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Codec: Playing Media On Your Computer

, By Patcoola

Audio and Video. How to play them all!

The Internet is full of many different audio and video formats, but how do you play this formats on your computer? Often when you download a video your computer can’t play; you maybe able to hear the sound but not video, this is because your computer doesn’t understand how to read the video’s data.

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Understanding Audio/Video Formats:

A media format such as video uses a container, this container can hold many different kinds of formats called a codec, example: .mov, .mp4, .avi are all containers. A video container can store a video codec and an audio codec, some containers can store additional information such as Chapters, Title, Author, etc.

What is a Codec?

Codec stands for encoder/decoder, a device uses a codec to understand how to interpret data.

Where do I get a Codec?

Most of you may think that you need to download a program just to play a format like .mov, we know that this is a QuickTime format therefor we must download the QuickTime application to play it. Well that’s not true, in order to play the format we’re only required the appropriate codec, no matter what media player application we use we’ll be able to play it because we have the codec installed. If you know the name of the codec you can try to download the codec directly from the developers’ website, but this can take a lot of our time since there are many codecs.

The best solution is to download a Codec pack, I recommend to following below:

Windows:

Apple:

Alternative Solutions:

Alternatives to downloading and installing a codec pack is the option to download a media player that includes a collection of codecs built into the media players program.

I recommend the following programs:

These two applications are available for all platforms ie: Apple, Windows, Linux.

A portable/standalone version with no installation is also available at portable apps dot com. www.portableapps.com

 

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