Microsoft KB Archive/92756

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Media Player: Basic AVI Playback Troubleshooting

Article ID: 92756

Article Last Modified on 10/13/2003


  • Microsoft Windows Sound System 1.0
  • Microsoft Windows Sound System 1.0a

This article was previously published under Q92756


When playing an AVI file from Microsoft Video for Window's Media Player, the file may not run smoothly due to the "dropping" of frames during file playback. The dropping of frames occurs when the time required for a frame's data to stream through the processor exceeds the "real" time the frame represents during playback. Media Player attempts to compensate for this time difference by dropping frames to "catch-up" to the appropriate "real time" position.


The following procedures may enhance the performance when playing AVI files from Media Player:

  • If the AVI file is located on a CD, be sure the CD-ROM drive is MPC compliant and can sustain a minimum data transfer rate of 150 K/Sec. The CD-ROM that is provided with Video for Windows contains many AVI files that should play back without problems without being copied to the hard drive for playback. If playback from the CD-ROM drops frames, while the same file played back from a hard-drive does not drop frames, chances are that CD-ROM or something in the hardware or software configuration of the computer that is preventing the system from delivering data at the minimum required data transfer rate.
  • If the AVI file is located on a hard drive, be sure the AVI file is stored in a continuous region by running any of several hard disk optimization utilities available. This enhances playback by reducing the seek time required to access the file.
  • Select the Don't Buffer Offscreen option from the Configure Command on the Device Menu in Media Player. This option provides a slightly higher playback rate by omitting updates to an off-screen buffer, thus decreasing the likelihood of dropping frames during playback.
  • Clear the Skip Video Frames If Behind option from the Configure Command on the Device Menu in Media Player. Turning this option off prioritizes the video track of an AVI file over the audio, allowing Media Player to display all frames in an AVI file and pause the audio track as needed.

Additional query words: tshoot 1.00

Keywords: KB92756