Last updated: 30 Jun 2021
An unsupported audio-video codec is a warning that pops up when the video player cannot play the audio or video of a file. If the issue is with the audio, you get an audio error, and with video, it’s a video error. If that’s what you are facing, here are three fixes to this unsupported codec issue in 2021.
The easiest fix is using the VLC Media Player on your Android phone. VLC comes with extended codecs to play files such as MKV, MOV, WMV etc.
Watch the video to see how VLC can fix the unsupported audio/video codec issues.
What is a codec?
To understand why you get an unsupported audio/video codec error, you must understand what a codec is. According to Wikipedia, a codec is a program that encodes and decodes a digital data stream.
You might have seen the extensions like mp3, WMA etc., at the end of an audio file name and mp4, MKV, WMV, etc., on a video file name. These extensions are called containers, and these contain codecs.
The video and audio files take a considerable amount of space, so developers use the codecs to compress the file into a transferable source.
Each video player comes with the ability to play (installed) certain codecs. If a codec is not installed, your video player won’t play the audio or the video.
The default Android video player supports limited codecs, so many users get this warning while playing an unsupported file such as MKV.
Using VLC Media Player
The goal here is to play the video, and the solution is downloading VLC Media Player, a free and open-source media player. VLC Media Player comes with many codecs installed, making it more powerful than the default video player.
Converting on Android
If you want to play the video in the default video player app, it is easiest to convert it. Try Video Converter or Full Video Converter. MP4 format videos tend to work fine on Android devices. There should also be an option to choose Android as a source.
If using some other app, be careful because some apps do not convert the audio file. In that case, the audio may not be supported.
Converting on PC
Converting on Android will fix the issue, but the Android converter may not be enough if the file is corrupted. In this case, the VLC Media player desktop can help.
VLC will fix the corrupted MP4 and MOV files, but you may need a different file repairing tool if you have a different file, such as MKV, FLV, etc.
VLC is a great converting tool, but it does not offer many options for editing the video. In that case, I suggest using a powerful tool such as HitFilm Express, which is free and offers some great editing tools.
Follow the tutorial to learn to convert using VLC Media Player.
Open VLC Media Player once downloaded and installed.
Go to Media on the top right, and then click on Save/Convert.
Add the video by clicking on the add button. You can add multiple videos by adding to the video list. You can also add a subtitle file to add to the converted file. Once all options look good, click on the Save/Convert button.
We need to select the profile for the video. New Android devices support full HD resolution easily, so we have plenty of options.
Even though we have plenty of options, we also have a separate option for Android devices. If the video is already HD quality (720p or 1080p), you can select the “Android HD” quality.
The Next button is greyed out until you do not choose the destination for the video. Click on Browse and choose a destination, and then click on Start.
Wait until the progress bar reaches the other side. Depending on the video, it will take some time.
We expect everything to be fine with great phones and apps, but it’s not the case. I hope you found the solution to your issue. Please feel free to ask any questions in the comments down below.