RMVB is short for RealMedia Variable Bitrate. It is a variable bitrate extension of the RealMedia multimedia container format developed by RealNetworks. Files using this format have the file extension ".rmvb". RealMedia uses compression similar to MPEG-4 Part 10 codecs, such as x264.
RMVB files are extremely popular for distributing Asian content, especially Chinese television episodes and movies. For this reason, they have become noticeably present (though not entirely popular) on file sharing platforms such as BitTorrent, eDonkey and Gnutella.
As opposed to the more common RealMedia container, which holds streaming media encoded at a constant bit rate, RMVB is typically used for multimedia content stored locally. On the Windows platform, the proprietary RealPlayer SP, the open-sourced Media Player Classic and VLC Media Player support RMVB, using an appropriate DirectShow filter or Real Alternative. On Linux and other Unix-like platforms, MPlayer, xine, and Totem are able to play RMVB files using the open-source, reverse-engineered RMVB implementation in FFmpeg. The format is also supported for playback by the cross-platform VLC media player.
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