It's taken a very long time, but you've finally found and downloaded that audio or video file you've been looking for. So it's particularly frustrating that it won't play. At all. But why?

You could try downloading the file again, just in case it was corrupted. Maybe using another media player would help. How about installing a new codec pack? Troubleshooting media problems is tricky, and you could spend hours trying to figure out the problem.

There is a quicker alternative, though. Just open your audio or video file in MediaInfo, and you'll see lots of technical information about it: video and audio stream type, codec, aspect ratio, frames per second, sample rate and more.

If the file is broken - a missing video stream, say - then you'll see that immediately, and won't have to waste time tweaking your own system. And if it's just using a codec that you don't have installed, then you can quickly grab the latest version, and hopefully fix your playback problems right away. (There's even a "go to the web site of this video codec" button, so it's only a single click away.)

As a bonus, MediaInfo also displays file tags: album and track name, performer, composer, publisher, whatever it might contain. And wide support for video and audio formats means it'll work with just about any file type - MKV, OGM, AVI, DivX, WMV, QuickTime, Real, MPEG-1, MPEG-2, MPEG-4, DVD (VOB), OGG, MP3, WAV, RA, AC3, DTS, AAC, M4A, AU, AIFF and more.

Version 0.7.91 brings (Changelog):

+ Add TIFF extension to Windows shell extension
x Debian 9 and Ubuntu 16.10+: Remove unneeded dependency
+ IMF and PTX: more languages detected from file names (but the full list of common languages tags still need to be added)
+ IMF and PTX: support of non-standard but common "LAS" = "Spanish (Latin America)" language code
+ MXF: Support of color primaries, transfer characteristic, coding equations defined in SMPTE ST 2067-21:2016 e.g. xvYCC or BT.2020
+ Minor performance optimizations and cleanup (Thanks to Pavel Pimenov)
+ MediaTrace optimization for Matroska
x Fixed parsing of FFV1 v0/v1
x PTX: fix crash due to bad parsing of some file names while looking for track language

Verdict

You won't need MediaInfo often, but when you do it'll come in very handy. Grab a copy now