View Full Version : Smooth *.avi file playback on a G3 ibook?

13th March 2005, 02:20 PM
I'm after suggestions on how to improve video playback on a G3 500 Mhz iBook with
384 RAM and a 8MB VRAM RageM3 video card, especially with DivX encoded avi files. Currently, playback is a jerky and stuttery. I'm after software based solutions, rather than hardware upgrade advice. It plays DVDs really smoothly, no problems at all.

13th March 2005, 04:45 PM
I don't have a lot of avi files, but I use MPlayer OS X on my 700 Mhz G3 iBook to play them and get pretty good results. I have less system RAM than your machine (256), but twice the video RAM. I don't know if your avi files are compatible with MPlayer either, but it's worth a look at. There is a free download available here:


Note: This is OS X only

Hope this helps.

13th March 2005, 04:55 PM
Forgot to mention this one! VideoLan will also play back avi files. I get really good results with this free program, even in full screen mode. Also great for playing VCD disks as well.

This is Mac OS X only too.

Here it is



13th March 2005, 05:10 PM
I've had a play around with both - mplayer does stuttery audio but the video isn't that bad. VCL gives clear audio but with stuttery video. Oddly enough, I've had the most success with RealPlayer, but the playback's still jerky. I know from my forays into Linux that mplayer is customisable, but I'm not sure of what the command string would be to help playback... I think that 200 extra processing power that you have really helps!

13th March 2005, 05:13 PM
Having the same iBook 500, albeit overclocked, I can play back any DivX movie without problems. Although mine is now 600mhz/100Mhz bus instead of 500Mhz/66Mhz bus, there really isn't that much difference in real world performance.

MPlayer does not do as good as job as VLC for DivX playback on lowly G3 machines. The official DivX driver for Quicktime does the worst job of all. If you check "advanced options" under the messy VLC preferences bar, there is an option for "hurry up", which will skip frames while retaining continuous sound - sometimes this works well, other times not so. But you shouldn't need to do this.

Good luck,


13th March 2005, 05:51 PM
I have an 800mhz G3 ibook, and here's my take:

Divx's of 640*272 playback just fine, however as soon as the resolution hits actual dvd resolution 720*whatever, the video skips frames all over the place an is unwatchable.

I generally get the best performance when using VLC. Also, divx video with audio encoded as mp3 sometimes poses a problem (i.e stuttering audio, or video freezes), in which case I have had great success with extracting the audio track with quicktime, then re-encoding it to AAC at 80-112kbit, and gluing it all back together again.