Sunday, August 21, 2005

Video Player with Codecs and Tools -- K-Lite Mega Codec Pack (version 1.37)


Click Here to View Video

After I had gotten my new computer that has Windows XP installed, I decided to download some video from the internet. I found that some of the files didn’t play back properly. The audio portion of the files would play but there was no video. I noticed that the file type that had this problem most often was the *.avi file type. After I had done some searches on the internet and going through a bit of a learning curve, I determined that I didn’t have the codec installed that I needed to play the video. I ended up finding one of the tools that comes with the K-Lite Mega Codec Pack that is called the G-Spot Codec Information Appliance (as best I can tell the name “G-Spot” is derived from the name of the program author, Steve G). With it, I was able to determine the codec that I needed to play back a video. Then I could perform a search on the internet for the codec where I could download and install the codec. I didn’t know about the K-Lite Mega Codec Pack back then but I wished I did. It provides a much simpler alternative in that it already includes most of the popular codecs all in a single package that you install one time. In fact, I would say it includes about 95% of the codecs that you will ever need to play back video. The author also provides regular updates to the codec pack and provides support on a forum that is available on a link from the K-Lite home page.

If you don’t know what a codec is, it is short for "Compressor-Decompressor" or "Coder-Decoder". In order to make video files smaller, all video is compressed in a manner comparable to *.zip files. In order to play the video back, you must have the same the codec that was used to compress the video. Microsoft provides codecs for the media player that comes with Windows, although they don’t provide codecs of other vendors. The *.avi video file type is capable of using numerous codecs that Microsoft does not provide with Windows.

The K-Lite Mega Codec Pack actually has more than just codecs but also comes with the following:

Media Player Classic

Video player similar in appearance to version 6.4 of the Windows Media Player but not affiliated with Microsoft.

BSPlayer

Video player named after the first author, Boris; hence, Boris Software Player.

Real Alternative

Allows you to play RealMedia files (usually *.rm or *.ram) without having to install the official Real player.

QuickTime Alternative

Allows you to play QuickTime files (usually *.mov) without having to install the official QuickTime player.

Sherlock

Tells you what codecs you have installed on your computer.

GSpot Codec Information Appliance

A tool that can tell you exactly which codecs are needed to play a certain video file. This is very helpful when you have trouble playing a video file.

Numerous codecs

The download has most of the codecs you will need, including the popular Divx and Xvid.

One of the nice things about the download is that you can select items that you want to install. I tried the BSPlayer but didn’t like it and it does not work with the Real and QuickTime Alternatives. However, the Media Player Classic does work with the Real and QuickTime Alternatives and is my favorite media player for video. I have it set as my default player for all video. If you don’t install it, you won’t be able to watch streaming video with the Real Alternative. The Real player has some obnoxious characteristics that are explained well on another site. RealMedia files are quite popular for streaming video on the internet, so I consider the Real Alternative to be quite valuable. The QuickTime player is a good player and doesn’t have the obnoxious characteristics of Real player but I decided to uninstall it because I prefer having as few media players as possible. With the combination of Media Player Classic, Real Alternative, QuickTime Alternative and the codecs in the download, you can eliminate the need for the three players, Divx, Real and QuickTime. To my surprise, the Media Player Classic will even play back Macromedia Flash (*.swf) files. You will however, still need to keep the Windows Media Player that Microsoft provides with Windows. It will play a few file types that Media Player Classic won’t.

In addition to the versatility of the Media Player Classic, one of the main things I like about it is that when you select full screen during playback, the player controls disappear. The controls appear when you move your cursor to the bottom of the screen. Pushing the “Esc” button while in full screen mode returns the player to the small version and pauses it. The visual appearance of the player is very much like the version 6.4 of the Windows Media Player that Microsoft used to provide with Windows; however, the Media Player Classic is not affiliated with Microsoft. It is interesting to note that all Windows distributions still include the old Windows Media Player v6.4. You can run it by clicking Start, Run and entering MPLAYER2.EXE. I think you will find that the Media Player Classic is actually a much better media player than the old Windows Media Player v6.4.

