I tried opening videos file .avi format,with notepad++ and i found many weird characters in it.I copied all the charaters in the file and paste it on another notepad++ file and save it as new.avi.Now, i tried playing the new.avi file with VLC media player but the file did not play.why?

I thought that movie or video file also consists of characters like text file only the media player software convert it to play in the correct way.

Is video file not made of charaters and the information are stored differently from text or any other file?.Can someone please clear my concept on this?

  • I think it might be because EOFs are allowed in binary files but not ascii? Mar 23 '14 at 0:48

A video file is made of characters just as a text file is made of characters. Apart from some metadata here and there, the characters themselves are not likely to be human-readable. Many of them won't even be printable. Nevertheless, copying them to a new file should produce an identical video. VLC media player, like any media player, should be able to read the file just fine.

However, the file 'new.avi' is not identical to the source. Not because you've missed information that is stored differently, but because it's a bit tricky to properly copy a file this way. Primarily problematic is the null character. On my system, copying and pasting this character in Notepad++ replaces the character with whitespace, a limitation of Windows. The resulting file is not be a valid video.

If you want to manipulate the contents of binary files on this level, you're probably better off with a specialised tool, a hex editor. Incidentally, Notepad++ has a plugin for that.

  • I have one more question.They say that videos are compressed already so compreser sofware like winrar connot compressed the video much further,how are videos in a compressed format? Mar 23 '14 at 1:47
  • What you say is correct but he isn't just going to be able to copy and paste the contents of a binary file opened up in a text editor.
    – Ramhound
    Mar 23 '14 at 3:20
  • @user3319758 - The codec handles that process. Every codec is different. Please do some research on some of the more popular codecs they are WELL DOCUMENTED.
    – Ramhound
    Mar 23 '14 at 3:20
  • There are two types of compression. There is lossless file compression, basically the same kind of thing as winrar does, where what goes in is what you get back out after you decompress it. Then there is lossy compression, which relies on the fact that some parts of the video can be thrown away without the viewer noticing too much.
    – stib
    Mar 23 '14 at 11:20

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