Unsupported File: What this error means on a media player

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You might want to listen to a song or watch a video on your smartphone. But then when you download the file, you get a message like “unsupported file”, “can’t open file”, “video format not supported” or “unsupported audio codec”. This can be really infuriating. However, this unsupported file error is easy to fix.

unsupported file error

First of all, you need to know what these error messages mean. There are two major things to know about: codecs and containers. Codec is actually an abbreviation of compressor-depressor. This is a method of encoding and decoding data. Codecs compress data (so it can be stored) or decompress it (so it can be viewed). A container is the part of the file that determines the file format. For example, a music file named “audio.mp3” has an MP3 container.

Most times, when a video file fails to play on your device, it is because the codec of your media file is different from that of your video player. This might lead you to think that the media player is faulty. Most times this is not the case. The unsupported file error message is simply saying that your media player does not support the file’s codec.

However, you don’t need to worry so much about your media player. You can just install a different media player. I recommend VLC media player, because it is quite versatile, and it supports all file formats. You can be certain that you won’t be seeing “unsupported file” on a VLC media player, unless the file you are trying to open is actually corrupt.

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