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September 1, 2006

Play Google Video Files In Windows Media Player

I'll tell you a secret: what I like about this blog is that I can say stupid things, or small parts from the truth, and then other people may tell the truth or share the whole picture. And it's not that I intentionally say stupid things or parts of the truth.

When I wrote Download Google Videos as AVI, I heard that Linux users had a direct link to AVI files in Google Video. Then I looked in the code from and discovered that Google hides the link from Windows users, so they have to download Google Video Player. I really like bookmarklets, so I made a simple one to launch the download of the AVI file. And it seemed OK. But people started to say they can't play the video. Then I realized that the video works only in Media Player Classic, MPlayer, but not in Windows Media Player. The real problem was that Google adds a small header in the file, and most players (including WMP) don't like that.

Then I found (in the comments of the post) a really nice site that has a lot of tips about downloading videos from Google Video, YouTube and other video sharing sites. It even has a super-bookmarklet that works with all these sites. There are also utilities that remove Google's header and transform the video into a regular AVI file. My favorite converter is GVI2AVI, a small portable software (44k) that requires the .NET Framework.

What I wanted to say in this post is that you can make a small step and then discover that others have already discovered the whole truth. But that's OK, everybody's gotta learn sometime.


  1. CinemaForge can convert downloaded mp4 files from Google Video into multiple file format including .flv, .swf, .mpg, .wmv, .avi, .mov, .asf, and .rm.

  2. Also, there is an extention for Firefox called VideoDownloader by Javi Moya which is able to download Google Video in .mp4, .flv, and .avi formats directly.

  3. The site I was talking about has a much better solution than any silly extension. Firstly, it's a bookmarklet, so it works with any browser. Secondly, it's client-side, so you don't send your video URL to a server.

  4. Hi and thanks for mentioning my site on your blog. I'm flattered! I came across the post on

    I uploaded a video to YouTube just this week, showing how easily the "goog" list entry can be removed from Google's AVI clips with a hexeditor. I thought that seeing a video of how it's actually done might be more helpful than just reading about it on the website.

    I have also uploaded a video that shows the process of installing ffdshow and an flv-splitter with support for FLV4. It's done in little time and among other things makes WMP play FLV files fine.

    Another video shows how Windows users are offered the Google Video Player setup file or a GVP file when trying to download the AVI video. That way users of OSX or Linux can see what Windows users experience. The video also demonstrates how a greasemonkey script can be used to "fix" the download button. Some people prefer to change the user agent of their browser to get the direct download link. That works, too.

    I hope the links to the videos are found to be a valuable contribution to your post.


  5. With a program like VirtualDub you can just do a direct stream copy from one the GVI to an AVI and it will remove the headers for you when it creates the new AVI.

  6. Try GvideoFix

    go to

  7. Just wanted to know whether it's possible to play rm files in windows media player. Any ways thanx for the info

    All possible ways to convert and download vids from video sharing sites like youtube

  8. Scrub that last comment - I got the flv file via KeepVid
    :P - loveleeeeeeeeee, now I can watch it when I have time without using bandwidth...

  9. I want to thank you for your previous work, I finaly found a solution to this.


  10. I tried the GVI2AVI converter on a google video that I have (The Great Global Warming Swindle) and all it did was convert the soundtrack. When I tried to play the supposedly converted video file with Microsoft's video player, the soundtrack was converted properly but there wasn't any video. Can anyone guess what I did wrong?

  11. There is a free multimedia format conversion program call SUPER C at:
    scroll down to the end and look for the link that will take several links to reach the .exe file.)
    It can convert 99% of all video and sound files!