Downloading media files from the internet and playing them on your computer is simple enough when you know how to do it. But when it comes to the complexities of encoding /decoding of media files, users mostly prefer to turn a blind eye, until they face an error message on their computer saying that their computer does not have the right codecs to play the file. If you have faced an issue like this before, you will want to know exactly what problem the computer is facing when attempting to play the file.
A codec is basically short for Encoder/Decoder. What is does is simply encodes or decodes a digital data stream into suitable signals that can be identified by the computer you are attempting to play it on. Codecs can be found on almost any device that requires streaming or storage of data. For example, a video camera contains a Analog to Digital Convertor(ADC) Codecs that convert analog signals into digital signals which are then passed through a video compressor for digital transmission or storage.
Media Info is an application for Windows that recognizes the codecs being used in the file that the computer is attempting to play and displays them to the user in a neat and organized interface. Media Info is free and comes in an installer. Install the application and run it. To view the codec information of a file, simply drag and drop the file onto the interface or choose the location from the File menu on the Media Info interface. Once a file is selected, you can view the basic information related to the codecs and streaming formats being used to play the file.
It is to be noted that the Graphical version of Media Info contains OpenCandy, a software that enables software developers to distribute their software and earn money in the process. While some consider this software to be spyware, it is harmless but can be irritating. So, if you feel comfortable using the Command Line version of the software, then it has been tested to be free of the OpenCandy software and is recommended for use. If not, then you can always go for the Graphical version.
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