AVI Plays Black and White in Windows Media Player

Todd writes, I am running WinXP Media Center 2005 Edition SP2 on my P4, 1GB Ram, home machine. I recently did a Windows Update and part of that was to update Windows Media Player. I was using Version 10 already, so it was just a small update (but, if recall correctly, it was classified as “critical”). After the update, WMP would no longer play .avi files in color…only in black and white. It handles everything else just fine. Media Player Classic, VLC, BSPlayer, and Nero Showtime all handle the files just fine. I am using FFDshow for most of my codecs and I can find nothing wrong there nor can I find a way to rollback that particular WMP update.

It shouldn’t require a Windows Media Player rollback in order to fix your problem. In all likelihood, this problem doesn’t impact every AVI file on your system, only ones using a common codec like DivX or XviD. Sometimes updates to Windows Media Player disrupt the way a specific codec is addressed by Windows Media Player and you need to re-install that codec in order to return things to normal. These are generally third-party codecs not officially supported by Windows Media Player with their own custom integration with the player. Before proceeding you need more information.

The first step in solving your problem is to download the codec information application GSpot. This will provide detailed information about specific AVI files impacted by the problem. Open one of the files with GSpot and make note of the codec information provided.

After determining which codec is associated with the quirky AVI file, download the latest version of the codec and re-install the specific codec to solve the problem.

This solution will also fix video playback with no audio in most cases.