What is RMVB File Format?

RMVB or RealMedia Variable Bitrate is a file format developed by RealNetworks. It is a video file compressed by using a variable bit rate, which is optimized for the content of the video. The RMVB file format is based on the RM (Real Media) file format, but with a more efficient compression technology. These files have the extension .rmvb, and are used to store media locally, because they are not designed for video streaming.

Characteristics and Uses

RMVB file format

RM files are composed of a series of chunks. The main chunks are: .RMF: file header, PROP: file properties, MDPR: media properties header, CONT: metadata, DATA: file data, and INDX: file index.

The file header must be the first chunk, and only one per file. The PROP chunk contains general information about the file, and there must be only one per file. The MDPR contains information about the type of stream and the codec used. The fields have the same meaning as in the PROP chunk, but they refer to a stream. There must be one per stream in the file. The CONT chunk contains information about the content of the RM file, such as author, title and so on. The DATA chunk contains a set of packets. And, the INDX chunk contains index entries for a single stream. Thus, there can be one INDX chunk per stream.

Variable bitrate means that the file varies the amount of output data per time segment. These types of files produce a better quality-to-space ratio, as the bits are used more flexibly to encode the data.

RealNetworks is a provider of Internet streaming media. The company is based in Seattle, Washington.

Brief History

Washington-based RealNetworks, Inc. developed the RMVB audio-visual container format. This file standard is popular in Asia, because it requires smaller sizes and lower bitrates, but maintaining good quality.

In Asia, RMVB files are mainly used for content distribution, particularly movies and television episodes. For this reason, it has become quite common among file-sharing platforms such as BitTorrent, eDonkey and Gnutella.

File Signature

ISO 88859-1:  .RMF

Hexadecimal: 2E 52 4D 46

Programs That Open RMVB Files


  • File Viewer Plus
  • RealNetworks RealPlayer Cloud
  • VideoLAN VLC media player
  • GRETECH GOM Player
  • Aiseesoft Video Converter Ultimate


  • RealNetworks RealPlayer Cloud
  • Eltima Elmedia Player
  • Aiseesoft Video Converter Ultimate


  • RealNetworks RealPlayer Cloud
  • VideoLAN VLC media player


  • olimsoft OPlayer

How to Recover Deleted RMVB Files

Particularly, if you are an Asian movie lover, and many of your favorite videos are in RMVB file format, you may worry about an unintended deletion. Don’t panic, Disk Drill is there to drill your devices and recover the videos.

Disk Drill is a data recovery app that works on a principle, which says that usually, when you delete a file, the operating system only removes a reference to the file. Thus, the data remains intact until the storage space is used by another file. Disk Drill is available for free!

The process to recover your RMVB files is straightforward. Just follow the steps below, and Disk Drill will do the hard part of the job for you.

Disk Drill
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  1. Download Disk Drill from one of the links above.
  2. Install Disk Drill by clicking on the installer’s icon. The program will guide you, through a set of easy steps.
  3. Open Disk Drill by clicking on the app’s icon. Disk Drill will automatically detect all connected devices. This application can work on many devices, such as internal and external hard drives, USB flash drives, memory cards, iPhones, and many more. Select the drive that contains your files.
  4. Go to the main menu, and select “Preferences”, then “Video”, and then “rmvb”. In this way, you are narrowing the search to this specific format, and your rmvb file recovery will be faster and more efficient.
  5. Press the “RECOVER” button. Disk Drill will scan your device. You can pause or cancel the search at any time. You can also save the session, and continue later on without any loss of the work already done.
  6. Once the scan is done, Disk Drill presents the results in the form of a list. This list can be narrowed by using the available filters by date or size. Select the files you want, and retrieve them to a folder of your choice.

Your RMVB recovery is done!

recover deleted rmvb

How to Use Image Files to Recover RMVB Files

Image files are a bit-by-bit copy of a digital device. They are very useful, because they contain all the data stored in the original device. Thus, they can be used to recover RMVB files, lessening the risk of damaging the physical device. For this reason, their use is a standard practice in Computer Forensics.

Disk Drill is a very comprehensive application. It helps you to create image copies, and to perform searches on them.

In order to create an image copy, just go to the “Extras” menu next to the device, and select the corresponding option. Then, go to the main menu, and attach the image copy. The image file will appear as an item on the list of connected devices. Now, perform the search in the same manner as with a physical device.

Arthur Cole

Arthur Cole is a freelance content creator. He also has a more than 10-year experience in program development for macOS, Windows, iOS, Android.Arthur Cole is a writer with deep expertise in programming, who can easily...

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Approved by
Brett Johnson

This article has been approved by Brett Johnson, Data Recovery Engineer at ACE Data Recovery. Brett has a Bachelor's Degree in Computer Systems and Network, 12 years of experience.