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 17.10 brings (changelog):

+ We need your support! Visit https://mediaarea.net/SupportUs
+ Version scheme is now YY.MM (year dot month, 2 digits each)
+ New MediaInfo XML output, with XSD, more suitable for automatic parsing. Use Option("Inform", "OLDXML") for keeping previous behavior
+ New "Info_OutputFormats" option for listing supported output formats
+ Universal Ad ID: refactored display, better display of value and registry, XML name slightly modified
+ MOV: support of HDR metadata (MasteringDisplayColorVolume, MaxCLL, MaxFALL)
+ BWF: display of UMID and loudness info
+ AAC: show program_config_element in trace
+ MPEG Audio: frame rate info
+ PCM in WAV and Matroska: Support of ValidBitsPerSample
+ I197, EBUCore: 1.8 output uses now final version of XSD and final XSD location
+ Matroska: tweaking frame rate empirical detection for some corner cases
x I1070, LAME 3.100 info tag was incorrectly parsed
x B1068, MPEG Audio: Incoherent duration between General and Audio parts, Audio part duration fixed
x Matroska: showing "A_MS/ACM" Matroska CodecID
x MXF: Fix crash with some buggy files
x MXF: was not well supporting MXF referencing only 1 file
x PCM in WAV: 8-bit content is unsigned and without endianess
x PCM in WAV and Matroska: More coherency between Wave info and ExtensibleWave Info (bitdepth, sign)
x WAV: GUID display was with first 8 bytes in wrong order
x Several crash fixes

Verdict

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