The AVI file type, standing for Audio Video Interleave, is a multimedia container format introduced by Microsoft in November 1992 as part of its Video for Windows software. This file format plays a pivotal role in storing both audio and video data in a single file. It enables synchronous audio-with-video playback, which was instrumental during the early days of digital video.
Understanding AVI File Structure
The AVI file format utilizes less compression to store files and provides a high-quality output. Despite large file sizes, AVI files are preferred for their straightforward architecture which allows simultaneous playback of audio and video, accommodating various codecs.
Many video playback and editing programs support AVI files due to their compatibility with numerous codecs. Popular software includes VLC Media Player, Windows Media Player, and Adobe Premiere Pro. These applications leverage AVI's flexibility in integrating with different codecs to provide seamless user experience.
Evolution and Alternatives
While AVI files were significant in the 90s, the development of new codecs and container formats like MPEG, MOV, and more recently, MP4 and MKV, has led to a gradual decline in AVI's popularity. These newer file types generally offer better compression and are more widely supported by modern devices and streaming services. Nonetheless, AVI remains relevant for specific use cases where lossless quality is paramount.