Whenever we install a fresh copy of Windows, limited codec support often ruin the initial media playback experience. The limited number of codecs out of the box has always been a major set back in Windows Media Player and apparently, the story hasn’t quite changed in Windows 8 either. Perhaps this is the reason most users avoid using Windows Media Player as their default application to play audio video files. Even if you download your favorite media player off the internet, the problem of missing codec can still occur one way or the other. If you have recently jumped on to the Windows 8 bandwagon and are looking for a way to install all the required codecs to play almost every audio and video format out there, give Windows 8 Codecs a shot. It’s an audio and video codec package for Windows 8 that installs most of the popular codec packs in one go, and the installed codecs work with Windows Media Player, Media Center, and third-party media players.
By default, when you try playing a media file such as MKV using Windows Media Player, the application gives an error about unrecognized extension or unsupported codecs, the latter being the issue most frequently.
Windows 8 Codecs takes care of this nuisance by installing all the major codecs. The downloadable package comes with FFDShow, Lav Filters, Haali Media Splitter, MPEG-2 Decoder (used by Media Player Classic), and VSFilter. The package also installs Media Player Classic along with the codecs. The app uninstalls all the existing codecs from your machine prior to installing its own codecs to avoid any conflicts. Furthermore, you can mark the codecs that you want to install and unmark the ones you don’t require.
After installing the codecs, Windows Media Player and most third-party applications will be capable of playing all major audio and video file formats including AMR, MPC, DIVX, APE, MKA, EVO, FLV, FLAC, M4B, MKV, XVID, OGG, RWVB, OGM and OGV. We gave Windows Media Player a shot after installing Windows 8 Codecs, and faced no problem whatsoever in playing the supported file types.
Overall, Windows 8 Codecs is a must-have applications for those looking for a flawless media playback experience on their upgraded or new Windows 8 machine. The application works on both 32-bit and 64-bit editions of Windows 8.