What is the future of streaming video on the internet? Will the internet take over TV? I think internet television will require much more bandwidth than even today’s high speed cable modem. Certainly a step toward internet TV is the development of “Wi-Fi” wireless internet connections. From what I have read, today's Wi-Fi systems are limited to about 100 megabits of data a second, a rate that will support no more than a single high-definition television video stream in the home. If Wi-Fi systems catch on, I would expect developments that would increase bandwidth. It is apparent that CBS News sees a future in streaming video. They have dramatically increased their streaming video content recently. To watch the video, just click on the little TV cameras on their site but expect to be required to watch an advertisement when the video starts.

The K-Lite Mega Codec Pack documentation does not say what systems that it runs under but I read reports that it is compatible with Windows 98, ME, 2000 and XP. The download consists of a single file, klmcodec136.exe, which you double click to install.

K-Lite Mega Codec Pack Home Page

Download K-Lite Mega Codec Pack

18 Comments:

At August 24, 2005, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Much more information can be found on
http://home.hccnet.nl/h.edskes/mirror.htm
http://home.hccnet.nl/h.edskes/finalbuilds.htm
http://home.hccnet.nl/h.edskes/faqenglish.htm

 
At August 24, 2005, Anonymous Anonymous said...

In your second to last paragraph you made mention of streaming video over the internet and how internet television will require much more bandwidth than even today’s high speed cable modem. In the area I live there is coming a 100% fiber optic network to every business and household within Utopia's footprint. UTOPIA is a consortium of 14 Utah cities engaged in deploying and operating this 100% fiber optic network. They are indicating that Internet, TV and telephone services will be available through it. I know it is local but consider what could be possible is this 100% fiber optic network goes futher. If interested in more information about this, here are two web sites to explore:
http://www.utopianet.org/
http://www.utopianet.org/metronet/index.htm

 
At August 24, 2005, Blogger George said...

I read the Utopia site. It appears the Utopia network will do 100 Mbps for homes which is the same as WiFi. Some municipalities (like San Francisco) consider WiFi to be a required service that the city needs to provide at minimal or no cost to the consumer. If that kind of thinking spreads, WiFi could be used for virtually all forms of communication. It will be interesting to see where all this goes…

 
At September 09, 2005, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Don't use K-Lite, Tsunami or any other of the mega-codec packs. They are a common source of horrible problems that might force you to reinstall your system to fix. If you won't take my word for it look in any of the specialised fora out there (like doom9). The only professional and safe codec pack is the CCCP (Community Common Codec Pack), it is what is recommended by the experts.

 
At September 09, 2005, Blogger George said...

To address your comment, the FAQ on the web site does state that you may have problems with a TV card or webcam after installing the pack which is the result of incompatibility issues with the I.263 and Indeo codecs. The directions state that if you don't know much about codecs, that you should only install the options that selected by default. If you select certain options during the installation, you will be asked some questions as to whether you are sure you want to install those options. If you are asked one of these questions and are not familiar with the option, I recommend that you not install it. With that said, all I can say is that I have installed the last 3 versions of the K-Lite Mega Codec Pack on my Windows XP computer and not had any problems.

 
At September 20, 2005, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The BS Player can play Real and QT files, just select the respective Direct Show Filters during K-Lite Mega Codec Pack installation. Without these filters, only MPC will be able to play those files (as it's written on the read me during installation)

 
At January 02, 2006, Anonymous chris said...

Hi George
It seems to me that you dont pretend to be a expert,but over time you have tried out lots of software and gained knowledge along the way.The freeware you review is very helpfull to a lot of people keep up the good work
chris (uk)

 
At January 03, 2006, Blogger George said...

Chris,

Thanks for the feedback. Most of my friends consider me to be "good with computers" but I don't claim to be an expert. There is really no way anyone could be an expert on every program I have reviewed. I can say that I have tried at least 5 programs for every program that I have posted a review. I really do select the best programs that are available. I approach my reviews from a users perspective. If I find a program useful, I believe others will also.

George

 
At March 23, 2006, Anonymous Lawrence J. Thomas said...

You are showing version 1.37
K-Lite Mega Codec Pack 1.52
Released: March 12, 2006
Publisher: KL Software
Homepage: K-Lite Mega Codec Pack
Downloads: 1,412,698
License: Freeware
OS Support: Windows 2000/2003/9x/XP
Uninstaller?: Yes

 
At March 25, 2006, Anonymous Kanak said...

hi

i really don't think you should recommend Klite or any other megacodec packs.

klite works by what i like to call the brute force method... it's just a pack that installs every available codec.

i think installing CCCP as recommended by someone above me, is a better idea.


