Xvid is not a video format like MP4 but rather is a video codec library following the MPEG-4 Part 2 Advanced Simple Profile (ASP) coding standard. Xvid is a competitor of the proprietary DivX codec developed by DivX Inc. In contrast to DivX, Xvid is a free software distributed under the GNU General Public License. Because of this, Xvid is used on all platforms for which the source code can be compiled.
The Xvid software is used to compress and decompress video data to MPEG-4 ASP. Due to the compression supported in Xvid, a DVD movie can be sufficiently compressed to fit onto a CD while still retaining the DVD quality. The compressed video is stored with the .xvid extension. Xvid can be considered as ZIP for video files. Xvid compresses video at a 200:1 or more ratio. This allows for more efficient disk storage and faster transmission over networks.
DivXNetworks founded the OpenDivX in January 2001 as a part of Project Mayo. It was intended to be the home for open source multimedia projects. However, the source code was soon placed under a restrictive license and DivX 4 codec emerged as a closed-source commercial product. After this, the OpenDivX was forked and all the code of OpenDivx was replaced and Xvid was published under GNU General Public License.
How to play Xvid files
Xvid is not a video format, it is a program to compress and decompress video data from MPEG-4 ASP format. The encoded video is MPEG-4 ASP video and not Xvid video therefore it can be decoded with all decoders that are ASP compliant. The following are some of the players that can play Xvid files.
VLC Media Player
Windows Media Player
CD’s and DVD’s written with Xvid content can be played in some DivX compatible DVD Players. DivX compatible DVD Players cannot play Xvid content encoded with advanced MPEG-4 features.