AMV video format

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Filename extension
.amv, .mtv
Internet media typevideo/x-amv
Container forAudio, video
Extended fromAVI and Motion JPEG

AMV (Actions Media Video) is a proprietary video file format, produced for MP4 players, as well as S1 MP3 players with video playback. There are two different versions of this format: an older one for Actions chips, and a newer one for ALi’s M5661 chip, sometimes called ALIAVI.


The container is a modified version of AVI.[1] The video format is a variant of Motion JPEG, with fixed rather than variable quantisation tables.[2] The audio format is a variant of IMA ADPCM, where the first 8 bytes of each frame are origin (16 bits), index (16 bits) and number of encoded 16-bit samples (32 bits); all known AMV files run sound at 22050 samples/second.[1]

Low decoder overhead is paramount as the S1 MP3 players have very low-end processors (a Z80 variant). Video compression ratio is low – around 4 pixels/byte, compared with over 10 pixels/byte for MPEG-2[1] – though as the files are of low resolution (96×96 up to 208×176) and frame rate (10, 12, or 16 frame/s), file sizes are small in bytes per second. With a resolution of 128×96 pixels and a framerate of 12 frame/s, a 30-minute video will be compressed into 80 MB.


Documentation for this format is not publicly available, but Dobrica Pavlinušić reverse engineered the format[1] to produce a Perl-based decoder[3] and Pavlinušić, Tom Van Braeckel and Vladimir Voroshilov produced a version of FFmpeg that works on AMV files.[4]


Fake or cloned iPod Nano (4th generation) devices are reported to only support AMV video formats for video playback. These cloned devices are sold with a AMV video converter software in a CD. These AMV video converter softwares are also available for free online (freeware) such as the MPxConverter by Bytessence.[5]


  1. ^ a b c d voroshil (2007-10-15). "AmvDocumentation". Google Code. Archived from the original on 23 March 2008. Retrieved 2008-04-06.
  2. ^ forcing mjpegenc to use fixed quantisation tables (Tom Van Braeckel, FFmpeg-devel mailing list, 28 October 2007)
  3. ^ AMV free decoder (Dobrica Pavlinušić, personal blog, 19 August 2007)
  4. ^ amv-codec-tools (Google Code)
  5. ^ Videohelp. "Bytessence MPxConverter". VideoHelp. Archived from the original on 2015-11-23. Retrieved November 5, 2021.

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