Canon Digital Camera - Motion JPEG - Won't Play in WMP/WMC

Discussion in 'Windows Vista Music, Pictures and Video' started by John Hanley, Jan 31, 2008.

  1. John Hanley

    John Hanley Guest

    I have a Canon S3IS digital camera which can take movies. The movies show
    an .AVI extension and (I think) use an MJPEG codec. After transferring the
    movie files to my (Vista) hard drive, their behavior is erratic:

    - The movie files *will not* play in Windows Media Player. The WMP error
    message is: "Windows Media Player encountered a problem while playing the
    file". Clicking on Web Help reveals: "You've encountered error message
    C00D11B1 while using Windows Media Player."

    - The movie files *will not* play in Windows Media Center; WMC says "Cannot
    Play Video - Windows Media Center cannot open the file".

    - If I import the files into Windows Movie Maker, WMM appears to play them,
    but the preview screen is black.

    - GSpot reports that the file is a Motion JPEG, and that "Codec(s) are

    - The movie files *will* play using Canon's ZoomBrowser EX program (came
    with the camera).

    Related Info:

    - Both WMP & WMC play my .wmv files just fine. I also have one .avi file
    from a different source which plays fine.
    - The file extension on the AVI files that will not play is .AVI
    (capitalized); the file extension on the avi file that will play is .avi
    (lower case) -- probably does not matter?

    Will appreciate clues on where to look to solve the issue. Thanks.
    John Hanley, Jan 31, 2008
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  2. John Hanley

    PapaJohn Guest

    PapaJohn, Jan 31, 2008
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  3. John Hanley

    zachd [MSFT] Guest

    What's the URL that Web Help takes you to?

    There's already an MJPEG codec on the system. It should work. PapaJohn's
    suggestion might help you replace it if needed though, but that shouldn't be
    AVI vs avi doesn't matter - the system is case-insensitive here.
    zachd [MSFT], Feb 1, 2008
  4. John Hanley

    PapaJohn Guest

    I agree that a fix is better than a work-around... if I take my ffdshow
    codec out of the picture, MJPEG files still play.

    WMP plays them with pvmjpeg30.dll file in the system32 folder... check that
    it's there and try re-registering it in case it slipped a gear.
    website references are to

    PapaJohn, Feb 1, 2008
  5. John Hanley

    John Hanley Guest

    Zach -- The URL that Web Help takes me to is:

    PapaJohn -- the pvmjpeg30.dll file is not in my System32 folder or elsewhere
    on my hard drive. I googled a bit for it and there are references to
    'pvmjpg30.dll' (without the e), but that is not on my hard drive either.
    The main reference is to a site for
    Pegasus Imaging and they call it PICVIDEO and they want $39 to download it.
    Are you thinking it is something that should have come with WMP Microsoft?
    John Hanley, Feb 1, 2008
  6. John Hanley

    PapaJohn Guest


    Working backwards, I see... is used as the default decompressor on my Vista Home Basic laptop
    when playing Motion JPEG files from my Canon SureShot SD750 camera.

    I had added ffdshow to that computer to play Xvid files. When I take it out
    of the picture, the file is decompressed by pvmjpeg30.dll (PIC Video
    Decompressor)... I don't know where it came from as it's not on my Vista
    Ultimate system or on my XP laptop.

    If I then take that out of the picture also, when I try to open the Motion
    JPEG file in WMP or MM6... for some reason Pinnacle's Video Spin starts
    going through a setup process. Maybe that's a clue that it brought
    pvmjpeg30.dll in when I installed it.

    As I haven't installed Video Spin or hardly anything else on my Vista
    Ultimate SP1 beta system, the MJPEG file still plays in WMP and MM6... with
    no WMP pointer to the video decompressor being used. GSpot's checks and
    tests indicates it's quartz.dll doing the decompression.

    Codecs need more understanding by average users... I've made it my theme for
    this year to study them and provide practical info.
    website references are to

    PapaJohn, Feb 1, 2008
  7. John Hanley

    zachd [MSFT] Guest

    Hear hear!

    A key Microsoft dev died (cancer) the same time as another retired the same
    as a group of people (pirates, really) were sabotaging the AVI field. It's
    messed up now for a reason. I'm trying to help restabilize it, but people
    magnificently undid a lot of the work I had previously done to help sort out
    AVI's stability as a viable interchange format. =\
    zachd [MSFT], Feb 1, 2008
  8. John Hanley

    zachd [MSFT] Guest

    That's E_FAIL which is sad.

    On my clean / pristine system, MJPG plays back fine. You don't need
    pvmjpg30.dll to play this. FFDShow does have an MJPEG decoder, but that's
    replacing the built-in DirectShow MJPEG decoder that's part of Quartz. If
    you open up graphedt.exe (not on your system), you can go to Graph : Insert
    Filters : Video Compressors and you should see MJPEG decompressor under
    zachd [MSFT], Feb 1, 2008
  9. John Hanley

    PapaJohn Guest


    One of the many things I don't understand about operating systems and codecs
    is why, if Quartz.dll is Microsoft's good decoder for Motion JPEG files and
    comes with my Vista system, why doesn't Vista manage the codec priorities
    such that Quartz is used by WMP and Movie Maker even if ffdshow and PICVideo
    codecs are installed and given permission to be used as needed.

    It's hard to believe a codec from a third party can step in front of the one
    preferred by Vista, and the operating system will accept it without getting
    me the user involved. Among Quartz, ffdshow and PICVideo, the most polite
    one is ffdshow when it asks if it should be used once, all the time, or not.
    The other two don't ask.

