AVI stands for Audio Video Interleave. Files of this format have an .avi extension. Developed by Microsoft in 1992, it has become so widespread that many people consider it the de-facto standard for storing video and audio information on PC. AVI combines audio and video into a single file in a standard container to allow simultaneous playback. Its advatage is a simple architecture, due to which AVI runs on a number of different systems like Windows, Mac, Linux, Unix and is supported by all of the most popular web-browsers.'
AVI is a derivative of the Resource Interchange File Format (RIFF), which divides a file's data into blocks, or chunks. Each chunk is identified by a FourCC tag. An AVI file takes the form of a single chunk in a RIFF formatted file, which is then subdivided into two mandatory chunks and one optional chunk. The first sub-chunk is identified by the hdrl tag. This sub-chunk is the file header and contains metadata about the video, such as its width, height and frame rate. The second sub-chunk is identified by the movi tag. This chunk contains the actual audio/visual data that make up the AVI movie. The third optional sub-chunk is identified by the idx1 tag which indexes the offsets of the data chunks within the file.
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The Flash Video format is a video format defined by Adobe Systems. Flash Video has been accepted as the default online video format by many sites. Notable users of it include YouTube, Hulu, VEVO, Yahoo! Video, metacafe, Reuters.com, and many other news providers. Flash Video is viewable on most operating systems except iOS, via the Adobe Flash Player and web browser plugin or one of several third-party programs.
Flash Video FLV files contain video bit streams which are a proprietary variant of the H.263 video standard, under the name of Sorenson Spark (FourCC FLV1). Sorenson Spark is an older codec for FLV files but it is also a widely available and compatible one, because it was the first video codec supported in Flash Player. The Flash Video FLV file format supports two versions of a so called 'screenshare' (Screen video) codec which is an encoding format designed for screencasts. Both these formats are bitmap tile based, can be lossy by reducing color depths and are compressed using zlib. The second version is only playable in Flash Player 8 and newer - Audio in Flash Video files is usually encoded as MP3. However, audio in Flash Video FLV files recorded from the user's microphone use the proprietary Nellymoser Asao Codec. FLV files also support uncompressed audio or ADPCM format audio.
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