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I have 3 video players installed (Gnome Videos, VLC and MPV) on my computer (Pop_OS 20.04): and they fail to play some of my old (AVI) videos.

Trying to play the same video with all players gives different results

  • Gnome Videos: appears a window saying Failed to decode JPEG image

  • VLC: doesn't do anything

  • MPV: plays the video but I can only see half of the screen. There is a horizontal green stripe across the top half of the video and part of the bottom half appears distorted.

On Windows used to use and old portable version of VLC to play videos on these type of situations but I don't know what to do in Linux in order to watch them correctly.

UPDATE: Results of ffprobe -v error -show_format -show_streams file.avi | grep -E 'codec|format|TAG'

codec_name=mjpeg
codec_long_name=Motion JPEG
codec_type=video
codec_time_base=1/30
codec_tag_string=MJPG
codec_tag=0x47504a4d
codec_name=pcm_s16le
codec_long_name=PCM signed 16-bit little-endian
codec_type=audio
codec_time_base=1/8000
codec_tag_string=[1][0][0][0]
codec_tag=0x0001
format_name=avi
format_long_name=AVI (Audio Video Interleaved)
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    please provide output of ffprobe -v error -show_format -show_streams file.avi | grep -E 'codec|format|TAG' – binarysta Sep 27 '20 at 17:46
  • I'll update the question with the results – potato Sep 27 '20 at 18:37
  • well, this is mjpeg. so I think better solution would be to convert them to mp4 with ffmpeg or mjpegtools. by the way lets install this codec pack and see if vlc can play it or not sudo apt install ubuntu-restricted-extras – binarysta Sep 27 '20 at 19:25
  • The installation of ubuntu-restricted-extras ddin't work. I'll try to convert the file and I'll let you know. – potato Sep 27 '20 at 21:58
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If you can watch the video in an old VLC release (which has always used ffmpeg as its media backend) it could mean either of:

  • Your video clip is not 100% standards compliant (most likely) or is tagged incorrectly
  • The clip is slightly damaged and the the old VLC/ffmpeg was more lenient towards that
  • You have found a bug in the ffmpeg library (least likely)

I would recommend that you file a bug report at https://trac.ffmpeg.org/

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