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Fix Unsupported Audio-Video Codec Issues on Android

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The best thing about Android smartphones is their large display that allows users to enjoy watching movies and videos. Over the course of time, Android smartphones have become bigger and better. Their screen resolution and display have improved significantly. In all these years, a lot of different audio and video formats have come up. They were created for various reasons, like to improve the quality of the media, to optimize the size of the file, etc. However, not all of the devices are compatible with these newer formats. Every device has its own set of supported audio and video formats and so does Android.

Fix Unsupported Audio-Video Codec Issues on Android

Sometimes, while trying to open a media file, you are hit with an error message on your screen. It says “Unable to play audio track/video. Unsupported audio-video codec”. This error message implies that the file you are trying to open is not supported on Android. It is also possible that the file might open but wouldn’t work properly. An audio file might just be mute and a video file would show a black screen. In order to deal with this problem, we need to understand what codec actually is.

Fix Unsupported Audio-Video Codec Issues on Android

What is Codec?

Codec is the short form of coder-decoder. As the name suggests, it is a means to encode and decode data, compressed data to be more specific. Now, the original source file for an audio clip or a video consumes a lot of space. In order to facilitate the transfer of these files via some source like a flash drive, DVD, memory card, etc., developers compress these files using a codec.

The file that was compressed earlier at the source needs to be decompressed at the destination, i.e. while playing the video on your device. If your device does not have the appropriate codec to decompress the file, then the unsupported audio-video codes error occurs. Every audio and video format has its own codec. Until and unless the proper codec for some video format is present on the device, you will not be able to play it.

What is a Container?

If you have noticed the name of any video file, you would see that it is in the form of XYZ.mp4 or XYZ.avi, etc. Here .mp4 and .avi represent the format of the file. This is also known as a container. MP4, AVI, MKV, WebM, etc. are some of the popular containers or formats for video files. They are called containers because they contain information about audio and video files that synchronizes them.

What is the reason behind some video files not working on Android?

As mentioned earlier, video files require a proper codec to work on some devices. This is because the actual file was compressed and encoded before being transferred. In order to play the video, it needs to be decompressed and decoded. Consider that the video file is locked in its container (AVI, MP4, MKV, etc.)  and the proper codec is required to unlock it. Now, Android devices do not have or support codecs for all video formats. If the video that you wish to play falls under this category, then you wouldn’t be able to run it on your device.

Fix Unsupported Audio Video Codec Android

There are a couple of methods in which you can resolve the issue of unsupported audio-video codec issue on Android. You can either use a different media player that has an extended list of supported formats or convert the video or audio file using a converter. Let us take a look at these solutions in detail.

1. Use a Different Media Player

You can find a number of third-party media players on Play Store that will help you play an unsupported audio/video file. Some of the most popular apps available on the Play Store are VLC for Android and MX Player.

VLC For Android – VLC is a very popular media player and is widely used by PC users. This is because of its simple interface and power-packed features. It is very convenient and reliable. The best thing about VLC is that it supports all audio/video formats and comes with in-built codecs for all of them. It is capable of running video formats like MP4, AVI, MKV, MOV, DivX, XviD, AAC, TS, M2TS, Ogg, and a lot more. The app also supports multiple audio and subtitle tracks. On top of everything, it is absolutely free and does not even include ads. Therefore, we will highly recommend you to download this app from the Play Store and never again bother about unsupported audio-video codec problem.

Use VLC to Fix Unsupported Audio Video Codec Android

Also Read: How to Rename Multiple Files in Bulk on Windows 10

MX Player – Another excellent media player available for free on the Play Store is the MX Player. It is light, efficient, and simple. Just like VLC, it too supports all audio and video formats. Additionally, it also supports various subtitle formats like .txt, .srt, .sub, .idx, etc. Another cool feature of MX Player is that you can control various aspects like volume and brightness using gestures. The latest version of MX Player even allows you to stream movies, shows, videos, songs, directly from the internet. MX Player has also recently released its original shows that are available on the player.

Use MX Player to Fix Unsupported Audio Video Codec on Android

2. Use an Audio/Video Converter

As the name suggests, a video converter allows you to convert an unsupported audio/video format to one that will run smoothly on your device. You can either directly download a video convertor on your Android device or use a video converter on your PC. Either way, there are a number of free apps and software available on the internet that will get the job done.

For Android devices, you can download an app called “Video Converter” from the Play Store. The best thing to do is to convert the video into the MP4 format as it is the most widely supported video format. However, make sure to convert the audio as well otherwise the video might play but have no sound.

Use Video Converter to Fix Unsupported Audio Video Codec Android

For PC, one of the most popular video converters of all time is Xilisoft Video Converter. It is a handy tool that helps you to convert video and audio files from one format to another. It has a lot of professional features and options that allow you to convert videos into any popular format and also optimize these videos. It supports a wide range of video inputs from all kinds of sources be it a phone camera or a professional video camera. The range of output formats are also numerous and you make videos that are suitable for iPod, iPhones, Xbox, MP4 players, etc. In simple terms, no matter what video format the destination device supports, Xilisoft Video Converter can help you resolve all compatibility issues.

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Hope the above tutorial was helpful and you were able to resolve the Unsupported Audio-Video Codec Issues on Android. If you still have any questions regarding this tutorial then feel free to ask them in the comment section.

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Elon Decker

Elon is a tech writer at TechCult. He's been writing how-to guides for about 6 years now and has covered many topics. He loves to cover topics related to Windows, Android, and the latest tricks and tips.

1 thought on “Fix Unsupported Audio-Video Codec Issues on Android”

  1. Dear Team,

    thanks for your article.

    my video file .mp4 missing Codecs AAC, H.264.

    I have download my video file from Google Drive to my Samsung Tablet TabA, than from internal storage I move to SD card. File still same name, still same extention .mp4.
    but file error can not play.

    after I check file at internal storage has Codecs AAC, H.264 but file at SD Card Codecs ,

    I try to use VLC app, but still can not play, and ca n not convert because has already .mp4 format.

    Please help me, how to restore original Codecs

    Thanks,

    Regards,

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