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Windows 8.1 and Codec Packs

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+John Teacake    454

Ive never had to bother since the early days of WIndows XP. Just VLC works perfectly. "Codec Packs" just invite trouble. 

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tomasse    120

CCCP here, for years now!

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Preppy    33

There's nothing crappy about that codec pack, it's been available for more than a decade, never came with any adware and also is the only one that has always registered/unregistered all the filters properly. Never had any problem with it.

So you say that and then later on we detour into the fact that you got lucky.  It's important to realize this, especially when we're talking about something that the average user has no reason to install.

 

 

What? There are different editions and you can chose every codec or utility installed, also MMSwitch has been out from the pack for a long, long while, I think that was used back in the XP days. The latest Mega pack uses LAV/ffdshow and the only utilities selected are codec tweak tool, mediainfo lite and graphstudionext. I really can't see anything bad in it, it even offers a LAV-only configuration (plus it's both x86 and x64). I also don't see how it could be the worst and CCCP the best when on many websites CCCP has lower review averages than K-lite packs.

^-- That as regards MMSwitch.  It's still actively causing problems (thanks guys), but it's gone from current editions.  Please do strongly note that not every web site maintains current editions, and several sites refused to pull old broken versions upon explicit request because they wanted clickbait dollahz.

 

Yay community-oriented ethics! :D  ( :cry: )

 

I think your and his views about K-Lite being buggy and crashing stuff are several years outdated.

 

You're taking me out of context.  My point was that this remains dangerous and needless technology in the abstract.  This "several years outdated" is me looking at crash logs and noting that these acts of malice, err, personal excellence are still causing problems.  Plus or minus Shark breaking another thing I own these days COMPLETELY UNRELATED TO MULTIMEDIA because hey let's just throw everything into a codec pack because that seems intelligent. :rolleyes:

 

It is a fact that K-Lite has done immense damage to people's systems and to people's perceptions of multimedia playback on Windows.  This is indisputable.

It is also a fact that most other codec packs have done substantial damage, and some of them (including K-Lite) continue to do so either through their current versions and/or through sick clickbait-for-profit distribution of old versions.

 

I read the discussion but it was regarding crashes during the early Vista days, where a lot of codecs (and a many other softwares) had issues with it. K-lite has always been orders of magnitude more popular than the others, especially when it could play both QuickTime and RealMedia files (of which unfortunately the internet was flooded with) so it's perfectly normal that with several times more downloads it caused an higher number of crashes, but the people that maintain the pack have always been obsessively picking the best codec for each task (reason for which now it's mostly LAV). The real problem were actually the codecs: ffdshow and amateurish filters were a true mess back then, and it was the main reason why the K-lite pack kept shipping with commercial powerdvd/quicktime/realplayer/divx components as long as possible, until they started getting takedown requests that forced them to gradually switch to opensource codecs. I've never personally had issues with it though, I installed it on a lot of machines, always used the playback-only versions (standard) with default (no player) settings, but I've never seen any increase in crashes or had anybody complaining.

 

That said codec packs are not only if you want to use WMP, but also Movie Maker, DVD maker or other software that uses directshow to load videos. Or simply if you just hate the VLC/PotPlayer/MPC-HC ffmpegish quality, because the postprocessing quality of the LAV codecs or official DIVX codecs is generally much better.

No, it wasn't as regards the early Vista days, but thanks for playing.

Old K-Lite Mega was more the top of the crap heap by including everything possible.  I have my notes from my terribly-old-by-internet-time investigations somewhere: I think only the Total (something) Package was worse.  (I am too lazy to look that up on this glorious Sunday.  If you actually care, you can readily replicate my work.  Plus or minus if you're an expert on this field, I shouldn't have to tell you any of this.)

 

Yes, they and others promoting codec piracy helped deeply crush some cool stuff and killed a couple initiatives I was working on in this field because people involved stopped caring.  Why create cool stuff when people are just going to steal your work?  Thumbs up to community-oriented ethics.

