Whenever you come across a media format and try to play it using your media player, your media player needs Codecs for that format. A codec basically allows your media player to play a particular format. Most of the media players come with in-built codecs for the popular media formats. But if you are trying to play a not-so-common media format, then you can install codecs yourself to make your media player capable of playing those formats as well.
The ideal solution would be to install one of the comprehensive codec packs that are available today, that cater to almost all the formats out there.
So, in this article, I will list 5 of the best free codec packs, with which you can play almost every media files without any issue whatsoever!
Five Best Free Codec Packs For Best Multimedia Experience
1. X Codec Pack
X Codec Pack comprises a great collection of codecs for Windows 7 and 8. Compatible with any media player, the package also includes Media Player Classic Home Cinema. The pack is easy to install. You can pre-select your preference including the file to associate with MPC-HC. You can also install all the codecs offered for a comprehensive experience. After installing this codec pack, you will be able to play media formats such as MKV, MKA, OGG, RMVB, Xvid, DivX, OGM, FLV, MPC, APE, FLAC, etc.
Due to the lightweight nature of the program, it does not affect the performance of your computer. X Codec Pack also supports multiple language, Windows 8, and 64 bits.
2. K-Lite Codec Pack Standard
K-Lite Codec Pack offers an impressive collection of codecs with which you can play media files of different formats. It supports both 32 bit and 64 bit based systems, and can be installed with ease. You can simply install the codecs you want, or install the standard codecs with or without Media Player Classic. You can pre-select your preference before you install the pack. You can also select the players (WPC or WMP or both) to create file associations.
K-Lite is light and offers regular updates with the latest codec versions. Moreover, it does not contain any conflicting codecs. And rest assured, you will be able to play any type of media files without any issue. K-Lite Codec Pack comes in three variants: Basic, Standard, and Full. The Standard version is the most popular among them all and is ideal for average users.
3. Cole2k Media Codec Pack
Cole2k Media Codec Pack is a collection of codecs, filters, and splitters. It comes in two variants: Standard and Advanced. It offers easy installation, taking care of any possible conflicts. The codec pack is loaded with a wide range of features. Main components of Cole2k includes FFDShow Video Codec Build, On2 Technologies VP6 and VP7 Video (Decoder) Codec, Flash Video Splitter, CyberLink DVD Video/SP Filte, etc. Owing to its advanced features, Cole2K Media Codec Pack will ensure optimal playback of your media files.
Owing to its intuitive interface and functionality, you don’t need to have to be an expert to deploy the codec pack.
4. DirectShow Filter Pack
DirectShow Filter Pack is loaded with all the essential components to play any audio and video contents of varied formats. It is designed specifically for DirectShow based media players like Windows Media Player and BS Player. It can decode audio and video files; however, it cannot be used to encode or create media files. The Filter pack is light and does not conflict with other codecs and filters already present in the computer. Important tools present in the pack includes:
- BASS Source Filter: Decodes Tracker Audio (MO3, IT, XM, S3M, MTM, MOD and UMX)
- OptimFROG Audio (OFR)
- SHOUTcast/Icecast audio streams (MP3, AAC, OGG)
- FFmpeg based DirectShow filters which support all the popular audio and video file formats
DirectShow Filter Pack also includes a dedicated filter manager, from which you can easily manage the filters. You can review the filters, add new filters, and remove unwanted filters.
5. Combined Community Codec Pack (CCCP)
Combined Community Codec Pack offers great customization options and a wide range of tools to enhance your media experience. The settings could get a bit complicated due to its advanced options, but you can always go back to the default settings, if you mess things up. Owing to its uncompromising image output, this codec pack is a must for any one who loves their multimedia sessions uninterrupted, and especially those who love anime!
Many argue the point of installing a bunch of codecs, many of which one might not even use. Unless you have a codec installer, which can identify missing codecs and install them, having equipped with a comprehensive codec pack can also come in handy, even less frustrating. Because, it just might have eliminated the issue of missing codec before you sit down to watch your favorite movies, or shake a leg to your favorite tunes.
There are many other codec packs which are equally good as the ones I have mentioned above (I would lose my sanity if I try to cover them all!). You can try any one of the above and let me know about your experience.