    On a slightly different subject, when a Motion JPEG file is open in WMP, the
    file properties show the video codec when either ffdshow or PICVideo is
    being used, but it offers no info about the codec being used when it's
    Quartz... why is that?
    website references are to

    PapaJohn, Feb 1, 2008
  10. John Hanley

    zachd [MSFT] Guest

    It's been generally assumed that if you install a codec, it's for a good
    reason. That assumption has blown up in user's faces since the advent of
    the hideous and embarassingly shoddy world of codec packs.
    FFDShow has gotten better. They've made their mistakes too. FFDShow and other early/broken versions are still out there breaking people.
    This is why I try to exclusively use the term "FFDShow Tryouts", referring
    to the sustained tree that fixes up most of the FFDShow problems.

    You're hinting at a much larger problem affecting all of DirectShow as the
    field becomes terrorized by incompetent installers and beta or alpha grade
    filters. The right people are looking at this non-trivial problem. I'm
    trying to coax things back to more "normal", but the rampant third party
    codec pack incompetence has really dealt a fairly crushing blow to the
    multimedia ecosystem. Having the average user living on the bleeding edge
    is causing massive problems. When I look at SP1 crash data and see a third
    party codec atop the crashes for almost every multimedia component... that's
    pretty depressing.
    I haven't looked into that code chain for a while. If it's important, I
    could, but I suspect it's an idle question.
    zachd [MSFT], Feb 1, 2008
  11. John Hanley

    PapaJohn Guest

    Thanks... but you don't say why the codecs supplied with the operating
    system take a back seat to the 3rd party ones when they get installed. Seems
    that stronger operating system management of codecs would be a step toward
    resolving things, and would be an appropriate thing to expect from an
    operating system..

    And what WMP shows for the video codec isn't an idle question... I'd much
    prefer having WMP tell me what it's using than to have to check the file
    with GSpot or another utility and guess what WMP is using. And I'm using the
    pointer in WMP to tell me what Movie Maker is using, as the properties of
    the files in MM don't include the codec used.
    website references are to

    PapaJohn, Feb 1, 2008
  12. John Hanley

    John Hanley Guest

    There is a little bit of progress to report -- I downloaded ffdshow tryouts;
    at least the subject files now play in Windows Media Player. Not yet in
    Windows Media Center, not yet in Windows Movie Maker.

    GSpot showed that ffdshowtryouts added six codecs (4 video & 2 audio) and
    went from 233 codecs to 239 codecs.

    PJ -- applaud your theme to demystify codecs!
    John Hanley, Feb 2, 2008
  13. John Hanley

    zachd [MSFT] Guest

    You're right, I did not discuss the filter merit system, which is available
    for look up on MSDN. That's been around since I believe DirectShow first
    existed back (previous to 1996?). Belligerant and bad filters are a *very*
    recent phenonemon. The right people are aware of this issue. In the
    interim, there's a variety of third party filter management systems

    The easiest correct solution is probably not to install random bad software
    on a machine. ;-)

    This area sucks. The right people are aware of it. It sucks because you
    have bad filters being installed by incompetent installers. I was going to
    make a comment about the Windows codec management system, but then I
    realized that wasn't fair because there really hasn't been a good
    (Microsoft) one ever. The right people are aware of this. Don't install
    random codecs.
    IIRC, it's abstracted out - there's no "DirectShow::WhatCodecAmIUsing();"
    method that I'm aware of. Patrick looked into this a while ago, I'll
    mention it to him next time we have lunch together.
    zachd [MSFT], Feb 2, 2008
  14. John Hanley

    PapaJohn Guest

    thanks John.... the first of my newsletters in this new series, "About
    Codecs - Part 1 of ??", is going out in an hour. It'll commit me to the
    learning and additional parts of the series.
    PapaJohn, Feb 2, 2008
  15. John Hanley

    PapaJohn Guest

    thanks... I'll search for such filter management systems. In all my years of
    working with Movie Maker, I've not come across anything that is a tool for
    users rather than programmers.

    website references are to

    PapaJohn, Feb 2, 2008
  16. John Hanley

    zachd [MSFT] Guest

    Right, I'm pretty unaware of any filter management systems that are designed
    to be used by an average user. This is not a "average user" area. This is
    why the proliferation of bad codecs, filters, and codec packs is so
    dangerous. This was never designed to be toyed with by the average user.
    The whole system assumes that developers were going to be responsible. =\
    zachd [MSFT], Feb 3, 2008
  17. John Hanley

    davinwv Guest

    I have various videos shot with Canon Powershot digital cameras. When I
    watch them in WMP11 on Vista Home Premium, I hear sound and see video, but
    the video is green! Zach, you say that there is a decoder built in (Quartz),
    but I can find no such file. The only additional codec I've installed is
    divX (in an attempt to fix this).

    Any ideas on resolving this issue?

    davinwv, Mar 3, 2008
  18. John Hanley

    PapaJohn Guest

    quartz.dll is in the c:\Windows\System32 folder
    website references are to

    PapaJohn (MVP)
    PapaJohn, Mar 3, 2008
  19. John Hanley

    zachd [MSFT] Guest

    If you already had video (green or not), you have a decoder available on the

    What video card do you have? Is there a driver update available?
    zachd [MSFT], Mar 3, 2008
  20. John Hanley

    davinwv Guest

    I have an nvidia GeForce 7600GT running the latest drivers (from 12/2007).

    Here is another piece to the puzzle:
    If I play the video from within Windows Photo Gallery, it plays with the
    correct colors.
    If I play the video from within Windows Live Photo Gallery, it plays green.
    If I play the video from within WiMP11, it plays green.

    Any ideas?
    davinwv, Mar 3, 2008
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