What Is AVI File Format?

 

recover-deleted-avi

Characteristics and Uses

AVI stands for Audio Video Interleave. It is a video container format developed by Microsoft, and based on the Resource Interchange File Format (RIFF). AVI is part of Microsoft’s Video for Windows software. As a multimedia container it can hold video and audio with synchronous playback.

AVI files are RIFF file format files. A RIFF file is a binary file format containing nested data structures. Each data structure is called a chunk. A chunk contains data, such as a data structure, a data stream, or another chunk called sub-chunk. Each chunk has a four letter ID that identifies the data contained in the chunk.

The structure of a RIFF chunk is as follows:

typedef struct _Chunk

{

DWORD ChunkId;              /* Chunk ID marker */

DWORD ChunkSize;            /* Size of the chunk data in bytes */

BYTE ChunkData[ChunkSize];  /* The chunk data */

} CHUNK;

An AVI file consists of a RIFF chunk, which is tagged as AVI (hex: 41 56 49 20), and it is divided into sub-chunks. Each sub-chunk is identified by Microsoft’s FOURCC code. The first sub-chunk is labelled as hdrl, and functions as a file header, containing information about the video, such as width, height and frame rate. The second sub-chunk is labelled movi and has the video and sound data. The third sub-chunk, identified as idx1, contains indexes. As any RIFF file, it has a RIFF signature (hex: 52 49 46 46) at the beginning of the file.

Brief History

AVI file format was created by Microsoft and introduced in 1992. Its history can be narrated by describing the different versions. These versions evolved in increased capacity, as the operating systems permitted larger file sizes.

Its first version for FAT file systems was limited to 1GB, with pictures limited to 160 x 120 pixels and a maximum of 15 frames per second. With the appearance of FAT16, the maximum size was increased to 2GB, and later with FAT32 to 4GB.

Matrox and others proposed an extension to AVI 1.0 called OpenDML, with ideas later incorporated in AVI files. With Windows 95, AVI files were introduced as Active Movie files and later modified into DirectShow files, also known as AVI 2.0.

File Signature

ISO 8859-1: RIFF….

     AVI.

Hexadecimal: 52 49 46 46 nn nn nn nn

41 56 49 20

Programs That Open AVI Files

Windows:

File Viewer Plus

Microsoft Windows Video

Microsoft Windows Media Player

CyberLink PowerDirector 15 Ultra

Xilisoft Video Converter Ultimate

VideoLAN VLC Media Player

Nullsoft Winamp

Kodi

Mac:

Apple QuickTime Player

Eltima Elmedia Player

VideoLAN VLC Media Player

ShedWorx Smart Converter

Kodi

Linux:

Xine

Kodi

RealNetworks RealPlayer Cloud

VideoLAN VLC Media Player

iOS:

Olimsoft OPlayer

VideoLAN VLC for iOS 2

Google Drive

Android:

BIT LABS Simple MP4 Video Player

Google Drive

Videolabs VLC for Android

Concerns

Some important information, such as scan data, is not included in the file header.

How to Recover Deleted AVI Files

If you want to recover AVI files from your computer or another digital device, it’s easy. Just download Disk Drill, an AVI recovery application that is available for free.

Download Disk Drill data recovery app for Windows  for Mac

Because AVI files have a well-known structure, to recover AVI files is quite straightforward. Just follow these steps:

Step 1: Download Disk Drill from any of the links provided above.

Step 2: Install Disk Drill by clicking on the installer and following the given steps.

Step 3: Select the digital device that contains the file you are looking for. Disk Drill can recover AVI files from many different digital devices, such as internal and external hard drives, USB flash drives, iPods, iPhones, memory cards and more.

Step 4: Go to the main menu, and from the “Preferences” item select “Video”. It will open a menu with different file types. Select “avi”.

Step 5: Click on the “Recover” button. Disk Drill will scan the drive, looking specifically to recover AVI files.

Step 6: If you want to pause the session, save it and return later, you can do so by clicking on the buttons “PAUSE” and “SAVE”. Otherwise, you can also cancel the scan by clicking on “CANCEL”.

Step 7: Select the file that you were looking for from the results window, and recover it to a folder of your choice. A great feature of Disk Drill is that if you have many recovered AVI files this selection can be narrowed down by the use of filters, either by date or by size.

That is all that you need to do for your AVI file recovery.

recover-deleted-avi

How to Use Image Files to Recover AVI Files

As a good practice, you can first create an image file with Disk Drill, and scan it in search for your deleted files. It is safer, because if you make a mistake, it is done on a copy and not on the original source. Thus, you can re-start the search. This is also a standard practice in forensic procedures.

Another important aspect of Disk Drill is its help resources. The online help files are there for you to answer your questions. If you can’t find the answers to your doubts, you can either contact us directly, or via email. There is also a forum available for fan users.

The most popular video format – AVI updated: March 21, 2017 author: corvettus
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