It’s a miserable feeling when you’ve just spent hours downloading that video, by torrent, only for it to be a complete dud when you go to watch it. It’s been voted, starred, commented, and reviewed though, so it must work! However, you could just be simply missing a codec that is preventing you from enjoying that media file.
It’s a regular practice for the developers of media players to include codecs bundled with the installation package. If you’re a fan of Media Player Classic, you probably know what I’m talking about. MPC and VLC are two of the most reliable tools for enjoying music and video, and you’ll rarely (if ever) run into a problem with them. However, missing codecs are still a problem for the rest of us. In this post, we’ll fix that problem.
CodecInstaller is by far the fastest and easiest way to handle your codecs on a Windows machine. If you’re unfamiliar with what exactly a codec is, Wikipedia describes it best:
A codec is a device or computer program capable of encoding or decoding a digital data stream or signal. A codec encodes a data stream or signal for transmission, storage or encryption, or decodes it for playback or editing. Codecs are used in videoconferencing, streaming media and video editing applications.
Codecs are basically what allow you and I to enjoy the most common types of media files. CodecInstaller is a great middleman to help manage them. CodecInstaller works on every version of Windows including and past 2000, and is dependent on Microsoft .NET Framework 2 (so you’ll need that installed).
During the installation process, be wary of the opt-out for the browser toolbar.
Make sure you uncheck the checkbox if you’re not interested in this. It will be checked by default.
The CodecInstaller interface couldn’t be any simpler.
The top button, as it clearly states, will show you what codecs you currently have installed on your system. There are four different tabs which help you in filtering and otherwise browsing through the list.
The Analyze File option is a very useful one. If you have a media file that is giving you trouble, run it through this. Aside from giving you a ton of information about the file, such as the size, length, and video and audio specifics, it will also tell you if all required codecs are installed.
This last button is where you’ll navigate to if you’re looking to install the most common codecs. Clicking the Download button on any option will immediately bring up a page in your default browser where you can download the latest version of that specific codec. Allowing you to visit the website to download from rather than feeding you the direct download means that you’re very likely to always get the latest version of each respective codec, which is very important.
What do you guys think of CodecInstaller and the features that it provides? Do you know of an alternative source for downloading codecs? Let us know in the comments!