Windows Vista forum

General discussion

Windows Essential codec pack

by theportoman / October 19, 2008 4:10 AM PDT


Ive just downloaded the codec pack from the site to play different file types but what do I do now ? I thought it would autmatically integrate with Windows Media Player but it doesnt so what do I need to do to get WMP to use the codecs ?


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Very confusing area.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / October 19, 2008 4:56 AM PDT

Let's just say its far from automagic. But if a video file fails it could be that Microsoft has blocked the codec, the codec doesn't work with WMP or "other."

To work this issue I might try GPSOT CODEC APPLIANCE (use google when I offer no links) and I might use VLC PLAYER to play the content instead of spending time on WMP.

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by theportoman / October 19, 2008 5:20 AM PDT
In reply to: Very confusing area.


The reason why I downloaded the codecs was to play some AAC files - Ive got Nero Smartsuite which plays AAC but I hate the interface. So really Im just trying to find a good userfriendly AAC player (and a good M4P player too as I dont want to use Itunes).

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That helps a lot!
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / October 19, 2008 5:43 AM PDT
In reply to: AAC ?

"Licensing and Patents

No licenses or payments are required to be able to stream or distribute content in AAC format. [8] This reason alone makes AAC a much more attractive format to distribute content than MP3, particularly for streaming content (such as Internet radio).

However, a patent license is required for all manufacturers or developers of AAC codecs [9]. It is for this reason FOSS implementations such as FAAC and FAAD are distributed in source form only, in order to avoid patent infringement. (See below under Products that support AAC, Software.)"

AHHH!!! This explains why your codec pack may not have the ready to use CODEC. Nasty.

Doubly nasty because as a moderator I am bound to those same limitations. But I hope you know know to seek out a CODEC for this format.
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A suggestion ?
by theportoman / October 19, 2008 6:08 AM PDT
In reply to: That helps a lot!

Well a suggestion on a player that plays AAC would be good if you know of any !

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Remember the DRM angle.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / October 19, 2008 11:29 AM PDT
In reply to: A suggestion ?

If the AAC is DRM'd then you must use the player specified by the person who handed you the file.

The most common AAC player I know of is iTunes.

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The one true essential codec pack
by Jimmy Greystone / October 19, 2008 6:37 AM PDT

The one true essential codec pack for Windows is ffdshow. It's free, no spyware, and it's considerably smaller. It's also very highly optimized to use CPU features like MMX and SSE2. Since it primarily focuses on only being a decoder, often times it can give better performance than the official codecs. Combine it with MediaPlayer Classic Homecinema, and you've got yourself a setup that will handle virtually anything you throw at it.

It will also play AAC files, so long as they don't contain any DRM, such as those you might get from iTunes. When it comes to any DRM encumbered file format, you're going to be very limited in the number of ways you can play that file. Also be careful you don't run into a situation like Yahoo and Walmart music download stores ran into, where the company decides they're going to discontinue the service and you're left hanging. Walmart was eventually pressured into keeping the authentication servers around a while longer, but I think most Yahoo music store patrons were just left high and dry.

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A more user friendly front-end would be CCCP Codec Pack
by Shun4rm323 / October 19, 2008 4:43 PM PDT

I also agree with FFDSHOW, it is also compatible with Vista and it will no longer display COM Surrogate crashes (Vista SP1 here correct me if I'm wrong)

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Okay then...
by theportoman / October 19, 2008 9:28 PM PDT

Okay thanks. So where can I find this FFD SHOW ? Also do I just run it and let it install itself into the Windows Media Player or do I have to do something complicated?


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CCCP simplifies that for you
by Shun4rm323 / October 20, 2008 3:24 AM PDT
In reply to: Okay then...

Nope you don't need to do any complex stuff unless something does not work in this case tell us the problem. Out of the box though it works 98%> of the time.

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Where is it ?
by theportoman / October 20, 2008 6:34 AM PDT

Okay so where do I find it ?

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You can find
by Jimmy Greystone / October 20, 2008 6:49 AM PDT
In reply to: Where is it ?

You can find ffdshow here:

Don't let the "tryouts" bit throw you off, that really primarily refers to the fact that this is a slightly unofficial build with extra bug fixes and enhancements since the main ffdshow development can be a bit slow.

You could also download a copy of MediaPlayer Classic Homecinema (MPC-HC), which IMO blows Windows Media Player out of the water in every way that counts. It's free, and integrates a copy of ffshow right into it, so it's just one less thing to worry about. The whole download is a single executable file under 10MB in size, so it's even pretty dialup friendly. You can find MPC-HC here:

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Ok I will have a look.............
by theportoman / October 23, 2008 12:11 AM PDT
In reply to: You can find

Thanks for your help I will go and investigate................

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Here you go
by Shun4rm323 / October 20, 2008 11:20 AM PDT
In reply to: Where is it ?
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Problem ?
by theportoman / October 25, 2008 3:09 AM PDT

Ok I downloaded the FFD thing but it hasnt made any difference. It seemed to download okay but I thought it would appear in my programs menu but maybe it integrates itself in another way. Anyway, when I insert a disc with AAC files on it the only way I have of playing them is with Nero - the same as last time ! It doesnt give me any other options. What am I doing wrong ?

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Did you install it?
by Jimmy Greystone / October 25, 2008 3:33 AM PDT
In reply to: Problem ?

Did you install it? I see mention of you downloading it, but not installing it, so just one of those things I have to ask.

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by theportoman / October 25, 2008 3:40 AM PDT
In reply to: Did you install it?

Yes I did install it and came up with some various things to click on unclick which I found quite confusing to say the least.

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