Repeated Problems with Blender's Video Codecs

When I send people videos (many of them are NOT technically sophisticated at all, and might not have the latest K-Lite Codec Package and such), I routinely have them e-mail me back that they can’t read the video files. Their video player (likely Windows Media Player) just gives them messages like, “Cannot Read Video Format” and things like that.

My personal default encoding is:
MPEG > AVI > H.264

When that doesn’t work, I go:


When that doesn’t work, I’ll just try random combinations.

However, it is very frustrating because there is always a fear as I send a video to somebody, just waiting for the other shoe to drop and they’ll send me an e-mail, “I can’t read this. There’s nothing in this video!”

Is there something wrong with Blender’s encoding, such that only really up-to-date codec packages can read them? And can somebody please recommend a video encoding group that will be able to be read even by mother’s and grandmother’s who only use their PC’s to check e-mail and Facebook?

That’s not so much a Blender problem, as a general trouble with video codes and container formats. Windows Media Player doesn’t ship with H.264 or MPEG4 support in Windows XP, for instance. If you want a video format that is supported practically everywhere, try MPEG-1 (and accept that the filesize will be large).

Thanks for this suggestion, Zalamander. It seems like perhaps there might be something unique to Blender, because, for example, I once sent the MPEG-4 video to a guy with a new Apple, and even he still couldn’t read it.

Still, I have never used the MPEG-1, and I will now try that as my emergency codec. Thanks again.

If they can check email and facebook, then they can view Vimeo or YouTube videos. You could upload your work to one of those sites, put it in a private account, and e-mail them the link rather than sending them the video.


I certainly do use YouTube regularly (and Vimeo less so, now that YouTube has no time limits). But for various reasons, whether it’s business or professional, most of the time you have to send somebody a video file. So that work-around doesn’t apply in most cases.

David this is a problem I’ve had with the old gal friend for several years since she has Windows XP. While my youngest daughter with a Mac has had no problems with my attachments. The only solution I’ve found is running it through Windows Movie Maker just for her and taking the hit in resolution. Not to mention the aggravation of doing it since she will not download VLC. Worst then not sending you a e-mail that it won’t open is to have it not open and receiving no e-mail making you aware of that. Like it or not a WMV file will play on anything the folks you described would have.

Thanks, OldGhost. I don’t use MovieMaker, obviously, but if the problem persists even after using MPEG-1 as my Plan C, then I’ll get a converter that can convert to WMV.

Thanks for all the advice, guys. I’ll mark this as “SOLVED”.