Behind every media file is a codec program. The codec is responsible for compressing video data into various containers (.mp4, .3gp, .mp3, .mov, .avi, etc…) and decompressing the same files whenever someone needs to play them. Media players require the content of these containers (which could be any format) to be read properly; If not read properly, your media player will throw an error such as “Unsupported Codec”, “Audio Codec Not Supported” etc. Media players cannot support all codecs. If a media player doesn’t ‘understand’ a file, it will throw an error.
Continue reading to discover the various causes of these errors and the different ways to fix them.
Here are some of the well-known causes of unavailable or unsupported codecs for audio files.
The result of a video file is data that has been compressed by certain codecs. When you attempt opening a video file with a media player, one of the first things done by the player is to check if it ‘understands’ the video data created by the particular codec; If it doesn’t, it throws an error.
Media players have many codecs built into them, each time you open a file, it simply finds the appropriate codec file to use for decompressing your video file before playing it. If no appropriate codecs are installed/found, your media player throws an error.
While some media players will try to ignore/fix minor errors on videos, some don’t –especially if the file is severely corrupt. File corruption can be caused directly by you or an infection on your device.
When, for example, your video plays with no audio or vice versa, you can be sure you’re facing codec issues. Good thing, you don’t have to manually do anything on Windows Media Player to fix this as it can be automated. You can fix this error using Windows Media Player. Just follow the steps outlined below:
Step 1. Launch Windows Media Player.
Step 2. Click the Tools menu and navigate to Options.
Step 3. Click on the Player tab to display options.
Step 4. Click on the “Download codecs automatically” checkbox and confirm your action by clicking “OK”.
Step 5. Play your file again. You may be prompted to install the codec –click OK to confirm and install.
Note: Ensure that you have an active internet connection before clicking OK.
VLC is a versatile media player. It comes with many built-in tools for handling media files. VLC makes actions like converting media files from one format to another very easily. While VLC, at most times, fixes minor media file errors automatically before playing it, you can also fix errors such as unavailable or unsupported audio codec files manually using the software. Please follow the steps below.
Step 1. Launch VLC Media Player.
Step 2. Click on “Media” from the top menu then find and click on “Convert”.
Step 3. Add your video files to the file selection panel.
Step 4. Click the “Convert” button at the bottom of the page or hit ALT+C on your device’s keyboard to convert your video or
Step 5. Pick a directory to save your converted and specify your file name and extension (e.g. your_choosen_name.mp4)
Step 6. Choose “Video – H.264 + AAC (MP4)” or “Video – VP8 + Vorbis (Webm)” or any of the options available to you.
Step 7. Click on the Start button.
Once the conversion process is finished, retry playing your video file.
If this doesn’t fix your file, you should consider updating your VLC Media Player to the latest version and if the error persists after the update, visit this link to manually download codec files. The codec files on the page are compatible with Windows XP, Windows Vista, Windows 7, 8, 8.1 & 10. It is easy to install; all you need to do is follow the instructions that will be displayed on the setup program. After a successful installation of the codec files, restart your computer and try opening the video file again.
If none of the methods explained above worked for you, then your video file may have been compromised. Try using a video repair tool to fix your video.
Many dedicated tools exist for fixing or recovering corrupt video files. The Recoverit Video Repair tool, however, is one of the best amongst the top video recovery tools. You can repair video files with unsupported audio codec easily with the Recoverit Video Repair software.
Please follow the detailed steps below to fix this error on your device.
Step 1: Install Recoverit Video Repair tool on your device.
Step 2: Launch Recoverit Video Repair.
Step 3: After launching the tool, drag the video from the location and paste it/them on the Recoverit Video Repair app. This would start the fixing process of the damaged file(s).
Step 4: After dropping the file(s), tick the file(s) you want to fix and proceed.
You can monitor the video fixing process through the progress bar. Recoverit Video Repair will notify you when done. With it done, you can preview the repaired video.
If your video wasn’t fixed by the Recoverit Quick Repair Mode, you should try the Advanced repair mode by clicking “Advanced Repair” in red behind the file.
Follow these steps:
Step 1: Upload the video file again and click “Advanced Repair” and Upload a working file created by the same device. This mode uses complex algorithms to detect key things about the uploaded file and uses the info to fix the corrupt file(s).
Step 2: Select a different path/directory to save the repaired files. Wait for the repair process to complete.
If you encountered the same error on your mobile (android device), try using the following methods to fix this issue.
Some media players are inefficient; they may not have the required codec files for handling all media formats. While the option to update or add codec files may be included in some media players, the majority don’t offer such options: In such case, the only option you’re left with is to change your media player entirely. If you’re so attached to the media player, you can try updating it first.
Merely converting your video to another format with an appropriate and efficient video tool might solve this issue. Without a PC, you can search your mobile phone’s operating system’s app store to download and install good video format converters; If you have access to a PC, you can do the same. You don’t need to install any other apps if you have VLC installed; Simply open up VLC, click “Media” from the top menu and click on “Convert” from the sub-menu.
After successfully converting your video file, open it with your media player.
When you are trying to play a video file (using a USB or by casting it) on a smart TV, you may encounter these video issues; The basic idea is to transfer the file to your PC/Mobile and try fixing the issue by re-compressing or converting it.
In Part 2 & 3 of this article, various methods of converting your video were mentioned. In Part 3 specifically, steps to convert your video using VLC Media Player were mentioned. Simply convert it to one supported by your TV.
Recoverit Video Repair is a simplified and powerful video repair tool. Simply launch the app, drag and drop the affected media file(s) and proceed from there. When done, preview and save your repaired file. Next, try playing it on your TV once more.
Codecs are very important parts of media players. They are responsible for compressing digital data into various formats and also decompressing these files when needed to be viewed by media players. When these codec files are unsupported or unavailable, your video file would either not work entirely or the video and audio will be out of sync or one missing entirely –leading to errors. This tutorial has covered the various causes of these errors and also ways to get rid of them.