Do I Need Video/ Audio Codec Packs in Windows 8?
Did you just download a new movie and tried to play it? If you are lucky enough, you can enjoy your popcorn. If not you will be greeted with ” The Player might not support the file type or a required codec might not be installed on your computer”. With this error spoiling your mood, you will be in a look out for the required codecs. In my opinion the only thing you should do is change your video player rather than using codecs.
You can install versatile video players like VLC Player, GOM Player or Pot Player to play almost any video file. I have been using VLC Player for years now, using few VLC Player Tricks it’s productivity can be extended to further level. Moreover there is no need to install any separate video or audio codecs. There are still many people who install video/ audio codec packs like K-Lite Codec pack but use players other than Windows Media Player to watch videos. There is practically no need to install external codec packs. Now the question arises why is it so? Alright, then lets see what these codecs are and how they actually help in playing particular video formats.
What are Codecs?
A Codec is a software that can encode/ decode media to and from particular container format. Container formats like MP4, Ogg, MKV etc. By default Windows Media Player can play few formats like Avi, MP3, WMV etc because it comes inbuilt with codecs to decode these specific containers.
We do not need to install additional codec packs with VLC Player and others as they include all the necessary codecs to play video/ audio files. So here you are getting the Codecs at time of installation.
There is a difference between a player installing its codec which is private to that particular player whereas a Windows Codec Pack is universal to all players that you are installing. A Codec pack provides playback support for a large variety of formats which is actually not required. Being a general home user, you would be mostly playing downloaded music/ videos having extensions like MKV, MP3, MP4 and in case of general YouTube Videos you might get FLV files.
When do you need to Install Codec Packs in Windows?
If you solely depend on WMP or want to use Windows Media Center to watch Downloaded movies then using an external codec pack is must. There are different version of codecs for Windows 7 and Windows 8. Download them and install directly. If you want to use the advanced customization of codecs, do read the codecs documentation carefully.
Download: Windows 7 Codecs
Download: Windows 8 Codecs