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Video codec problem on Mac

Posted on 2011-02-27
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Last Modified: 2012-05-11
After a "perfect storm" involving a hard disk crash, and the inability to recover one of my accounts, I have also lost the ability to play old video files.

I tried to update or reinstall the DivX codec set, but I don't remember what I had originally done to get the videos to play.

These are mpg and avi files. I do have Flip4Mac also.

Some of the files don't play at all; others are highly "shortened." That is, an 8 minute video appears to be only 28 seconds long.

I am thinking if I had the right codec, this could solve the problem.
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Question by:jasimon9
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by:gecko_au2003
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http://www.divxmovies.com/codec/

you should be able to use the installer to remove and re install ( I would reboot in between re installing this )

That or you can either use mplayer or vlc

( www.videolan.org/vlc ) or http://www.mplayerosx.ch/
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by:Merete
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Hello jasimon9,
could you test your problem videos in gspot and post back a snapshot
Gspot will report any anomolies with files and if your system doesnt have the supported codecs
Are there DRM in place?
http://www.videohelp.com/tools/GSpot

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by:jasimon9
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Perhaps it was not clear, but installing DivX is not the problem. I just newly installed it.

However, when I first got the Mac, I installed DivX and probably some other items to get going, and that is what I do not remember fully. VLC was one of them, and VLC gives the same results. That is, many files now are "shortened". That is, and 8 min video appears to be only 28 seconds long.

Regarding gspot - I remember that one from long ago. However, it is Win only afaik. So somewhat of an issue to use it as the files are now on my Mac.

No DRM.
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by:Merete
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Drop one of the clips onto VLC then> tools> media information>codec details
When you play the file in VLC does it play to it's full correct length? Regardless the length states only 28 secs?
I have seen this isssue with some videos that were from a camera.
QuickTime format or a Hdef format was used.
Using the latest version of VLC it has a record tab to record what you play, enable the advanced controls from View then you'll see a red button just hit that and it record, it stops once the clip ends.
Saves to my documnets as a vlc_record
you might be able to fix it by recording it thus rerenderring it to a different format. Vlc saves to mp4
Vlc can also convert files. In VLC go to Media convert/save
Have you tried playing them in quicktime?
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by:gecko_au2003
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There is media info on the mac

http://www.apple.com/downloads/macosx/system_disk_utilities/mediainfomac.html

If you still want to use gspot then you can download, install virtual box and assuming you have a windows disc you should be able to install a virtual copy of windows onto your mac for the purposes of being able to identify the codecs being used

http://www.virtualbox.org/

As above it may report the wrong amount of time but if it plays the full video then I would think it would be ok, if you want it to display the correct playback time you may have to use something like handbrake to convert the video format

http://www.handbrake.fr
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by:jasimon9
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Quicktime only plays the first 28 seconds.

Before I opened the question I tried Handbrake but it hangs on trying to open the file.
 
Originally before I opened this question VLC only played the first 28 seconds. But now while it still shows the video as 28 seconds long, and only plays 28 seconds when started from the beginning, if you position the slider to places in the video, it does play the whole thing. So this is a partial workaround. I am not sure what "improved" the situation for VLC, but I would guess that one of my attempts to install codecs has worked. Maybe Perian. Not sure because I am not sure when VLC gained this workaround.

WMP from within an XP VMWare VM has always played the whole thing.

I believe in the past when I got such results I was able to repair the file by loading it into Adobe Premier Elements and converting or rewriting the file. But I don't have Premier installed on any machine at the moment.

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by:gecko_au2003
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Are you able to taking into consideration any legalities regarding copyright and or also if you do or don't want to upload the video file or one of them that I could play around with to see if I could establish some way of playing the whole video clip / file.

When you upload the said video clip, if you can post to advise how long it plays on OS X ie 29  seconds and also how long the video clip should be ie 4 mins 30 seconds or whatever ??

Thanks
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by:jasimon9
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Actually I consider the workaround has resolved the issue with this particular file.

I am wondering if there is some general information about the situation when a video only plays a portion, but will play it all if you move around in the file.
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jasimon9 earned 0 total points
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Actually, I think the workaround was achieved after I installed Perian, which provides numerous codecs. So going to close this question.

Perian is great!
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Author Closing Comment

by:jasimon9
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Perian provided the missing codec, whatever it was.
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