Satsuki Decoder Pack: open any media file from any app with this nifty decoder pack

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Satsuki Decoder Pack auto-installs a collection of media decoders and filters on your system.

It will allow you to view or open almost any media file or DVD using the enclosed Windows Media Player Classic or from within any other application. In order to avoid conflicts and clutter this pack does not include codecs, only decoders and filters.

Although I’ve often extolled the virtues of Media players such as The KM Player and VLC that support internal codecs and do not need codecs/filters to be installed system-wide, I have found that many situations will invariably require system-wide decoders.

This is the case when you need to access the files in your media library by programs other than your all-internal-codecs media player, as in the following examples: you need to embed a video or media file inside a presentation software, you need to open a media file using video editing or conversion program, you want to generate thumbnails for your media files inside a media management or file management software (or even in explorer).

satsuki-decoder-pack-screenshot-control-panel

This is why I was recently looking into installing a so-called codec pack (such as CCCP, which is one of my favorites). However, what I also noticed was that there was a big difference between the media formats that I need my programs to be able to READ (i.e. pretty much all of them) and those that I need to WRITE. In the past year, for example, I have only encoded videos using the Xvid encoder as well as FLV, and aside from these I have very little use of any encoder on my system, as it will simply consume resources and clutter up my system all the time without having any practical use hardly ever. My guess is that 90% of PC users out there (if not more) are in the same situation.

This is where a software such as the Satsuki Decoder Pack is most helpful. What this is is a decoder pack that provides codecs and filters to allow your machine to read/view almost all media formats out there, but it does not install encoders that facilitate the process of encoding/writing files. This means that you will be able to view most every kind of media file, but will have to seek out and separately install any encoders when and if you need them. Here are more notes on this program:

  • Supported formats: mpeg 4, real media, mp1, mp2, mp3, ac3, ape, ofr/ofs, flac, aac/mp4, ogg/ogm, mkv, dvd, xcd, wmv 7/8, vp6, mpc, XVD, h364, as well as flash (FLV, SWF).
  • Quicktime support: is not included in the installer; if you need this you can install quicktime alternative (without the player) before or after the decoder pack.
  • The Control Panel: you can use this (see screenshot above) in order to enable/disable filters, configure filters, backup settings, check for updates, or tweak file associations with the various players that you may have installed (although this latter function is less than user-friendly, in my opinion).

The verdict: if you need to have multiple apps accessing your media files this is a great option. Install this pack and know that you can pretty much view any media format from any app, and that the filters and encoders work together without conflict. You can then separately find and install any individual codecs that you need if you are going to be encoding media.

Satsuki Decoder Pack will install everything you need to play any media/video file and, unless it provides you with some specialized functionality, you could consider removing any other media player(s) from your machine. Overall a very nice tool that I recommended highly.

Version Tested: 4.0.0.0

Compatibility: Windows 2000, 2003, XP, Vista.

Go to the program page to download the latest version (approx 8.37 megs).