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 18.12 brings (changelog):

+ Android version: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=net.mediaarea.mediainfo
+ DCP: support of multi-reel packages
+ EBUCore: added some FFV1 related metadata
+ JPEG: better info display of CYMK files
+ Provide source of the color related metadata (container or stream) (hidden by default)
+ MXF: display more information when wrapper/essence values are detected as not same
+ MXF: ProRes profiles
+ MPEG-4: ProRes RAW support
+ MPEG-TS: add support of parsing some ETSI TS 103-433 messages
x MPEG-2 Video: variable GOP detection fix
x MPEG-7 export: some fields were missing due to the removal of some legacy fields
x ADTS: Fix display of channel count for 8-channel streams
x ID3v2: fix some date related issues
x I298, ID3v2: fix wrong read of recording date in some cases
x I1032, PBCore2: fix essenceFrameSize with non Video tracks
x I1096, JPEG: fix crash with one file
x Several other crash and memory leak fixes

Verdict ratingsratingsratingsratingsratings

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