I have new android tablet (Archos 7) and lot of video files are not playable. The program ends with message "The video file cannot be played". The file type is avi, which is normally playble (I played many other videos). The videos which are not playble in tablet, are playble on my laptop (with Ubuntu). Is it possible to make the videos playble on tablet?

E.g. to convert them with ffmpeg to another form which will be playble, or is there some repair mechanism in Android?

I tried another player Act 1 Video Player, but that didn't help.

thank you for help


3 Answers 3


There are a number of factors that determine if a video will play on Android:

  1. It has to be the correct codec - See this list
  2. It has to either be small enough to download entirely before playing or be encoded in a form that allows streaming.

Chances are the problem you are seeing is that the codec the videos are encoded in isn't supported, so yes, re-encoding with ffmpeg or mencoder or something similar into one of the supported video codecs may well work.

To enable streaming, if you first encode it as an MP4 file then pass it through something like MP4Box it will tag it for streaming so yuo can play longer video clips on Android.

  • Both of the videos that can't be played have this line in "ffmpeg -i file.avi" output<br>[NULL @ 0x97c4d40]Invalid and inefficient vfw-avi packed B frames detected ... which ffmpeg command would you use to convert it to the right format?
    – xralf
    Mar 15, 2011 at 12:30
  • @xralf Try something like ffmpeg -i file.avi -vcodec h263 -acodec aac -f mpg output.mpg. The error means your files were originally encoded poorly, and ffmpeg needs to "force" the conversion. If you have further issues, you should create a second question (on SuperUser probably) about encoding your files, you can leave out the Android details since you got them from here :) Mar 15, 2011 at 13:04
  • Thank you, I continue here superuser.com/questions/257962/…
    – xralf
    Mar 15, 2011 at 17:14

You can find a video player that uses ffmpeg itself to play on Android. Examples were given in answers to this question: State of VLC for Android / Media Player that plays AVI files

  • 1
    +1 As that question says, Rockplayer (rockplayer.com or in the Market at market.android.com/…) plays a lot more formats than the built-in player - I've never had it fail me yet with videos from fairly random sources.
    – GAThrawn
    Mar 15, 2011 at 15:21

I just saw this article today and thought it would be helpful here. It lists 8 of the best video players for Android according to MakeUseOf.com. liori's answer is also a good one.

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