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What is AVI (Audio Video Interleaved)

Rob Parsons Updated on Jul 8, 2022 7:09 PM


AVI, which stands for Audio Video Interleaved, is a media file format created by Microsoft to play video files. AVI files include video and audio data into its container and support audio-video synchronization. AVI container format derives from RIFF (Known as Resource Interchange File Format) which was created in 1991 to store multimedia. In comparison with other widely used formats such as MOV and MPEG, AVI is less compressed with larger file size.

Features of AVI File Format

AVI file format can be encoded with a variety of codecs like DivX and XviD to achieve high quality of audio and video with satisfying compression, so it can be used to produce promos, short videos and more. For it to be compatible with the DV standard, another file type of AVI called DV-AVI is compressed. Because of its Microsoft-natured feature, it can be used on many Windows platforms as well as other non-native operating systems. However, the AVI files can be larger than other formats or can lead to loss of quality if compressed improperly.

Usage of AVI File Format

As introduced by Microsoft, AVI can be played in most Windows software. Thus, many people take it as the mainstream format to hold audio and video streams on their PC. Besides, there are a variety of AVI players such as VLC, DivX Player and ALLPlayer as well as web-based services.

But in Mac platform, the Apple default multimedia player - QuickTime has a limit support of AVI playback on Mac. According to Apple document, QT would support Motion JPEG (M-JPEG) up to 35 Mbit/s, 1280 by 720 pixels, 30 frames per second, audio in μlaw, PCM stereo audio in .avi file format.

To play AVI files on the devices that don't accept the codec of the format, there are several ways to achieve it. For example, If you want to view AVI video on your iPad, you can convert the format to Apple-friendly format like MP4 and MOV. Alternatively, you can choose to use a omnipotent video player that allows playback of various file formats including AVI. To play AVI with QuickTime on Mac, you can use an add-on called Perian to make playback happen.

    Four main types of AVI
  • H.264/MPEG-4AVC VideoFormat(*.avi) is an extension of MPEG4 video format, owns higher compression rate. Get a full instructions on converting .avi to .mp4 on Mac.
  • AVI —Audio-Video.lnterleaved(*.avi), is a format that mixed up languages.
  • Lossless.uncompressed.AVI(*.avi ) is mainly used for video editing.
  • AVI with DVcodec(*.avi) is a video editing format as well.

Programs that play AVI file

Windows: Windows Media Player, Microsoft Windows Video, VideoLAN VLC media player, Nullsoft Winamp, etc

Mac: Apple QuickTime Player, Eltima Elmedia Player, Kodi, etc

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