How to Open a 3GP File

Level of difficulty: Easy

3GP refers to the format of video and audio streams. It is capable of storing streams of video and audio in a file that usually has the file extension 3GP. When it comes to the video inside the file, they are most commonly designated as H.264.AMR, H.263, or MPEG-4 Part 2. AAC audio also employs 3GP. The format of this multimedia container is usually intended for and is mainly utilized with mobile phones capable of handling multimedia. There are a number of mobile phones with the capability of recording and playing back videos using the 3GP format. The file extensions assigned for videos in the 3GP format are typically .3gp and .3g2. 3GP is the MP4 format’s simplified version and was intended to reduce the size of the files to render mobile phones capable of supporting videos.

Materials Needed:
- VLC Media Player
- computer
- Windows Media Player
- Haali Media Splitter
- FFDShow
Step 1
In order to open 3GP files, users would require software with the capability of splitting the files in order to support the format of the container. Decoding software is also needed for audio and video streams. There are a number of applications capable of playing 3GP files such as the Windows Media Player and VLC.
Step 2
VLC is often the recommended solution for playing back a number of the most common multimedia files available. On the other hand, although the VLC can support files with the 3GP format, it lacks the software for decoding AMR audio. However, when the file has an AAC audio, then technically, it is able to open 3GP files. The VLC software for the Windows Operating System may be downloaded from the Internet.
Step 3
Opening files with the 3GP format using VLC involves clicking on the given file and clicking on the option labeled as 'Open File'. Next, the user would have to click on the button that says 'Browse' in order to navigate through the hard drive for videos the user wants to watch. After selecting the video, the user would have to click on 'OK' so that the VLC application can begin playing the chosen video. VLC can also be employed by computers running on other Operating Systems such as Mac OS and Linux.
Step 4
Other software applications may also be employed in playing files with the 3GP format. DirectShow-based players like the Windows Media Player are capable of opening 3GP files but the installation of additional software is required. First and foremost, the 3GP container has to be readily accessible and the user would need extra software applications that are adept at decoding audio and video files in the said format.
Step 5
There are a number of choices for these additional software applications and these include the Haali Media Splitter and the FFDShow. The Haali Media Splitter may be downloaded for free from the Internet and could be employed with videos in the 3GP format and with DirectShow Players. This software had been specifically intended for splitting AVI, MP4 and MKV files. 3GP is a simple version of the MP4 container and is designed to attain the file type’s general goals. FFDShow is a decoding filter used in decoding various formats of audio and video. It can support MP4, AAC, H.264.AMR and H.263 and is capable of splitting 3GP videos. This DirectShow player is able to play almost all 3GP videos. Like the Haali Media Splitter, it is a freeware that may be downloaded from the Internet.