A Codec is Required To Play This File???

May 24th, 2010 - 01:02 pm ET by LJV | Report spam
Hello,

I am running Windows XP and I am using an up-to-date version of Windows
Media Player 11. I have a video file which I received from a friend about
three or four years ago now. I have played it and viewed it many times in
the past using Windows Media Player with no problems at all. I guess it has
been a little while since I've played it now, because when I went to open it
yesterday, Windows Media Player pops out an error message saying that "A
Codec is reguired to play this file..."

I now know what a codec is, but I have no idea how to get a hold of this
particular codec so that I can start viewing this video once again. I don't
even know how to go about searching for it online because I don't know what
to look for. I have also read that you need to be careful when downloading
codecs because if they are not from a good/trustable source, it could wreak
havoc on your computer. So I am concerned about this as well.

Is there somewhere online where I can download the specific codec that this
video file needs without doing harm to my computer?

Thanks much,
LJV
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#1 Neil Smith [MVP Digital Media]
May 26th, 2010 - 06:29 pm ET | Report spam
On Mon, 24 May 2010 10:02:01 -0700, LJV
wrote:

Hello,

I am running Windows XP and I am using an up-to-date version of Windows
Media Player 11. I have a video file which I received from a friend about
three or four years ago now. I have played it and viewed it many times in
the past using Windows Media Player with no problems at all. I guess it has
been a little while since I've played it now, because when I went to open it
yesterday, Windows Media Player pops out an error message saying that "A
Codec is reguired to play this file..."

I now know what a codec is, but I have no idea how to get a hold of this
particular codec so that I can start viewing this video once again. I don't
even know how to go about searching for it online because I don't know what
to look for. I have also read that you need to be careful when downloading
codecs because if they are not from a good/trustable source, it could wreak
havoc on your computer. So I am concerned about this as well.

Is there somewhere online where I can download the specific codec that this
video file needs without doing harm to my computer?



Hi - you're right to be cautious of codec packs in general, they can
often produce a wide variety of undesirable side effects.

Sometimes codecs can be removed by uninstalling apparently unrelated
software, though that's most often something like a video editing
package or similar.

Media player allows for plug-ins (codecs) to decode video and/or audio
which it doesn't have built in decoders for. To identify a video
decoder needed by media player, the GSpot program can be helpful :

http://www.headbands.com/gspot/

After installing that, open the file in GSpot and click the Render [1]
and [2] buttons, then inspect the Video Codec and/or Audio Codec
listed which it finds from the file data.

If you copy and post those values here, we can suggest a minimal but
working decoder which should get you running.

To save a little time, if the filename ends in .avi *and* happens to
have 'divx' or 'xvid' somewhere in the filename (common from file
sharing websites) then the DivX decoder should be enough to get it
running : http://www.divx.com/en/software/div...codec-pack
provides just DivX (MPEG4) and Matroska decoders, which are safe
enough to install

HTH
Cheers - Neil

Digital Media MVP : 2004-2010
http://mvp.support.microsoft.com/mvpfaqs

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