 

We're happily trending now slightly to actually discuss why you would want to install a codec pack, and this is the closest we've gotten to a raisin, err reason, so far.

 

And I agree with that. The problem is that he makes it sound like K-Lite will "horribly murder" one's PC.

It likely won't, but by the same token the notion that these are carefree trouble-free things is just a lie.  If you do not want me to keep bringing up the sordid and horrible past of these terrible things that have created more failure for users than anything I am aware of in the entirety of my career in this field, then start having honest conversations about them.  I've got far better things to do with my time, and you want me doing other things too since y'all typically benefit from my time.  People naysaying the truth is creepy: we can all acknowledge that these things have been horrible, that they're generally better these days if you get the current version (perhaps I get to discover their problems for them again in another year), and that given the historically all too evident lack of quality control it's best to only install what you truly need for your specific and exact goals.

 

The fact that I and others had to spend a moment of our lives addressing these is unfathomably wasteful.   Generally I for one would have preferred using my extra time to do awesome extra things for users, not having to spend way too long cleaning up the noxious mess left behind by incompetent thieves.  (AFAIK, they're not stealing my code these days.  That's a marked improvement: now we're just left with their questionable competence.)

 

Yeah, that's why I used quotes. You must understand I find your position on the issues it causes hard to swallow when I've used the thing for years (quite a few without a problem) and the guy you're agreeing with bases his opinion on something that happened in 2007 (or 2009, I forgot).

 

And to repeat myself, I DO AGREE there's no need to install it if you use modern players.

I don't.  You're taking me out of context.  I view the entirety of subject field in my assessment.  I hope this TLDR wall of text makes that clear.  I'm a realist, and the apologetics of some don't really solve any of the problems here.

 

The general answer to any question about codec packs should begin with "What are you trying to accomplish?" and go from there.  As much as I loathe the auto-responses from support personnel who don't understand an area, the canned auto-responses in the codec pack area is equally grating to me.  If you're acting as an intelligent expert: act like one.

 

Cheers and love,

-Zach

PS: In the spirit of leaving on a positive note, http://zachd.com/pss/err/errsay.html may be of interest.

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Luc2k    753

snip

While you haven't really convinced me due to my prior use and lack of actual examples (or maybe they're in your link and I don't know what to search for), I won't argue with you as far as software is concerned. Fact is, I don't use W8+ and don't plan to if I can help it, and I don't intend to use any codecs pack either in the future. It would be easier to get some portable player if I run across a file that needs obscure codecs. Sorry for wasting a big chunk of your wall on me.

 

One thing I'll grant you is that people (myself included) don't usually go hunting for for issues until they get burned and tend to dismiss the ones that don't affect them.

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neo1911    793

Why is this topic still on after PotPlayer has been suggested multiple times? :p

 

No codec packs needed whatsoever. Install PotPlayer and forget about everything else. 

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Delete This Account Plz    2

Used to use Sharky's Codec pack, but it has far to much adware in it, yes you can choose not to install it but i don't trust it anymore.

 

I use CCCP, have no problems with it...... yet!

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duoi    146

CCCP codec pack, and most of my content is played through Media Player Classic.

Although, I've just recently been dabbling into PotPlayer-- it looks pretty great.

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francescob    560

So you say that and then later on we detour into the fact that you got lucky.  It's important to realize this, especially when we're talking about something that the average user has no reason to install.

I got "lucky" on several hundred installs over many years, especially when it was mandatory to prevent users from installing realplayer/quicktime garbage (to avoid all the additional garbage that was pushed through the updates). Also if you had followed the whole thread you would have seen that I would have recommended installing a codec pack ONLY in some cases (as I said in my first post playing DVDs with WMP (and also for video editing)), I didn't say to install it no matter what.

^-- That as regards MMSwitch.  It's still actively causing problems (thanks guys), but it's gone from current editions.  Please do strongly note that not every web site maintains current editions, and several sites refused to pull old broken versions upon explicit request because they wanted clickbait dollahz.

 

No, it wasn't as regards the early Vista days, but thanks for playing.

