, CODEC packs such as K-Lite or FFDShow can be helpful because they install many common CODECs at once, but they can also cause problems, especially when/if CODECs that are part of the pack are already installed or are installed separately, after the pack is installed; as such, I recommend familiarizing yourself with the contents of the pack, reading reviews, etc., before actually downloading and installing one.

    Note: on a couple of very rare occasions, even though everything seemed to be fine--all the necessary CODECs were installed and WinAmp & WMP played the video correctly--Vivien was still unable to play the video. Such problems were caused by the video files themselves, and required special handling within Vivien. These special handles were added to Vivien in order to prevent the same issues in the future, but this could only be done in the next version of the software. The interim solution was to simply transcode the video to a different CODEC. This can be done quite easily (though the transcoding can take some time, depending on processing power and the CODECs used) using software such as DVD VideoSoft's Free AVI Video Converter (which is free and available from http://www.dvdvideosoft.com/products/dvd/Free-AVI-Video-Converter.htm#.VD2UAU10w-U).


    Thanks,

    Dany
     

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