Can’t open a video with your player? These are the reasons

Whether it is a video downloaded from the Internet, recorded with our mobile phone or a camera, or assembled by us, to open it it is necessary to use a multimedia player. This program is in charge of reading the file, decoding its content and displaying it on the screen frame by frame. Windows has its own player included as standard, and then we can download and install an infinity of them, both free and paid. But what happens if, when opening a video, it does not play and gives an error?

Are you sure it’s a video?

One of the most common reasons why a video may not work properly in the media player is because it is not actually a video. How is it possible? This is very common, especially in videos downloaded from P2P networks, and even if the file ends in .avi or .mp4, it may actually be another file that has had the extension changed.

It may be a compressed file, a photo, a song … the possibilities are endless. It may even be that it really is a video, but the file header has been corrupted and therefore it is not recognized as such by the players. The possible solutions are limited, and there is generally nothing we can do.

The opposite case can also happen, and that a .RAR file is not a compressed file and, when opening it with VLC, we can see a video. But if so, it usually doesn’t bode well.

Codec issues in the player

Another of the most common problems that we can find is that the player is not compatible with the file format. Even if it is a video in AVI or MP4, the codec below may not be compatible with our player. This was much more common in the past, and today there are usually no problems of this type. But, especially with the Windows player, they may even exist.

The solution is very simple. We must install a player that includes the highest number of codecs so as not to have a single compatibility problem. VLC and Media Player Classic They are two excellent options that, without a doubt, will not give us problems. Another option we have is to install a codec pack on the PC so that the player we often use can read those formats.

DRM, or copyright

Third, if we have a video that has Copyright, or some kind of DRM, our multimedia player may give us problems when playing it. This is also common with the original DVD or Blu-Ray that we try to reproduce on our computer.

To solve this problem we must meet two requirements. Firstly, that the player is compatible with the most used DRM systems, and secondly, that we have an Internet connection to be able to validate the DRM and proceed with the reproduction. In this case, the players that usually give the most problems are the free ones and OpenSource, so a commercial one (the Windows one, or a paid alternative) should work without problems.

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