They removed both MMSwitch and VoxWare in april 2007 (K-Lite Codec Pack 2.89) and that WAS in the early Vista days. Also EVERY software, including VLC, PotPlayer, etc. are subject to clickbait websites so that's a non-existing point if you suggest to install a third-party player.

Old K-Lite Mega was more the top of the crap heap by including everything possible.  I have my notes from my terribly-old-by-internet-time investigations somewhere: I think only the Total (something) Package was worse.  (I am too lazy to look that up on this glorious Sunday.  If you actually care, you can readily replicate my work.  Plus or minus if you're an expert on this field, I shouldn't have to tell you any of this.)

The Mega (and previously also the Full) package has always been made for people who actually need to encode (VFW). On the K-lite website they explicitly recommended basic/standard. Installing Mega to play your videos is like installing Visual Studio because you need a C++ runtime. If people install K-Lite Mega enabling everything they only have themselves to blame, those versions aren't for casual everyday use but only for people who use VirtualDub, AutoGK, AviSynth, etc. and know which codecs they need to get the work done.

We're happily trending now slightly to actually discuss why you would want to install a codec pack, and this is the closest we've gotten to a raisin, err reason, so far.

Third-party players have been available for more than a decade already. Being able to use WMP and video-editing software has always been the main reason to use codec packs for a long time and that's still undoubtedly a perfectly good reason if those are your needs.

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Preppy    33

While you haven't really convinced me due to my prior use and lack of actual examples (or maybe they're in your link and I don't know what to search for), I won't argue with you as far as software is concerned. Fact is, I don't use W8+ and don't plan to if I can help it, and I don't intend to use any codecs pack either in the future. It would be easier to get some portable player if I run across a file that needs obscure codecs.

*handshake and love*  I don't really care what you use - I grew up vehemently anti-Microsoft, and regularly help out other teams and companies - I just want you and everyone else to be perfectly happy.  I have always found multimedia to be a source of great joy and want it to work flawless for others, regardless of what technology you choose to achieve that excellent goal.

 

I got "lucky" on several hundred installs over many years, especially when it was mandatory to prevent users from installing realplayer/quicktime garbage (to avoid all the additional garbage that was pushed through the updates). Also if you had followed the whole thread you would have seen that I would have recommended installing a codec pack ONLY in some cases (as I said in my first post playing DVDs with WMP (and also for video editing)), I didn't say to install it no matter what.

Sure.  As long as we're clear that the user who has not had a problem here is in the statistical minority.  This is an awesome and helpful field when done right.  Unfortunately it was rushed in and invaded by some pretty short-sighted people.  As far as I can tell, the only rational approach I've seen was the CCCP team's efforts here.

 

I still have the MS RealNetworks filter somewhere. :)

 

They removed both MMSwitch and VoxWare in april 2007 (K-Lite Codec Pack 2.89) and that WAS in the early Vista days.

This isn't "been there, done that, bought the t-shirt", this is "you are wearing my t-shirt and by that time I'm working on my next or next next album."

 

Also EVERY software, including VLC, PotPlayer, etc. are subject to clickbait websites so that's a non-existing point if you suggest to install a third-party player.

Why are you taking this argumentatively?  The sterling gold point I made is that these things are dangerous and that it would behoove all of us to point to specific and exact things we personally trust at sites we trust.  Ambiguity in this field will lead to terrible problems.  Let's avoid those with this new concept from Colbert Industries called Clarity.

 

Consider that the average user doesn't understand what PotPlayer is: if we want to tell someone that PotPlayer is the source of all joy, it might be super excellent to also include, "oh and you should get it from <SPECIFIC LOCATION>."  That small step can avoid tons of needless frustration. 

 

The Mega (and previously also the Full) package has always been made for people who actually need to encode (VFW). On the K-lite website they explicitly recommended basic/standard. Installing Mega to play your videos is like installing Visual Studio because you need a C++ runtime. If people install K-Lite Mega enabling everything they only have themselves to blame, those versions aren't for casual everyday use but only for people who use VirtualDub, AutoGK, AviSynth, etc. and know which codecs they need to get the work done.

