GSpot is a tool that can tell you exactly which codecs are required to view a video file. If you are having trouble viewing a video file chances are that Gspot can help you diagnose the problem and help you down the path to video enlightenment. In addition to identifying the codec needed, Gspot determines whether these codecs are installed, and if they are, isolates problems associated with these codecs.

Gspot has 350 video and 150 audio type codecs in its database. Add to that the ability to identify download induced problems and you have one very comprehensive video diagnostic tool. GSpot is a video codec identification utility – identifies which video codec and audio compression method is used on .avi files, whether the matching codec is installed, and more.

Here is a list of the features of GSpot:

  • Establishes what video codecs (audio and video) are required to play an AVI file
  • Determines whether these codecs are installed on your system
  • Isolates problems associated with these codecs
  • Simple operation – Basic use: “File > Open”, then read results
  • Identifies download induced problems (truncated files, “cooked” files, etc.)
  • Shows framerate, duration, aspect ratio, bitrates, AVI structure info, and more
  • Displays and allows editing of  RIFF info (title, etc); displays “hidden” ASCII info
  • Drag and Drop and “Send To” support, multi-file (batch) processing support
  • Copy/Paste or text export GSpot information – format is user configurable
  • Built-in database of 350 video and 150 audio codec types
  • Advanced UI including “dual-mode” and hyperlinked “persistent” tool tips
  • Full support for OGG media files as well as AVI stream formats
  • Identification (only) of non-AVI files (.mpg, .mov, .qt, .rm, .swf, .wmv, .asf, etc.)
  • Supports VFW, ACM, DirectShow and DMO codec types (audio and video)
  • Win95/98/ME/NT/2K/XP and it’s completely free!
  • No Install (optional), No spyware, No advertising, No registration

Some of the latest changes to the program are:

  • Reworked parts of the MPEG-4 parsing routine. It was failing to even identify some files as MPEG-4 altogether, and when it did it sometimes provided erroneous information (the BVOP indicator in particular).
  • Fixed exception violation (“crash”) issues exhibited by, in particular, v2.51b2, which often overran an internal data buffer. The current version has been “road-tested” with over 2000 media files.
  • Added 16:9 anamorphic support (for target and/or source) in the resizing information function. Also added ability to select different target sizes for “AVI” (i.e. 1:1 PAR) targets.
  • Reorganized the GUI layout, see the screenshots that have be uploaded to the website here.
  • Added support for parsing information from the optional MPEG-2 “sequence display extension”. When available, the “display” height and width are shown, as well as the color space mapping matrix (which may be useful only to a few video techno-geek users out there
  • Added support for identifying so-called “packed bitstreams”, an MPEG-4 construct sometimes used DivX 5.x and other MPEG-4 streams contained in an AVI file. The information is displayed as text in the “container” section; additionally a new indicator labeled “NVOP”, as these constructs are informally called, with the other MPEG-4 indicators.
  • Finally “restored” the ability to find the details of the codecs and other filters, as well as the mediatypes involved, when the “MS” (Microsoft DirectShow) render function is used. The word “restored” is in reference to the fact that older v2.21 had similar capability, albeit more limited than the information now available in this version.
Review by Jared Moya

GSpot has an average rating 4.0 out of 5 based on 2 user ratings.