Windows Essentials Codec Pack 4.6

A collection of audio and video codec's that allow traditionally unrecognized forms of media to be playable

  • Category:

    Codecs

  • Version:

    4.6

  • Works under:

    Windows 8 / Windows 7 / Windows Vista / Windows 2003 / Windows XP / Windows 2000

  • Program available in:In English
  • Program license:Free (GPL)
  • Vote:
    6.2 (31)

Windows Media Player provides support for a large number of audio and video files, but the Windows Essentials Codec Pack fills in the gaps and allows you to play even more audio and video. The software provides the necessary codecs to play over 99 percent of the audio and video files available on the Internet. No more do you have to worry about searching for, downloading and installing codecs for your machine. Once you install the software using the simple-to-follow installation wizard, you can immediately begin using your media player to play virtually any audio and video you desire.

The pack includes filters and codecs for a large number of nonnative formats that Windows simply doesn't automatically detect. The developer chose to use only one filter or codec per format, so you are left to the mercy of the developer's decision on the filter or codec that gets used. However, this approach also provides an excellent way to eliminate the possibility of conflicts and other errors that you might get by attempting to install more than one version of the codec. The package also provide a utility to configure the codecs, and for those who want a previous version of the media player, a complete Media Player Classic installation comes built-in.

The installation wizard allows you to select the codecs you want to install. This customization allows you to reduce the overall size of the installation. However, the entire installation package comes in at just over 1 MB. When an update to a codec becomes available, you can use the included update utility to download and install any available updates to the codecs and software. The package also comes with a 64-bit version, an H.264 decoder, improvements in rendering subtitles, and support for DTS-HD and Dolby TrueHD. Once you install the software, all of the codecs and filters can be removed by uninstalling the program. This can help you later on if you decide you need to free up space on your hard drive or troubleshoot issues with your media player. Overall, the software provides a highly reliable and effective way to play audio and video.

Here is a complete list of codecs supported: 3GP, 3IVX, AAC, APE, AVI, AVC, ATRAC3, DTS, FLV, FLAC, HD-MOV, M4A, MPC, MPEG-1, MPEG-2, MP3, MP4, MO3, MOD, MKV/MKA, MTM, Nero Digital, OFR, OGG/OGM, S3M, TTA, UMX, Vorbis, VOB, WavPack, WV, XM, XviD.

Pros

  • Simple installation wizard allows you to pick and choose the codecs you want installed.
  • No messing with codec downloads and searching through directories to find the right codecs.
  • Contains codecs for over 99 percent of audio and video on the Internet.
  • Regular updates allow you to install the latest updates to codecs, filters and software.

Cons

  • Only allows the installation of one codec per format.
  • Can't choose which filters you want installed during the installation wizard; you can only choose the codecs.
  • May not provide codecs for CCTV and other proprietary formats.

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