When Videos Only Play Audio

Filed under Arcade, Media, Troubleshooting

image I recently was doing some work with some videos. Things were working just fine at one point, but then I installed the latest version of JRiver Media Center (version 13).

Whammo. My videos wouldn’t play anymore. Well, actually, they’d play audio, but the video was just black.

I thought it was the particular app I was using, so I tried Media Center, and Microsoft’s Media Player. Same result.

From past experiences, I figured something had hosed a codec (codecs are utility libraries installed on your machine that code and decode video and audio files, each format has it’s own codec).

But, where to start looking?

So, I did some googling and found a great page that lists all the various FOURCC codes for codecs:


From that, I found a little app you run against a specific AVI to determine what codec it uses, called GSPOT:


Running that against the AVI in question yielded the XVID codec.

Alternatively, just view the AVI in a hex editor and look at the header in the file:


You should be able to pick out the four character CC code fairly readily.

Then, from the table at FOURCC, I went to the xvid codec page:
Downloaded and installed. Presto! Videos with audio and video again!

It’s just that simple 🙂

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