Questions and Answers


What is Xvid?

Xvid is a MPEG-4 video codec for PC. Its purpose is to compress video in order to allow for faster transmission over computer networks or for more efficient storage on computer disks. Hence, Xvid can somewhat be seen as a ZIP for video. Xvid removes information from video that is not important for human perception in order to achieve very high compression rates while still keeping very good visual quality. As an example: uncompressed digital video is huge and takes up about 100 GB HD space per hour at PAL resolution. The same video would require just 500 MB per hour when compressed with Xvid at high quality. So Xvid can compress video at ratios of 200:1 and more.

Why should I use Xvid?

There are a number of reasons that may make using Xvid an interesting option for you. E.g. Xvid is Free software, can be obtained free of charge and is shipped together with many hardware devices. While being free, it offers outstanding quality and performance clearly surpassing expensive, competing products. Xvid allows you to create video for interoperable exchange with portable or home multimedia devices as Xvid is widely supported in hardware. Being open-source, Xvid is future-proof and secure to use.

Is Xvid better than third-party product XY?

That’s hard to tell. Rating the picture quality of video codecs is often rather subjective and a matter of personal taste. So you should trust your own eyes, test for yourself and use what you like best.

How much does it cost?

Xvid is Free Software and published under the GNU GPL license. That means it can be obtained free of charge. No feature-limited version, no restricted testing period, no nothing.

Is there spyware or adware included in the Xvid installer?

No, absolutely not. Xvid is free of spyware, adware or the likes. And since Xvid is open-source software, everyone can review the Xvid source code to check for himself that nothing malicious is included.

Why is it free for me?

The Xvid developers believe in the Free Software movement and consequently have published Xvid under the terms of the GNU GPL license. The GPL is a software license but unlike other software licenses, it grants the recipient lots more freedoms. One is a right to redistribute Xvid free of charge (under some restrictions). Further, the Xvid developers intent to further promote open standards like ISO MPEG-4 and hence aim at wide-spread adoption of Xvid. Therefore, Xvid has been published as Free Software.

Where can I download a Xvid binary for my platform?

Have a look at the download section for more information.

For which platforms is the Xvid codec available?

Xvid is primarily developed for PC but has also been ported to other platforms. Xvid is e.g. available for PC on Windows (Windows XP SP3 and newer) and Linux. Also, there are ports to Mac OS X. Note that the most recent versions of Xvid for Windows run only on Windows XP SP3 or newer. The last version with support for Win 95/98/ME was v1.2.2. And the last version supporting Windows 2000 was v1.3.2.

Is there a Xvid Quicktime plugin for Mac available?

Unfortunately, there's not much choice supporting Quicktime. There is the Perian plugin for Quicktime, which includes support for Xvid. It can be downloaded here:

Perian for Quicktime

If it doesn't have to be Quicktime, you can take a look at the excellent VLC Player. The Mac version can be downloaded here:

VLC Player for Mac

But I work on Windows and also want to use Xvid in Quicktime – is it possible?

Unfortunately, not at the moment. The Xvid quicktime plugin available got developed for Mac only.

We’re currently working on improved Quicktime support covering also Quicktime on Windows. It will become part of the Xvid core code base in the future.

Which third-party software can I use to play or convert Xvid video?

There is a lot of software available that supports Xvid. Just a few examples:

Video Players

Video Editing Tools

Does Xvid support interactivity features like menus or subtitles?

Not the Xvid codec itself. But there are free third-party tools available that permit enhancing Xvid files by interactive menus or subtitles.

For example AutoGK has subtitles support. So just take a peek at the links provided in the previous question.

Where can I find news and the changelogs to new Xvid releases?

We moved announcements about new releases from the main page into the Xvid Labs website section. You can also find information about what changed in the latest release compared to previous release(s) there.

In addition, also all Xvid packages you can download from our website contain changelog information embedded. Binary distributions install a "releasenotes.txt" document with information on what is new in the release and the source code tarballs include a special "ChangeLog" file listing the main changes.

Interoperability Questions

Xvid was on the driver CD of a hardware device I recently bought – why?

A lot of video-capable devices support either playback of Xvid video or can record to a Xvid compatible format. E.g. many digital cameras have recording functionalities that create Xvid videos. Such devices are often bundled with the Xvid codec to permit users interoperable exchange of videos between their hardware device and home PC.

There’s a Xvid logo on my device – what does that mean?

If you see one of the Xvid profile logos on a device it means that the device is Xvid certified and complies to the respective profile specification. Such devices have been verified to feature highest compatibility to the Xvid codec and meet up the high Xvid quality standards.

Which devices are compatible to Xvid and what image resolutions do they support?

Keep an eye out for hardware devices that feature the Xvid profile logos. Those devices have been verified to be compatible with the Xvid profiles and to meet up the Xvid quality standards. The maximum supported resolutions of such devices depend on the Xvid profile they conform to. Please refer to the Xvid profile definitions for a more detailed overview.