All about AVI on Mac


What is an AVI?

AVI, an abbreviation for Audio Video Interleave, is a multimedia container format developed by Microsoft in 1992. An AVI file can carry audio/visual data inside in almost any compression scheme, including: MPEG-4, XviD, DivX and others. AVI has become a de-facto standard because it is widely supported on hardware and by operating systems.

Most AVIs contain a DivX, and require a quicktime component to be used on a Mac.

Some AVIs contain a WMV. Click here for more information on how to play WMV

How to Play AVI on Mac

Although all Mac computers should be able to play an AVI with AVI player software, you may need to install a playback component if you haven’t already done so. You can also play AVI on some, but not all DVD players.

  • For Mac OS X 10.4 or later Users, install the Perian Quicktime Component
    • To download this AVI component, go to our Digital Video Resource Page
    • To install the component, double-click the installer and follow the instructions
  • For Mac OS X 10.1 to 10.3 Users, install the Universal AVI Quicktime Components
    • To download this AVI component, go to our Digital Video Resource Page
    • To install the component, double-click the installer and follow the instructions

Because an AVI is a container that usually contains a divx, it will probably play after you’ve installed the appropriate component listed above. But, if your AVI contains a WMV instead, you’ll need to install an additional component. Click here for information on how to play WMV on Mac OS

There can be difficulties with the sound with some AVIs. If the AVI plays, but there is no sound, it may contain AC3 audio, and you’ll need to install an additional component to hear the sound. Click here for more information about the AC3codec.

For more information, check these links

How to use AVI on Mac with Apple’s iMovie or iDVD

Apple’s iMovie and iDVD don’t support AVI as in input format. Before using your AVI with these applications, you’ll have to convert it to a supported input format, like Quicktime (.mov).

To convert AVI to Quicktime, you’ll need converter software, like VCD and MPEG Tools by Burning Thumb Studios.

How to Convert AVI to DVD, VCD, SVCD, MPEG and more on Mac

Some DVD players support the AVI format and you’ll be able to play AVI directly by burning it to a disk and then playing it. But most users will have to convert AVI to a format recognizable by their DVD player first, an MPEG format such as DVD, VCD or SVCD. To make an AVI in to a playable disk, you need to

  • Convert the video files from AVI to DVD, VCD or SVCD
  • Create the disk image
  • Burn the disc

In order to convert an AVI on your computer, you may need to install a component.

  • For Mac OS X 10.4 or later Users, install the Perian Quicktime Component
    • To download this AVI component, go to our Digital Video Resource Page
    • To install the component, double-click the installer and follow the instructions
  • For Mac OS X 10.1 to 10.3 Users, install the Universal AVI Quicktime Components
    • To download this AVI component, go to our Digital Video Resource Page
    • To install the component, double-click the installer and follow the instructions

In addition,¬†you’ll need an app¬†to convert the AVI to one of these formats, as well as software to burn the disk.

To convert an AVI to MPEG, you can use iVCD, which will either just convert the files to MPEG, or convert them and burn them in just one step.

AVI for Mac Resources