CodecInstaller

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CondecInstaller can display a list of all audio and video codecs installed on your system as well as analyse media files to identify the codecs needed to play them.

It can also download codecs from the author’s website for easy installation.

[Note: this is an updated review of my CodecInstaller v2.5.6 review published in Jul 2007 that reflects the changes and new features in the latest version 2.8.0].

We’ve all had this experience: a media file that shows video but no audio, or vice versa, or simply returns a codec unavailable or unidentified format message or somesuch. CodecInstaller can help you identify the codec(s) you need as well as download and install them easily.

I’ve been looking at this program for a while. Here are some notes on this software:

  • Codec detection: will display all installed codecs within 3 tabs; audio, video, and other. In the list view the name of the codec is shown as well as the company, version, and install path; you can zoom in on any single codec for more detailed info.
  • File analysis: point it to a media file and it will tell you the audio and video codecs needed for playback, or at least give you a very good guess (this function is very reminiscent of programs like MediaInfo or AVICodec).
  • Codec Download: allows you to quickly and easily pick codecs from a list and download their installers. Connects to the author’s (Jockersoft’s) own site and not a third party site, which means you will likely get what you think you’re getting. Includes a good description of the codecs or codec packs on offer.
  • Movie playback: CodecInstaller can apparently act as a media player, although it requires some rather complicated setting up. Function is disabled by default, and frankly I see no reason for using it.

More advanced functions that CodecInstaller provides:

  • Codec Removal: from the ’installed codec’ screen, you can multiple-select codec entries (by pressing CTRL while selecting) and remove codecs. This might be useful if, say, you suspect that there are conflicting codecs and/or you want to reinstall codecs (or install a codec pack) and would like to start with a blank slate.
  • Filters mapping editor: this allows you to change the priority of the filter and add/remove the types of media the filter will process. Obviously you need to know what you are doing, but this can help solve
    This should help solve the issues created by codec/filters producers that set a too high priority or make their filters decode formats they cannot handle perfectly.

This is a program dear to my heart.; it can help you manage your system’s codecs as well as find the ones you need for any media file that you might want to view. It has a nice interface and set of features; I highly recommend it (this program is donationware: if you find it useful you should buy it.)

Version tested: 2.8.0

Compatibility: Windows 98, ME, NT 4(service pack5), 2000, XP, Vista. Requires .NET Framework 2.0.

Go to the download page to get the latest version (approx 699K). Also visit the program home page.