Media player and video codecs made simple…

The biggest problem with Audio and video content is the variety of different codecs that are supported by different players. On Windows this usually means having Windows Media Player, Realplayer and Quicktime installed, plus who knows what else. I was having a discussion yesterday about some videos that I had given to someone that work fine on my linux desktop, (divx format I believe), however Windows media player fails to find a codec. I told him that I’ve always felt Media Player was a bit “snobbish” with regards to codecs. It’s a great idea to be able to detect and download the codec on demand, but in reality, I didn’t recall seeing xvid/divx being among those that would auto-download (may have changed by know I’m not certain.) Anyway, I suggested mplayer as a good multi-format video player. Mplayer will handle most any video format thrown at it.

The only question I had was it’s windows availability. It is available for windows. (And of course, linux/mac…) What prompted the post though, is that George Ou referenced something I haven’t heard of, K-Lite, which is basically a codec pack, bundled with a “classic” version of Windows Media Player (6.4.9) But it looks as though it might be another good option for trying to view those obscure media formats that Windows media player usually turns its nose up at.

Online of course, it can be tempting to run out and search for video codecs, unfortunately, there are many spyware/exploit sites that try to lure in “video codec” search traffic, so I’d be careful about being too adventurous in your video codec download searches. K-Lite sounds as though it might be a very quick and easy install (stick to the defaults!). I don’t know about mplayer on windows ease of use, it might not be considered AS user friendly. It is nice to have options though. If you download mplayer, you ought to look at the codec pack downloads as well.

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