How to Play Incomplete AVIs

by Theon Weber

If you begin to download an AVI video file but never finish--or if you want to watch the portion that you've downloaded while waiting for the download to complete--you will need a media player capable of playing incomplete AVI files. Sometimes an AVI can become corrupted in such a way that renders it effectively incomplete. You can work around this with the right player. The VLC Media Player is your best bet for this situation and is likely to work no matter what operating system you use.

Download the VLC Media Player. This is an extremely robust multi-platform video and audio player available for free from the VideoLAN project. Follow the link in "Resources" and click "Download VLC" or select your operating system from the list below.

Install the player by double clicking the downloaded file and following the on-screen instructions.

Open VLC and click "Media," then "Open File." Browse to and select the incomplete AVI file. Depending on the exact state of the file, a dialog box may appear informing you that seeking will not work and offering to repair the AVI. If the file will eventually be complete (i.e., if you are still downloading it and just want to watch what you've downloaded so far) click "Don't Repair." If there's no chance of completing the file, you can click "Repair" to tell VLC to try and fix the file to allow proper seeking.

Tip

  • Windows users may also download and install the smaller GOMPlayer from the link in "Resources." This has fewer features than VLC but should be able to play incomplete AVIs just as well. Use it just as you would VLC--simply use its "Open" function to open the AVI file.

About the Author

Theon Weber has been a professional writer and critic since 2006, writing for the Village Voice, the Portland Mercury, and the late Blender Magazine. He was a staff writer at the Web-based Stylus Magazine from 2005 to its closure in 2007.

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