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No sound on your BlackBerry PlayBook videos? No problem!

Sound Blaster
By Adam Zeis on 5 Jan 2012 04:09 pm EST
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Prepping my gear for CES today, I dropped a few movies from my Mac onto my BlackBerry PlayBook. Since I've made the mistake in the past, I decided to test them out before hitting the road. Sure enough, two of the videos I had imported had no sound -- thus I embarked on my quest to the CrackBerry forums for an easy solution. If you're having problems with no sound on your PlayBook videos, keep reading and we'll get you squared away in no time!

Fixing Sound Issues on Imported PlayBook Videos

So off the bat we're assuming the videos with which you're sound having issues are .avi files. The PlayBook only supports certain file types, so any .avi videos with AC3 audio won't play. To fix the issue you'll have to convert the audio to MP3.

  1. Start off by downloading Avidemux free here.
  2. After installing Avidemux, open the video file in Avidemux  (click yes on any popups)
  3. Click the Audio dropdown on the left and select MP3 (lame)
  4. Under Audio click Filters -> Mixer -> Stereo -> OK
  5. Go to File and choose Save -> Save Video (make sure you add .avi to the file name)

When Avidemux is done processing (it should only be a few minutes depending on your PC setup), toss the video on your PlayBook and you should have glorious audio!!

Discuss more in the forums

Reader comments

No sound on your BlackBerry PlayBook videos? No problem!

44 Comments
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Thank you. Although the preferred option for me would be for RIM to increase the number of media file formats/codecs that the Playbook can support. I can't wait for mkv support to come - which was promised last summer I might add.

Who said that? Who the ... said that? Who's the slimy little ipeed junkie, twinkle-toed nut down here who just signed his own death warrant? Nobody, huh? The fairy godmother said it. Out-standing! I will PB until you die! I'll PB you until your butt is sucking buttermilk!

this is ok for the odd video but if you have a server with 100's of gigs of avi ac3 videos then its not a fix its a right pain , given other devices will play anything thrown at them

I have a playbook and love it to death =D. But you are wrong. iPad has VLC, and if you were unlucky enough to miss it while it was on the APP store, you can just get it off cydia.

Not really I have azul player and good player from app store and they do the same as vlc. However my playbook doesnt support the files nor does it have an app that does. Avidemux does help but u have to wait for the conversion plus the transfer of the video to the playbook takes probaly twice or three times more than normal usb or idevice.

you could just use the Blackberry Video Converter and select the Playbook as your output device.
this works 100% of the time for me

Huh? BB Video Converter? WHere? @ DM?

I've been waiting for an easy way to import movies to my PB, dont have time for all the hassle :(

RIM needs to add a resume feature. The video player is basically useless for me when I have to watch the whole video at once or risk losing my place. Do they just expect us to be watching 5-10 minute clips? Maybe I want to show someone else a clip but not lose my place in another video.

There is this thing called Your Memory! How about you just remember where you are in the movie. Its not hard to remember that you are 53 minutes in if you feel the need to stop in the middle of watching a movie to show someone else a video clip of something else.

Easy enough to remember when it is only a few minutes. Say I come back in a few days and want to pick up where I left off. Should I just keep sticky notes on times that I stop the video? Maybe I should just jump around and try to recognize whether I have watched this part. Or RIM could just include a feature that has been in every media player since at least my 6 year old Iriver.

If you cant remember what part you of the movie you left off at, regardless of wether you have a 'resume' option or not, YOU should probably start the movie from the beginning anyway...cuz then YOU are gonna think you only watched the 'rest of the movie' anyway.
...anyway, Im sure a Resume Option will come.

I personally use a combination of Handbrake and the Handbrake Batch Encoder to move my videos to mp4 format on my Windows PC. I originally sought out this solution to solve playback issues on the PS3 from my media server. I have found that any video that the PS3 is capable of playing the Playbook can as well.

Handbrake Batch Encoder was definitely a godsend because it allows to mass convert files with no intervention required. I believe there is an equivalent of the batch encoder on Mac.

ditto on the resume jntrup. it really sucks trying to skip through the movie to find your place again. sometimes seeing one second of a frame can ruin the movie.

