AVI - Microsoft Audio/Visual Interleaved

What is a AVI file

AVI files have become ubiquitous as one ofe the leading audio and video files by now. AVI stands for Audio Video Interleave and was developed by Microsoft in 1992. Files with this extension can be played by various video players. AVI files allow simultaneous audio with video playback because they contain audio and video information in a single file. Due to its easy architecture, AVI files can be played on different operating systems like Windows, Unix, Mac and Linux and are even supported by almost every browser.

AVI has been acquired from the Resource Interchange File Format (RIFF). This file format divides the file data into chunks and each chunk then gets recognized by a FourCC tag. In an RIFF file, an AVI file takes up the form of one individual chunk and is further subdivided into one optional chunk and two mandatory chunks. The first sub chunk is recognized by the hdrl tag and is the file header which contains metadata about the video. The second is identified by the movi tag and contains actual audio/visual data that makes up the AVI movie. Created by Microsoft, the video container or wrapper format stores video data that can be encoded in a variety of codecs and uses less compression than other formats like MOV and MPEG.

Here's a small, but not exhaustive list of programs that can open AVI documents:

  • Video Lan VLC Player
  • Microsoft Windows Media Player
  • Apple Quick Time Player
  • DIVX Player