There's a huge assumption on your part that any significant percentage of the user base knows what they are doing.  This is generally a dangerous assumption to make.  I'm uncertain if you write software(?) or watch people use your product, but ---- you and I are in the top 1% of computer knowledge in the world and we need to understand that and not be belligerent about our own super excellent knowledge.  I'm an idiot about a lot of things: acting unto others with clarity and excellence is a lovely thing.

 

A computer is best when it Just Works.  Most people have a lot more to do with their life than need to micromanage terrible technical areas like badly designed and fundamentally flawed codec packs: let's be great people and help them in a way that helps them.

 

Third-party players have been available for more than a decade already. Being able to use WMP and video-editing software has always been the main reason to use codec packs for a long time and that's still undoubtedly a perfectly good reason if those are your needs.

You're blurring concepts here to achieve a shaky conclusion.  If you're using video editing software, that presumes that you have the content in a specific format and associated codecs.  You're going to produce to file format Foo using codecs Bar and Fly.  That's all you need.  You don't need anything else.  If someone should install LovePlayer you should know and let them know exactly why they need it and where to get it from.  Installing LovePlayer (or any other software) by itself is not inherently a good thing: if it's to be of value, express why it is needed. "because codec pack!" is not a swell answer.

 

 

I'm not sure what your vested interested is here.  You're running my code.  It's really painful to have to have this conversation with every single codec pack apologist.  Please for the love of kittens can we someday reach the point where we realize that "Realism" and "Factuality" are an immensely positive approach to take to computing?  People screw up: acknowledge that, do your best to work around that, and move forward with our lives.

 

I deeply and abjectly apologize if my plaintive cry to help people without needlessly causing them problems is upsetting.  This field is actively a problem: you approach that with your own metrics for excellence, and I'll do the same.  <3

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ae10u    0

This thread has FUD and intolerance written all over it. It's like the guy who tried coke back in the '80s and curses everyone else's experience with it for one of two reasons -- a bad batch; or he simply didn't know what he was doing. And eventually he finds the support he's looking for in a group that bolsters his claims that this drug ruined their lives, furthermore imposing fear among the ignorant. This Windows elitism can go back the way it came, for all we care.

 

I suggest anyone in doubt to choose the custom installation and mind what he installs check-by-check, not just with codec packs, but anything; else he deserves the ill effects.

 

I have used K-Lite Standard for years without issue, having minded my configurations, having installed it for many others -- no complaints. When in need, this one installer doesn't disappoint, though nowadays I'm supplementing XySubFilter and ReClock separately.. I still prefer this to installing MPC-HC, madVR, and LAV separately. I don't mess with additional formats or Icaros.

 

Eventually, most of us outgrow that "bubble" where we can't passively watch someone set up a computer differently than we would. The hard truth is that some people will use codec packs and some won't. The difference should be that their configurations pose no concern to you. These are likely the same people who think disabling services gives them extra fps in Call of Duty, so for the sake of endless argument, just let them be. (So should I have :/ )

 

For the record, I use PotPlayer x64 and Windows Media Player aside from MPC-HC and am suffering from an extreme case of fanboy. ;)

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Preppy    33

This thread has FUD and intolerance written all over it. It's like the guy who tried coke back in the '80s and curses everyone else's experience with it for one of two reasons -- a bad batch; or he simply didn't know what he was doing. And eventually he finds the support he's looking for in a group that bolsters his claims that this drug ruined their lives, furthermore imposing fear among the ignorant. This Windows elitism can go back the way it came, for all we care.

 

I suggest anyone in doubt to choose the custom installation and mind what he installs check-by-check, not just with codec packs, but anything; else he deserves the ill effects.

 

I have used K-Lite Standard for years without issue, having minded my configurations, having installed it for many others -- no complaints. When in need, this one installer doesn't disappoint, though nowadays I'm supplementing XySubFilter and ReClock separately.. I still prefer this to installing MPC-HC, madVR, and LAV separately. I don't mess with additional formats or Icaros.

