Windows Essentials Media Codec Pack provides a set of software codecs for viewing and listening to many forms of media in Windows Media Player. While this program merely enhances a media player, it does a fine job of accommodating many different and unusual types of videos and music.
The program’s interface is simple to operate, since it maintains the classic media player layout. Its commands are easy to understand and navigate. This codec pack makes it a bit difficult to measure any improvements to Windows Media Player since it’s not a player itself but rather a set of add-ons to your current audiovisual software. However, it adds the capability to watch and listen to a bevy of file formats, from DVDs and CDs to video files downloaded from the Internet. Everything played well, and we never found any glitches during our testing. Using this as a basis, we’d say the program was pretty successful. It also offered an interesting subtitle database feature that lets you input subtitles on programs. This wasn’t as necessary for DVDs, which normally come with their own subtitles, but it’s a thoughtful and useful addition. While we had a difficult time gauging just what this collection of codecs adds to the original media player, we were confident we could watch or listen to practically anything after downloading and installing it.
Windows Essentials Media Codec Pack is freeware. It lets you view many different media types on your player, and we recommend it.
WHAT’S NEW IN VERSION 5.0
Windows Essentials Codec Pack is a collection of audio and video DirectShow codecs and filters. With Windows Essentials Codec Pack you should be able to play 99% of all movies and music files that you download off the Internet, stay up to date with the latest codecs with the Audio/Video Codec Update Service, and eliminate the many conflicts and errors caused by using multiple codecs to decode the same file types. Windows Essentials Codec Pack is designed as a user-friendly near complete solution for all your video and audio needs, with it you can play audio CDs, DVDs, (S)VCDs, and XCDs on the fly, and it adds support for 3GP, AAC, AC3, APE, AVI, DivX, 3ivx, DAT, h.264, x264, Nero Digital, DTS, FLV, FLAC, HD-MOV, MPEG-1/2, M4A, MP3, MP4, MO3, MOD, MKV, OFR, TTA, OGG/OGM, S3M, Vorbis, VOB, XviD, XM, WV, and UMX formats so you could play any video/audio file with your favorite DirectShow media player or with the (included) Media Player Classic.