With the arrival of new technologies for data recovery and preservation, we can fix our damaged files and save precious time spent looking for undamaged copies. And this is especially important for video files, especially those we make ourselves during our family holidays, because we don't usually make any copies of those at all. So it's always a challenge to try and save them: otherwise, it's goodbye forever.
I'd like to draw your attention to one aspect first – be sure to check whether the file is actually corrupted, as sometimes video players claim that the video is corrupted when in fact it's just encoded in a format they cannot play. So it might be a good idea to try several video players to know for sure. If those players fail to play your video, then it's time to turn to more specialized tools.
When working with damaged files you should always keep in mind that some files are unrecoverable. This is especially true for cases when a part of the file is missing, e.g. as a result of a downloading error.
Also, it is quite possible that the resulting video may be a bit different from what you expect. Things like quality loss and desynchronization of video and sound are quite common side-effects of file restoration.
Make It Work Again
Some files can be repaired using the video players, so it's also a good idea to try salvaging your video using VLC or QuickTime. If these applications don't seem to be able to handle your corrupted video files, move on to the repair tools I've listed below.
All Video Fixer
It is a nice tool with a very simple, and a bit cartoonish, interface. You may even think it's too simple, with its few large buttons and huge workspace. On the bright side, the application is not very demanding, and it supports a wide variety of formats.
It's not free, but the trial version allows you to get a general idea whether the tool is good enough for you.
Digital Video Repair
First of all, this one is free. And it has a good range of features to boot. Its main advantage is probably the fact that it makes a copy of your corrupted file before attempting anything, so your original files are always safe.
Can't but mention that this app does have a limitation: it works with AVI files in a variety of encodings, but it only supports detection of key frames for certain codecs.
This one can be called a collection of tools, as it consists of a converter, an editor, and a few other applications. You're also expected to pay for this set of programs accordingly, but it's hardly a downside in itself: if it works for you, you won't have to use any additional software – which is always nice.
It also supports a variety of formats, and there's a trial version that is not terribly limited. All in all, worth a try.
This one is free and it works not only with video files, but also with documents, images, archives, and some other file types. It has a very simple interface with a window for the process log. Generally, it's all very simple and informative.
These are just some of the apps that you can use to repair video files, so if none of them takes your fancy, feel free to browse around for other ones.