Yup! I've been preaching the Avidemux gospel on the forums! Glad to see you spreading the word Brother Adam!

No special need to convert to mp3 stereo if source is multichannel. You may convert it to AAC 6ch and it will work as well (PlayBook will make the down-conversion on the fly if you're using the speakers)

this is a start but definitely not a fix. I have so many anime files that i wanna play on my playbook but cant because they are mkv. that really sucks. and besides adding the resume feature on the playbook they really need to add a 'play all' or playlist feature. I really hate when i have my playbook connected to my tv and once the video finishes i have to select the next video. It should play whatever is next in order automatically. oh and where the hell are the apps???? and good cheap apps????

I got the Playbook a couple days ago, is a well built machine, I knew going in the app selection was going to be limited, but yeah, it would be nice if they had Mkv and avi play, Ipad has apps such Azul Cinexplayer, and who knows how many more that play media, and also streaming apps such as Streamtome, and wireless download from your computer your media
. Also it would be nice if their reading apps have more polish, ipad apps are in another dimension, though I like the playbooks built quality and size, also give option to kill turning the screen by swiping, I already have turn it on by mistake, a couple times. Am okay with my buy, but I wish they had more polished reading apps and media player formats.

What version of os 2? I'm on 2.0.0.6149 and it doesn't do it.

Where did you get your version from?

How about making the audio files play as is on the Playbook instead?
We shouldn't have to convert files for them to play.

At the very least, is there a util that converts it in seconds - and not 5-10 minutes?

@ berklon, it wouldn't be necessary if the videos were encoded correctly in the first place. I'm not sure why videos wouldn't be encoded using the most common audio codecs...

I just use Handbrake when necessary. It converts video and audio perfectly for the PlayBook (and BB smartphones, as well as the iPad, etc) and on a recent TV series I had to do this for, it actually improved the volume of the audio output on regular devices such as a laptop as well.

This is not good enough. RIM need to provide a lot more support for different formats in the 2.0 release. 99% of my movies and TV series are in MKV format. I'm also a RIM premium support customer and logged several Feature enhancements in May 2011 for mkv/mpg/ac3 support! I've still heard nothing back from them so it just goes to show that if they don't bother with their top customers why would they care about the regular joe public?

Anyway, hopefully with the introduction of the Android marketplace on playbook there will be some kind of app available.

Don't hold your breath on your feature enhancements requests and don't think just because you pay for support you have more pull on their production direction than the average consumer does. They don't add new features into the product by how much you pay for support, they put them in the product by customer demand. So you should be encouraging the average PB user to call regular RIM support and request the features, there are a lot more of those users than one's like you and I.

I like the remake on Jackass 3. Sadly, I can't view it on my PB, but I have the DRM'ed version on my "old" iPad. I refuse to part with my 64GB original.

All, I am going through this whole process and it's taking ages for a 1GB movie. How difficult can it be for RIM to just mane the PB accepts this new formats.... I must admit, it takes a lot of love to stick to the blackberry/RIM/PB family....

Hi, just downloaded this software and followed the instuctions word for word. I successfully recoded the audio for Immortals and transferred it to my PB and everything works fine. Now I'm trying to do the same for Cowboys and Aliens, which is on 2 files; disc one and two. The first disc did not convert but the second one did...I'm not sure what I'm missing. Can someone help???

I've transferred some videos from my Blackberry phone to my Playbook and they have no sound either... surely the Playbook can view videos recorded on another blackberry device? I haven't converted them, just synced the two devices via the Blackberry Desktop Software :( The sound on the Playbook is working because the demo video works fine and the videos play with sound on the original BB phone Any ideas?

The Playbook has a glorious screen, pity they are not with the times as far as codecs to support. No one should have to convert anything in this day and age unless the codec is totally new. I'm gifting the 64GB PB I have and will sell on the 32GB one and will most likely pick up the Asus Memo. I really wanted to like the PB, the hardware is wonderful, the OS is brilliant (like the WebOS) but app nonavailability and lack basic codec support is a real disappointment. I do hope that OS2 is going to be that magic update that will solve all these basic needs in a tablet.