I purchased a movie from Google Play, then used Ant Video Player to download it. It's in MP4 format (or, at least, has an MP4 extension). When I try to open it in Windows Media Player, I get the error

Windows Media Player cannot play the file. The Player might not support the file type or might not support the codec that was used to compress the file.

Quicktime says

Error -2041: an invalid sample description was found in the movie (filename.mp4)

I've Googled error 2041, and the suggested workaround in various forums was to change the filename extension to .3gp. That didn't work either. Windows Media Player gave a similar error, and Quicktime said

Error -8971: an unknown error occurred (filename.3gp)

How do I get to play the file in Windows 8.1?

  • Just to be absolutely sure this is drm... could you give VLC a spin and see what it does?
    – Journeyman Geek
    Dec 25, 2014 at 0:37
  • @JourneymanGeek after reading your comment I installed VLC and tried it. The video "plays," as in it progresses through the timeline and has the correct length, but there's no audio and the only video is the default VLC logo that shows when there's nothing playing. You might be right that this isn't a DRM issue, though. Dec 25, 2014 at 0:50
  • I asume you can play other MP4 files without any issues, aren't you? If not, did you tried Codec Guide's K-lite codec pack? codecguide.com/download_kl.htm
    – edumgui
    Feb 3, 2015 at 13:14
  • "used Ant Video Player to download it" - and the assumption was made this was done without error. It seems to me you 'download' again or use different software to attempt the 'download'. Mar 14, 2023 at 13:12

1 Answer 1


This does seem a comprehensive file format list, but you can check the file headers to make sure what the format actually is, as opposed to simply change the file extension that may confuse whatever player you are trying to use.


Next, make sure you install a video and audio codec pack so your video player can understand the coding used on the file. Something like @Santeador suggested. I personally have used http://free-codecs.com/K_Lite_Mega_Codec_Pack_download.htm

Another thing to check is that the file size is consistent with the information on Google Play, maybe the download got interrupted and you need download the file again.

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