Why Windows Media Player won't play AVI

Windows Media Player

If you buy a computer with Microsoft Windows and want to play a video or audio like a music song, this is your first go-to media player Windows Media Player - or WMP for short. This has been part of the system as standard since Windows 7 and can handle almost all common media formats - whether audio, video and image files or Internet radio streams.

Support for N and KN versions

Windows Media Player is also available for the N and KN versions of Microsoft Windows 7 and Microsoft Windows 8.1 via the Media Feature Pack. However, there is no support for Windows RT 8.1. There are also computers with macOS Windows Media components for Apple QuickTime for owners.


Windows Media Player is not the right software for everyone. In this case, you can take a look at the alternatives such as the VLC media player, Kodi or the Daum PotPlayer. For pure audio enjoyment, Audacity and the Lame MP3 encoder for MP3 support are also suitable.

If you want to avoid the installation or still have Windows XP, you can take a look at the portable version of media player software, which can still run on old systems. VLC Media Player Portable and Audacity Portable are particularly recommended for portable software.

Plug-ins, designs for players and audio visualization

Windows Media Player comes with different designs as standard, with which the look of the program window can be "prettied up" and individualized. If you can't find a look in the design library that appeals to you directly, you can find and download many more on the internet. The same applies to the visualizations, with which one can underline the played audio or music pieces with visually appealing, colorful, often psychedelic graphic gadgets. These can also be found in abundance on the Internet and are usually also compatible with other multimedia players. However, a little caution is required here - not every player design version is also compatible with all visualizations at the same time. There is also a wide range of plug-ins available that can be used to add additional features and functions to Windows Media Player.

Media management, synchronization, burning and more

Windows Media Player also offers a complete media library. These can be accessed directly in the program itself, which saves, for example, the detour via Windows Explorer. Additional information as well as album covers of corresponding pieces of music can also be imported into the library. Via the media management, users can also synchronize their own collection of pictures, films, videos and music tracks with connected mobile devices. Perhaps you would like to play music and video files on your own stereo system, your own DVD player or other external devices that are not connected via WLAN, Bluetooth or radio. In this case, the WMP also offers the option of burning various media directly from the player onto CD or DVD. It works the other way around - you can also rip CDs and copy the files they contain in WMA format to your computer with the free tool.

Firefox plug-in, Mac codecs and catch-up installation

As mentioned, Windows Media Player is installed by default on newer versions of Windows. If you still use older Windows operating systems, you can download the WMP from Microsoft's download page and install it later. The codecs for the standard file formats of Windows Media Player - WMA and WMV - can also be downloaded from the manufacturer's website. These are interesting for Mac users, for example, who want to play files in WMV and WMA format with the standard Mac media player QuickTime. Users of the popular Internet browser Firefox can also download the Windows Media Player Firefox plug-in. With its help you can play multimedia web content - for example Internet radio streams - directly in the browser without having to "detour" via the separate player.