Playing AVI MP42 movies in Quicktime player – the better way

Update to my previous AVI playing woes

The solution I found had some serious drawbacks… First of all, unchecking “Open local files immediately” in the Flip4Mac control panel makes the Quicktime player open faster, but it prevents you from fast-forwarding into the movie (it basically considers all movies to be streamed even when they are local). Also, it created weird effects when the movie begins playing – white screens that could be fixed by rewinding the movie after a few seconds, but still annoying. Finally, you still had to go through the Flip4Mac code which, contrary to what I thought (see below) was not technically required to view videos encoded with mp42… and creates some very nasty smudging and smearing effects while playing the movie. So after some digging, I think I found the *real good* solution…

Short version:

  • install the MS-MPEG4v1 and MS-MPEG4v2 codecs (most likely in ˜/Library/Quicktime).
  • Download DivX Doctor II and use it on the naughty AVI files.
  • Watch in amazement as it now plays fine in Quicktime Player.

Long version: There actually was two problems, but it just happened that using the Flip4Mac codec “fixed” both (with the aforementioned restrictions…). While researching on the subject I stumbled on 3ivx Divx Doctor page, and my eyes were drawn to this gem:

I Just Get A White Screen

QuickTime does not have a codec installed to play your Movie.

Make sure you have the 3ivx MPEG-4 codec installed.

If that doesn’t work most likely you have an MP41 or MP42 video. Decoders for these formats can be found here:

So there are standalone mac codecs for MP41 and MP42! I ditched the Flip4Mac codec, installed those new two, and tried out a problematic AVI file. Progress: the video is now playing fine, but without sound. Arg. But don’t leave that Divx Doctor page, as the solution is right there. Apparently Quicktime has trouble playing AVI files that contain “exotic” audio formats – such as MP3 (you can’t get more exotic than that). In a few seconds, Divx Doctor converts the AVI files into perfect MOV files that play perfectly. Perfect.

Now I get to play the movie without wait (either loading or streaming), without nasty visual artefacts, and working rewind/fast forward. Bliss.

I guess I need to keep the Flip4Mac codec around, for all these stupid streaming videos – oh well…

(side note: If, like I did, you get nothing when trying to download Divx Doctor through the official link, try this one, that I found on the google cache of a 3ivx forum page – since the 3ivx forums are currently down. 3ivx apparently uses a distributed server kind of thing that doesn’t always work as it should.End of the side note.)

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4 Responses to Playing AVI MP42 movies in Quicktime player – the better way

  1. Pingback: Bloody Fingers » Quicktime slow to launch: Fixed

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  3. massimo says:

    Thanks a lot. The codec really works it saved me a headache.

  4. Mandax says:

    Thanks for the fix. You saved my day.

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