You often need that same codec installed to play the movie in Windows Media Player. The Media Player needs to understand how this movie was compressed, so it can uncompress and play it properly. If someone downloads your AVI file and hasn't installed the codec you used to encode it, Windows Media Player is unlikely to play it back.
Obviously it’s a pain for people to download and install a codec first, before viewing your movie, so what can you do? One option is to use a default Windows codec. These are codecs that are installed on pretty much all Windows PCs, so an AVI exported using them is very likely to play back on the big majority of PCs. Here are the default codecs:
- Microsoft Video 1
- Indeo v3, 4, 5
- Full frames (uncompressed)
These aren’t the best codecs in town, but they get the job done. The exception to this is ‘Full frames (uncompressed)’ – you should only use this if you need to edit the AVI in some other editing package, because it creates *huge* files. Of the above, we’ve found that Microsoft Video 1 often gives the best balance of file size and quality for screen recordings.
However, the one that we usually recommend is XVid, which can be downloaded from https://www.xvid.com/download/. This generally gives good quality exports that are not too large.