What Codecs Should I Use?

Last update: 11 Dec 2004 | 249055 views

You have downloaded a video or audio file and you are unable to open it or it does not play properly. This can be due to a simple reason: a missing codec. But what codec(s) should i download?

• The easiest way to find out is to check the file extension. One thing to be noted is that some files can be named wrongly and some file formats such as AVI require different codecs depending on the file even if the file extension is the same.

• Other method - also very simple - to find out the proper codec for video or audio files is to use MediaInfo or GSpot. These small tools can help you to check what codecs you need and whether your computer is able to play the file(s).

Sometimes it would be simpler to just install most of the commonly used codecs so as to avoid having to search for one each time you download a file using a new codec.

Such codec packs are available here at codecs.com, however, you must take precautions to ensure that there are no software conflicts.

Many users reported troubles with codec packs.
Our advice is: Always use tools like MediaInfo or GSpot and try to install only the codecs you need. Almost all packs give you the option to select the codecs before installation.


Codecs related tools:

AVIcodec: gives detailled information, especially the codecs needed to play the file...
Sherlock - The Codec Detective!: The Codec Detective helps to determine the codecs installed on computer and check to see if any of the codecs are broken.
MMCompView: displays the details of all installed multimedia components (codecs, ActiveX filters) and allows you disable/enable specific components.
CodecViewer: is a little tool, which tells you which audio and video codecs you need for an avi file.
DXMan: allows you to add or remove video and audio codecs and plugins.

- See a complete list with codec identifiers and managers in Codec Identifiers section.

- You may use the forum to report problems related to codecs & codec packs.
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