New Codecs for Windows Media Player and Windows 7

April 3, 2011, By Christian Cawley

While there might be other solutions that enable you to enjoy music, video and photos on your computer or any other devices on your network, Windows Media Player affords some particular advantages, such as network streaming to an Xbox 360 (or other media center devices devices), the ability to re-skin the player and even a bunch of useful plugins.

These plugins are vital for the continued enjoyment of movies and music in Windows Media Player – if you’re on Windows 7 running Windows Media Player 12 then your operating system should now be ready for an update to the packaged audio and video codecs. If you are running XP or Vista, meanwhile and haven’t already updated your codecs, now is the time to do so. You can find various options on the Microsoft website for you to choose from.

New Codecs for Windows Media Player and Windows 7

How to Download and Install New Codec Plugins for Windows Media Player

You can search for and find new codecs for Windows Media Player by visiting the plugins page at windows.microsoft.com or by running Windows Media Player, and going to Tools > Plug-ins > Download plug-ins.

This will open the plug-ins page and give you the chance to find and download a codec that you think will be suitable for your needs. For instance if you were running Windows XP, regularly play DVDs on your PC and have an NVidia graphics adaptor you might select the NVIDIA DVD Decoder plugin for XP and Windows XP Media Center Edition.

Similarly there are audio codecs available and these can also be downloaded and added to your Windows Media Player software.

Whether you select audio or video codecs, the process is the same – click Get plug-in (or Get for [operating system]) and follow the on-screen instructions. In the case of the DFX Audio Enhancer, for instance, you will be forwarded to the developer’s website, find the download link, select your version of Windows and download the software. Once you have downloaded the codec package, run the executable and install the new codecs!

Adding New Codecs to Windows 7

Although Windows 7 shipped with the most up-to-date codecs included, many of these are now out of date. As such the time has come for your Windows 7 codecs to be updated.

There are various places online where you might find a new collection of codecs, but one of the most popular is the Windows 7 Codec Pack, which you can download from www.windows7codecs.com. Supporting almost all compression and file types that you might encounter on your PC, this 20.3 MB download is absolutely free and will provide your operating system with all it needs to playback the widest selection of media formats currently in use.

Follow the link above to find the download file and once complete, double-click the EXE file to run the installer. Two choices are presented – Easy Installation and Expert Installation; the latter allows some configuration of the options. Note that the installer will try to add a Vimio toolbar and add Yahoo as your default search provider, but you can uncheck these if they don’t suit your needs.

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