AfterDawn: Glossary


libavcodec is a code library developed as part of the FFmpeg project. Many free and open source media players and encoders use it to support various audio and video formats, including all standard consumer formats. libavcodec can be used on all standard operating systems (Windows, OS X, and Linux).

FFmpeg Development
Due to constant development of FFmpeg none of its components, including libavcodec, have standard releases like most software. Rather, there are regular stable updates. Because of this, there will be times that the current libavcodec version used by a particular program will have only partial support for new formats. In many cases, though, libavcodec offers support for new formats and standards before they're widely supported in most consumer software.

Video and Audio Support
Several formats, including FFmpeg's FFV1 lossless format, can be encoded (created) as well as decoded (read). Others can only be decoded at this time. Since libavcodec is constantly under development, we only give a partial list here. For complete information on libavcodec visit the FFmpeg project homepage.

Partial List of Supported Video Formats

Unless noted all formats can be encoded as well as decoded
  • MPEG-1
  • MPEG-2
  • MPEG-4 ASP and SP (DivX, XviD, 3IVX, etc,...)
  • MPEG-4 AVC/H.264 1
  • VC-11 (WMV 9 Advanced Profile)
  • WMV 7
  • WMV 8
  • FLV1 (Flash Video)
  • DV
  • MJPEG (similar to DV)
  • HuffYUV
  • FFV1 (FFmpeg lossless)
  • Snow (FFmpeg lossy)
  • RealVideo RV10
  • RealVideo RV20

Partial List of Supported Audio Formats

Unless noted all formats can be encoded as well as decoded
  • AC-3 (Dolby Digital)
  • MP2
  • MP32
  • FLAC (open source lossless compression)
  • Apple Lossless1 (used in iTunes)
  • Monkey's Audio1 (another lossless format)
  • Shorten1 (another lossless format)
  • Vorbis (open source format similar to MP3)
  • ATRAC31 (Sony format similar to MP3)
  • WMA 1
  • WMA 2
  • WavPack 1
1 Decode only
2 Encoding requires LAME encoder

libavcodec and Other Software

You can find links below to software that uses libavcodec.

Playback Guides With libavcodec Related Software

How to play MP4 files
  • MP4 files (MPEG-4 Part 14) are multimedia files. MP4 is a container format that can store video, audio and subtitle data (as well as more depending on content). Since stores like iTunes uses this container format, and it is used with iPod and PlayStation Portable (PSP), MP4 files have become more common.... (Read More)
How to play TS files
  • TS files are nowadays very wide spread on the Internet as (usually split) recordings from HDTV broadcasts. As an MPEG format, there are a variety of players and methods to play back TS files or to "convert" them to more complaint MPEG-2 files for authoring as DVD / HD DVD.... (Read More)
How to play RMVB files
  • RMVB is a RealMedia Variable Bitrate file. RMVB is one of the newest file formats created by Real Networks and it has grown a pretty large following since its introduction due to its smaller file sizes yet still comparable quality when compared to other formats such as Xvid and DivX.... (Read More)
How to play ASF / WMV files
  • ASF stands for Advanced Systems File (or Advanced Streaming File) and WMV is Windows Media Video. They are part of the Windows Media framework and therefore playback under a Windows operating system is not very hard at all.... (Read More)
How to Play MPG and MPEG files
  • (Read More)
How to play OGM files
  • An OGM file is an OGG media file. OGM is a container format that can store video streams, audio streams and subtitles. This article shows how to play OGM files and use some of its advantages over the AVI container.... (Read More)
How to play MKV files
  • An MKV file is a Matroska file. Matroska is an open source container format. It is an alternative to the popular AVI and MP4 formats and it also surpasses them in many areas.... (Read More)
How to play FLV files
  • Flash Video (FLV) is becoming more popular on the web since it can easily be embedded in a webpage and is supported by most operating systems via the Adobe Flash Player and web-browser plugin. It is the file format of choice for giants such as YouTube, Google Video and MySpace.... (Read More)
How to play AVI
  • How to play AVI? is probably the most common question a person new to digital video asks. The same question is being asked by many ways: "I downloaded a movie and it wont play", "AVI wont open!" and "This video doesn't work!" -- all of them asking basically the same question.... (Read More)

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