Problems with WMV9-Encoded .AVIs


Hello, my forum searches resulted in issues with .WMVs, but I couldn't find anything that directly discussed .AVIs that were WMV9-encoded. If there is another topic that does deal with this, I'll be more than happy to close this. :eek:

In the past, I had collected some AVIs that I was unable to play in Quicktime 6.5.2 (well, I could open them, but it had major issues with playing the video due to the "required compressor" not being found and would always crash very soon after starting), so I left them alone until recently when I rediscovered them and tried once again to get them working. The problem seemed to be that they were WMV9-encoded, and whether I tried it in QT or VLC, the video would never work and it would always crash.

None of the programs I've used have worked, and most of the answers I found had to do with using Windows to convert (which... can be done, but would require some help from friends and a decent wait). So... is there any relatively simple method to either convert these AVIs or get them to work some other way, on a Mac? I'm running Mac OS X 10.3.7, on a iMac G5, if that would help.

Sorry for the big write-up. Thanks a lot!


I tried Flip4Mac, and though it works great on WMV files, it doesn't seem to change anything with the AVIs I have. :( Perhaps the paid version can do it?

I have a few other programs I could try, and I might be able to get ahold of a PC laptop for a couple of days... hopefully either of those might work.


Crotchety UI Nitpicker
Short answer. No. They are unusable on the Mac.

Long answer: WMV3 (which is the actual name of the Windows Media Player 9 video codec) is a proprietary codec. Unlike preview WMV formats, it isn't "close enough" to existing standards for third-party developers, like those behind VLC, to support. So there are not many programs capable of decoding the data. The only other decoder out there is Flip4Mac's, which for some reason will only acknowledge WMV3 data in WMV or mov files (don't ask me why; some codecs are just annoying that way). And, of course, WMP can't play AVIs.

The problem here is that WMV3 is simply not supposed to be in AVIs. There's no reason it should be, and even Microsoft doesn't support it. I don't know why any programs even allow for this encoding method.

In theory, there ought to be some way to simply transfer the video data from the AVI into a WMV. But I don't know of any programs that can do this.


Ah, okay. Well, I think I'll be able to access a friend's PC tomorrow, so I'll try converting the AVIs on that instead.

Thanks a lot for the help! :D