technology and zen of life

“A heisenbug (named after the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle) is a computer bug that disappears or alters its characteristics when an attempt is made to study it.”

Codecs Hell!

How many times it happens that you download a video and boom, you cannot play the file. Why? because you don’t have the codecs to play it. You must have tried lots of codecs but all efforts in vain. Let me help you there. Here is a list of recommended codecs with integrated media players.

Real Alternative

Storm Codec


You should install Storm Codec first, then Real Alternative followed by VLC. It’s best if you install both Real Alternative and Storm Codec, either one of them will suffice, but VLC is a must as few formats give trouble with Real Alternative and Storm Codec, an example would be .flv files.

Both Storm Codec and Real Alternative have Media Player Classic included as part of installation and is highly recommended to install it from both setups. The trick is using the two different Media Player Classic excutables installed at different places. You need to learn that by using it, that is whenever you get in trouble with playing video files you need to switch between the two Media Player Classic excutables.

If you are still stuck with a video file which is corrupt or still not playable by above methods, i will suggest you MPlayer, a difficult to install, CLI player but will play almost every video file if configured properly.

I agree the default interface of all the players might not be at par with your favorite media player, but you can find skins/interfaces for them, and hey it’s about playing the files, who gives a damn about interface till we get our work done.

PS : As usual, use your brains, if you find a link dead then Google search the term, don’t come asking me for new links. I hope you get the idea.

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7 Responses

  1. DarK says:

    @ Emily I agree.. but building from scratch is the thing to be learned, more fun that way. Also if you compile the source files on your system it’s even better. But i don’t think it comes under easy job.

  2. Emily says:

    why dont you use the full installer of Mplayer which you cann find on any google or better on your lan

  3. DarK says:

    That will be a new blog post from me… wait for it.

  4. Fr0z3n says:

    Please tell me how to install MPlayer.

  5. DarK says:

    yes Quick Time codecs included, at max you might need a browser-embeded player, to play in browser, rest everything is covered.

  6. Sujit says:

    I don’t think we need quick time codecs… but not sure tryout na..

  7. Fr0z3n says:

    What about quick time codecs? Are they included in the ones you mentioned or quick time alternative is needed?


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