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MPG videos not viewable in Picasa or WMP or Real Player

Posted on 2009-05-04
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Last Modified: 2013-12-07
My wife's Sony digital camera takes MPG videos. I have been unable to view them on my PC with Picasa and WMP for a while now and I want to figure out why. They will open in VLC perfectly. If I open them in QuickTime, the beginning is a bit choppy, like it's trying to load the file or buffer it or something, then after 5 seconds it catches up and plays. In Picasa, I get no video and the audio is garbled and makes a screeching noise.

But - it does work fine on her PC and also on mine with VLC, so it's not the file. I've downloaded codec checking programs and can't seem to make any headway with those.  Maybe I'm not using them properly. Any ideas?
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Question by:RickNCN
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Expert Comment

by:BongSoo
ID: 24304687
This is certainly not my area of expertise (if I even have one) but I would expect it definitely has something to do with the codec. Just because you are checking the codec and not getting any errors doesn't mean that you don't need to convert the video to a codec that Picassa and WMP require.
I encountered a similar problem trying to download videos to my iPod. MPGs still needed to be converted to a different codec that iTunes could use and then I had to convert them AGAIN for my iPod. you might look in to the codecs that the programs you listed require.
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Expert Comment

by:Merete
ID: 24313363
The fact VLC opens them then it's simply a codec issue, but usually mpeg playback issues in WMP is resolved by installing VLC as it provides the direct draw required for mpeg ( DVD)
MPEG4? mpeg2
Do you have Windows media player 10? Update your windows media player to WMP 10 or 11
Picasa and Real palyer are not propriety decoders for dvd ( mpeg)
 If your misses does not have a DVD decoder installed such as power DVD-Win DVD  then the work around is Media player classic or VLC.
Please install ffdshow that should fix it.
http://www.videohelp.com/tools/ffdshow

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by:Merete
ID: 24313385
To add you mention >>I've downloaded codec checking programs and can't seem to make any headway with those<<
try Gspot
It establishes what codecs are installed, drop one of your mpeg onto Gspot and see if you have the codecs installed. It will analyse the video
http://www.videohelp.com/tools/GSpot

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Author Comment

by:RickNCN
ID: 24315027
-I have WMP 11.
-From what I've read on the Picasa boards, Picasa just uses whatever codec Windows (Windows Media Player) uses, so if video isn't working in WMP, it won't work in Picasa either.
-I already have ffdshow insalled. Not sure what to do with it.
- I installed Gspot and opened one of the vids. I'm not 100% sure what to look at but it does say Status is GREEN: "Codecs are installed". In Container it says {1 vid, 1aud} streams.
-I installed another program suggested in another forum I Googled, called "GraphEdit". It shows in a graphical way what happens to the video when it gets decoded. I will create a link somewhere to upload a screen cap of it so you can see it. That program seems to show no video codec is decoding the mpg!

Thanks for your help so far.
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Author Comment

by:RickNCN
ID: 24315104
Here's that Screen Cap of the results of those programs
Fullscreen-capture-562009-101713.jpg
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by:Merete
ID: 24315807
Ffdshow runs in the background, once you open any media player if that codec is required it applies whatever renderring required to that media player automatically.
Is it HD maybe using a frame rate windows media player does not support.
WMP also uses a fair bit of video and system resources where as VLC does not
Do you have sound and no video
Try this in WMP go to tools performance and reduce the video acceleration. it will show what it fixes like video playback problems.
Then try again.
 Please post back any error it shows
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Author Comment

by:RickNCN
ID: 24317157
I'll check those things, but also - if you look at that graph from the GraphEdit program, you see there's no video decoder path. I'll post another graph from an avi taken from my camera which works fine.
Fullscreen-capture-562009-10716-.jpg
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Author Comment

by:RickNCN
ID: 24317204
In the ffdshow program folder all I have are:
"Audio Decoder configuration"
"makeAVIS"
"Uninstall ffdshow"
"VFW configuration"
"Video decoder configuration"

If I open any of the "configuration" icons, it opens a window that shows the configuration just like you'd expect. I see nothing that opens a program that runs in the system tray. I'll check the web and see if there's something else.
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Author Comment

by:RickNCN
ID: 24317562
I was reading up on ffdshow. I opened the video decoder config and there are many entries that say "disabled" for the Decoder:

Fullscreen-capture-562009-14548-.jpg
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Author Comment

by:RickNCN
ID: 24317608
by accident I right clicked and selected "set all stable formats to libavcodec" . don't know if I screwed up something further there. Then I changed MPEG1 and MPEG2 to libavcodec by clicking in the Decoder column next to both and using the drop down menus.
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Author Comment

by:RickNCN
ID: 24318490
now, WMP11 locks up when trying to open an mpeg video. I tried reinstalling it and same result. I've made things worse here.
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Expert Comment

by:Merete
ID: 24320804
gosh, yes there is no need to go that deep, gspot says you have the codecs and the video is fine.
So it's something else like outdated video drivers. Or something in WMP.
WMP always has some issues with mpeg as it's not native to it.
 With mpeg it uses the direct draw, VLC is an open source media player so uses very little to play mpeg or any type of  media where as WMP does.
Try a system restore see if that puts things back.
Then try reducing the hardware acceleration in WMP.
I wouldn't use Picasa or Real player for mpeg video.
I'm off on a short trip now won't be back for a 4 days  sorry.
Wish I see this out with you but have to go.
Keep it simple ok :)
Best wishes and see you Monday or Tuesday.
Merete
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Author Comment

by:RickNCN
ID: 24325381
Thanks for your help thus far. Well, I'm sure I'll still have the problem 4 days from now if you're still interested. But - we may be at a bit of a dead end anyway.
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by:Merete
ID: 24347106
Hi RickNCN, I'm back from gold prospecting lol no gold but 800klm drive inland to Kidstone great time. So hows it going any succes yet?
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Author Comment

by:RickNCN
ID: 24349645
no not yet, been real busy here. haven't had  time to play with it. Where's Kidstone? Sounds like Australia.
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Expert Comment

by:Merete
ID: 24351544
Your in eastern standard time queensland right? It's near georgetown as a ref.
To really test if an mpeg would play in Picasa 3  I used an Nero imported mpeg and a video I made myself.
It plays no problems.
With quicktime, at first it would not play drag and drop so what I did
checked the files types were associating with Video_ mpg and mpeg and the audio associated  mpg layer 3 movies as well.
 I have to go file open file then put it on all files not movie select my video mpg  and now plays.
So check you have Picasa 3
and check your files types in QT is associating with audio and video for mpg



QT-files-types.jpg
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Author Comment

by:RickNCN
ID: 24423089
I'm in Eastern time zone - U.S. actually! I'd love to be in Australia right now. Maybe some day. Sorry for the delay. I'm getting burned out on trying to solve this problem. My business is PC repair. I deal with PCs all day. This problem is on my home/work PC. So to come home and have to deal with engaging the brain to fix this on my own PC is tough sometimes. So - I'll hopefully get back to trying some things in a few days. If not, I'll just close out the question and give you the points. THanks for the help so far.
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Accepted Solution

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Merete earned 500 total points
ID: 24428112
I understand.
It's not really a big problem since VLC plays them.
To keep it simple
>>I get no video and the audio is garbled and makes a screeching noise. << indicates outdated drivers  for the audio card and video card.
Screeching noise may point to the audio codecs used in the video is not compatible with the current installed audio device.
the term MS uses for this is the audio sounds like chipmunks
Get rid of chipmunk noises and other audio-distortion problems
http://www.microsoft.com/windows/windowsmedia/knowledgecenter/mediaadvice/0067.mspx

Video playback choppy may be not enough ram on the system drivers not up to date,
 since VLC is an open  player it does not rely on the video card and system resources to play the mpg
And once again codecs missing that's where Gspot can assist you!
You'll need at least 1 gig of ram to run XP these days with all the HD video HD audio and services updates etc.
On that  note you should  have enough to find the problem.
take care and be well
Merete
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Author Closing Comment

by:RickNCN
ID: 31577666
Well, I haven't found the exact cause yet but everything you've mentioned should help others with the same problem solve it so I'm going to close this out. Thanks for all your help.
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Expert Comment

by:Merete
ID: 24598138
Thank you RickNCN,  it must come down to Vista.
Best wishes
Merete
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