An AVI is actually not a video format in and of itself. The "AVI" file is merely a wrapper, what I like to call a "container" file. It holds video and audio information that would typically be unable to exist as its own file format. This video and audio information is written to and read from the AVI by codecs (compressor-decompressor files).
Popular codecs include MPEG-4, DivX, Xvid, MJPEG, HuffYUV, and other FourCC variations. Even MPEG and Windows Media Video (WMV) can exist within an AVI file, as the AVI is just video data with a RIFF header surrounding it
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