Playing videos is probably the most popular uses of personal computers today, from YouTube to High Definition DVDs, but the technology behind the videos themselves, and the technology required to play them can be totally different.
With video becoming more popular online you have likely run into one or two that you have had difficulty playing on your personal computer. Typically this is due to incompatible formats as well as the wrong or outdated video player. Here is a breakdown of probably the most popular video formats as well as the free video players that play them to keep you entertained and informed!
WMV: This format, which stands for Video Player All Formats is a compressed video format which had been designed by Microsoft. It is one of the popular video formats and can be played both in Windows Media Player and Real Player. It is additionally utilized in the video formatting for HD DVDs and Blu-Ray discs.
MPEG: While MPEG means the developers in the format, the Motion Picture Expert Group the format will be the standard for video and audio compression. This means that it is designed to be accessible and playable in most video players. It is among the most common video format found online and has several versions. The most recent version MPEG-4 part 14 can also be more known as MP4.
AVI: The Audio Video Interleave format is yet another Microsoft developed video format that is commonly found in online applications. It can be easily played on many Windows run computers, however, the AVI format may not be playable on other systems.
SWF: The Shockwave or Flash format was made by Macromedia who are the makers of Flash. Although it does require an extra component to play on both Windows and Mac operating systems, it does come set up in the latest versions of most internet browsers like Internet Explorer and Netscape.
MOV: This video format is property of Apple and is also the standard format for their QuickTime Media Player. To play this format on a Windows computer you either must install the Windows version of the Apple Media Player or download the codec to play it in another Media Player you may already have.
Popular (and free) Video Players
Windows Media Player: This media player not only allows both Windows and Mac users to view video, but additionally play audio files and burn CDs and DVDs. WMP 12 is definitely the latest version in the proprietary media player and it is available to download free from the state website for that player.
QuickTime: The Apple proprietary media player, QuickTime is available both for Windows and Mac and can play most video formats using the appropriate codecs. AVI may not work properly in this particular media player.
Real Player: This cross-platform media player plays several video formats including the Windows and Apple video formats, as well as the popular MPEG-4 format.
Winamp: Produced by Nullsoft, Winamp is a media player that is certainly brbhuv to work together with the Windows operating system. It was a favorite choice for file sharing applications and can play most video formats.
VLC: This media player is one of the most favored independent media players and has a version for all the most used os including Linux. It is a great option for playing video that may be in a corrupted video format, and has an excellent collection of free plug-ins and codecs available.