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What exactly do you want to do? A lot of the other answers assume that you want examples of different h.264 encodings, JPEG image varieties, etc.

In my own side projects, I'm often dealing with old, badly-documented formats with limited examples (like data files for games). I usually start with the "file" command to try to identify the filetype, then look on Wikipedia and filext.com to find links to format specifications. Usually, I can also find the name of any programs that create/edit/view that file type, and that's a jumping-off point to find examples (given the domain, it'll be anything from another game that uses the format to a 90s-era fan page with modified or fan-created data files).

I've used this site before too: https://wiki.multimedia.cx/index.php?title=Main_Page

It provides links to a lot of format specifications, codec information, sometimes the mplayer samples that other comments here have linked to, etc.




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