 

Eventually, most of us outgrow that "bubble" where we can't passively watch someone set up a computer differently than we would. The hard truth is that some people will use codec packs and some won't. The difference should be that their configurations pose no concern to you. These are likely the same people who think disabling services gives them extra fps in Call of Duty, so for the sake of endless argument, just let them be. (So should I have :/ )

 

For the record, I use PotPlayer x64 and Windows Media Player aside from MPC-HC and am suffering from an extreme case of fanboy. ;)

So to be clear we're currently discussing software that stole software I wrote to affect software I wrote that causes egregious problems in software I wrote that I've had to go get fixed in their software and write workaround/hacks in Windows to stop their software from breaking Windows.  If you want to discuss stuff that involves me at every level, I kinda do have a moral obligation to step in here at this stupid point and try to be a voice of reality, if not reason.

 

I don't know your expertise here.  Could you clarify?  I've been utterly transparent that I've been involved at every single stage of this process, voluntarily or not.  If anybody wants to challenge me here for some boring reason, you probably want to be pretty clear on specifics because at face value there's probably only one or two people in the world who know this area better.  I would love it if we could stick to a discussion of codec packs as opposed to desperately attacking the messenger.  I loathe getting involved in this kinds of discussions as it is without each individual fanboy feeling that they clearly understand this field better.  If you do, awesome: let's discuss the field.

 

I love all players and multimedia and think it's an excellent and fun field.  I absolutely adore this field, I adore every excellent player who brings something new and exciting to the table, and I hope everybody continues to work together to make multimedia awesome.  If codec packs didn't insist (need?) to inject themselves into other software and break it, I would not be posting.  It's not that anybody cares that you run SuperPlayerX, it's that you're fundamentally installing often badly written multimedia drivers needlessly and injecting them into processes that I do care about.

 

As was voiced earlier, installing dubious software for the point of installing it is dubious.  If you have a specific task to accomplish, go install the software for that.  This completely discredits the notion that I care WTF you put on your own PC or that you "set up a computer differently".  I simply try not to sit idly by while people provide each other really bad computing advice.  Qualifiers such as "having minded my configurations" - those are really frightening and you need to recognize that.

 

I do not know at what point we stopped believing that quality matters, but please --- I really care about quality and people's machines not breaking.  It is not OK that you need to know the secret handshake in order to not break your machine.  Maybe things are awesome now - a notion that I do not deny, but also firmly point to the historic track record of other people needing to "discover" their induced problems later on - but please ... be sane.

 

One of my chief concerns with K-Lite remains that the old versions of the pack still available.  Guys should change their names.  If the advice was "go install L-Lite!" -- there wouldn't be red flags that should be going off on in sane people's heads.  If the advice was "go install K-Lite Version X.X" -- that would be decent-ish advice.  Still predicated upon some really horribly flawed notions (what problem are you trying to solve?  does the CP advance you towards a solution there?), but ---- at least that would be happy.

 

Here.  Let's pretend that I'm Lord High Commander of the Internet briefly.

 

I hereby command that all codec packs go change their names.  All old codec packs will be presented as and acknowledged as old broken and busted, and we will shun the for-profit click vultures trying to profiteer off that badness.  We will all (including me) embrace the new and clean-as-far-as-we-currently-know-it codec packs, and we will presume that the people blindly installing these things based upon their friend's confused advice will not be too needlessly harmed.  All codec packs will be completely transparent about what they are installing and what version that is.  All codec packs will phone home before installing (if online) and prompt the user to optionally install the newer package instead if relevant.  Or at the very end of setup they'll pop up a welcome page on their site, and the launched URL will include the installing version number so that the web page can react if needed to that knowledge.  It is thus decreed.

 

OK.  So I'm not high commander as it suckily turns out.  How about new pack names?  Can we go with K-Lite Normal and K-Lite Ultra?  CCCP Ultra?  Shark Ultra?  I just want some distinguishing characteristic at the least so people have a vague hope of getting pointed to the current stuff if they really need to be pointed that way.