Just compare the sizes: KLite: 33 mb setup, CCCP: 5 mb download.
(CCCP doesn't include Real Alt or QT Alt, but youcan get that on your own).

CCCP is leaner, meaner, and most importantly, it has so far played back EVERY single file that i've downloaded. EVERY. not a single one has failed.

please try CCCP. i know you won't regret it.

- Kanak (kanakkshetriAThotmailDOTcom)

 
At September 12, 2006, Anonymous Terrible Tom said...

George,

I was searching for a place to post a positive review on some freeware I've been using for a while when I came across your site. Keep up the good work!

If you get a chance, check out Comodo software - they offer free A/V, Spam Filtering, Personal Firewall and more. As far as I can tell, it's all excellent product.

Another great one I've found is Wildfire/Spark from Jive Software. It's a private IM server & client that works across subnets. Very stable and easy to use.

Again, keep up the good work!

 
At September 12, 2006, Blogger George said...

Tom,

I can't say I would ever have a use for a client server or even be able to try one because I just have a single PC at home.

I have read about the Comodo firewall. Some say it is the best while others have reported problems with it messing up their system. I trend to be a little apprehensive about trying firewalls. I tried one once that completely locked me out of access to the internet. Before that it would constantly ask me it some obscure dll file could connect to the internet. Most folks tend to think of me as being tech savvy but I can't tell by looking if a file is spyware or not.

George

 
At September 14, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

George- Have you ever looked into CCCP as mentioned in the above comments? Is it free as well?

By your not commenting, I wonder whether or not these others might not have a case against Klite.

Just curious.

Thanks

 
At September 15, 2006, Blogger George said...

I’ve been thinking about trying CCCP which is free but I haven’t seen a need to switch from K-Lite. After the previous comments about CCCP were posted, I decided copy the comments and post them to a freeware forum to which I am a member. There are others on the forum that use K-Lite without any problem. I don’t know enough about programming to know if “brute force” programming methods were used. One person on the forum agreed that it did. All I can say is that it is obvious during installation that the author has combined several programs into one package.

I probably should have provided a word of caution in my review. Be sure to uninstall any previously installed codec packs before you install a new one. Likewise, uninstall previous versions of K-Lite before you install a new one. I have read quite a few horror stories about how codec packs have messed up folk’s systems. The K-Lite author warns you to do this and I have always followed the advice when upgrading to a new version. I noticed the CCCP people recommend the same.

I left the previous comments on my site because they offer a different point of view from mine that others might want to consider. Another codec pack that you might consider is ffdshow mostly for DivX and XviD video. It is included with K-Lite.

http://www.cccp-project.net/
http://sourceforge.net/project/showfiles.php?group_id=53761

If you try and like CCCP, feel free to come back and leave comments. Personally, I still like K-Lite.

 
At September 25, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

hi we found your site not very useful for our task in college. we think your a computer geek! love from us xxx

 
At October 19, 2006, Blogger Blackman1 said...

I am haveing some truouble with UXtheme 5.0...
Whenever I get to the Protection popup that says "insert windows disk" then press ok or cancel, it always freezes that setup screen. It will say (not responding) for that windows and I can't get it fully installed.

 
At February 21, 2007, Anonymous martian said...

i was using k-lite codec and media player clasic because it s fast and just do his job.

but a year ago i found mplayer (compiled for windows) and since than i never used another player.
http://www.mplayerhq.hu/design7/dload.html

i use the command line version. it s incredible fast, and has build in codecs. you just copy it from stick to any folder; doesn't need install.

i ve added the folder to the "path" system variable and just downloaded all "windows essentials codecs" from mplayerhq.hu site, copy them to codec folder in mplayer directory and that s it.

i can wath divx movies on a p2 300Mhz, smooth and clear with no problem. it take a wile to learn all the keybord shortcuts.

if you don't download his codecs it will use the codecs install in system, but i advise you to used the "build in" codecs.

 
At October 14, 2009, Anonymous Panji Tengkorak said...

I like this codecs, so many filter controls available via MPC interface, but on some WMVs it displays a night vision look, any idea why?

 

Post a Comment

<< Home