MATLAB Linux AVI playback “only uncompressed AVI movies can be read on UNIX” error

MATLAB on Linux claims to only playback uncompressed AVI files on “UNIX” systems.

However, MATLAB on Linux can’t even play all uncompressed AVI filed depending on your particular system configuration with gstreamer. The solution thus far, with MATLAB 2012a, seems to be using Motion JPEG in AVI videos.

Here’s a tentative solution for playing back video on Linux systems with MATLAB 2012a, that is, MATLAB “should” be able to playback “out.avi”

ffmpeg -i input.avi -vcodec mjpeg -qscale 1 out.avi

If you get an error about not having ffmpeg installed, on Ubuntu type in Terminal:

sudo apt-get install ffmpeg

Here is a video I transcoded the first second of using the above settings

Star collapse video from

(here is the actual command I used to truncate the video to one second and to heavily compress to reduce download size)
ffmpeg -i input.avi -vcodec mjpeg -t 1 -qscale 11 out.avi
(The sample AVI file is used under GNU LGPL from )