 

The only reason I work in software is because I ********ing love multimedia.  love it.  I want and need this stuff to work for eeeeeeeeeeeverybody, regardless of platform, player, file format, or codecs.  Don't break my stuff, peeps.  Don't break other people's stuff, peeps.

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snaphat (Myles Landwehr)    414

So to be clear we're currently discussing software that stole software I wrote to affect software I wrote that causes egregious problems in software I wrote that I've had to go get fixed in their software and write workaround/hacks in Windows to stop their software from breaking Windows.  If you want to discuss stuff that involves me at every level, I kinda do have a moral obligation to step in here at this stupid point and try to be a voice of reality, if not reason.

Actually, I am curious myself about what you meant about the stolen software and the fixing their issues, etc. I saw your posts in this thread back when you initially posted, but I didn't get the full picture (perhaps I missed something). Perhaps, it is a bit off topic though and best served via PM  :)

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Preppy    33

Actually, I am curious myself about what you meant about the stolen software and the fixing their issues, etc. I saw your posts in this thread back when you initially posted, but I didn't get the full picture (perhaps I missed something). Perhaps, it is a bit off topic though and best served via PM  :)

A: Most of these at least initially stemmed from pretty illegitimate grounds.  If you want details you can go review their old file lists.  I don't personally feel any particular need to dwell upon this.  They are aware of what they were doing.  Generally I don't see that happening anymore.  Any person interested can readily check the current or past file lists of any codec packs and/or check in with that pack maker.  Involving me is generally needless. :)

 

B: Codec packs are a fundamentally flawed response to the utterly vague question of "what codec do I need?"  In an effort to include an answer for every possible file type, codec packs were including some bad codecs (read: actively crashing people's PCs) and some dangerous codecs (read: active exploits existed for these codecs).  (I'm politely ignoring the commercial software concerns for the sake of this discussion.)  [Fellow nerds: I'm using the wrong collective word 'codec' because it's simpler in context.]  I normally take a look at the top Windows crashes every so often in order to catch any issues in my area, and things started very visibly trending in a nasty direction, and further investigation showed that they were breaking stuff everywhere, with I think two or three codec packs being reliably involved in some disgusting percentage of crashes.  (Other packs were bad, but 3 were particularly noxious, and K-Lite was the most popular of the Noxious Three.)   After some prodding most of those issues were fixed up.  I also tried doing the due diligence of getting that nastiness off the internet, but certain major sites refuse to take off the bad broken versions of these codec packs because they are perfectly willing to trash your system in order to get clickbait dollars.

 

So yeah, most of the people we are talking about here did some pretty nastily bad work in the past, and that past continues to haunt them and me because hey it's the internet and making things go away is hard.  And complicated by internet predators who are perfectly happy trashing your system as long as they get ad money.  And complicated by the semi-understandably shallow recommendations of people who don't understand a non-understandable question.  "What codec do I need" is a broken question: the answer correlates directly to what you are trying to play and/or do.  "Go install SuperPack!" is a dangerous answer if there are people actively making sure the nasty old version of SuperPack is available.

 

That's the quick gist of it.  It's a really boring discussion.  :\  I realize we can't get people asking questions to generally be that much more intelligent because the average computer user is pretty confused most of the time, but if we can provide more intelligent answers that would be excellent.

 

And it's just frustratingly stupidly hard to have any intelligent discussions here.  Lotsa people think the plural of anecdote is data.  And you get realllllllllllllly cute stuff like the blatant misrepresentation/misquotes of myself on one particular codec pack maker's page (the one who broke my code just recently, in fact) in order to trash another codec pack maker.  It's not tight.

 

It makes you want to headdesk pretty hard.  I often have a hard time believing that people are this dense and evil, and have to remind myself that this is a complex and intricate area and I should just understand that people are hopefully operating in good faith, just simply with a lot less area knowledge and no particular concern for the overall health of multimedia or PCs.

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