Finding the right codec.

My aunty recorded some videos on her digital camera, a Sony Cybershot 4.0 Megapixels “Carl Zeiss”. Unfortunately, she is unable to play the videos on her computer with either the latest version of Winamp or Windows Media Player, which leads me to suspect that the problem is a missing codec. I’ve tried the files on my own computer and they play fine, although I use WMP 9 and she is using 10, which proves that they are not corrupted.

Given that all I know about the files is that they are encoded in .mpeg format, how do I find out which specific codec I need?

A program called GSpot should tell you the video and audio codec you need.

Szlater, thanks for the reccomendation. Unfortunately, Gspot states that it doesn’t support .mpg files at the time being and is unable to detect the codec.

If you can’t pin down the missing codec, get your aunt to download VLC player from the videolan website. It’s free and plays pretty much everything.

If you can’t find the specific codec, download and install ffdshow. It’s a directshow codec library, and once it’s installed it will allow your computer to play just about any digital video you’re likely to come across.

It’s about the only codec i’ve downloaded for my computer (well, i have Xvid, but i use that for encoding, not viewing), and i’ve never found a video i can’t play.

Not only that, but having this one library means you don’t constantly have to go in search of new codecs, some of which can be a pain in the ass to install and can fuck up your computer. I remember a few years ago, before i found ffdshow, downloading and installing an Angelfire codec that fucked up my video big time and required an uninstall and a system restore to fix.

Struan’s suggestion of VLC players is also a good idea. I use Media Player Classic myself, but VLC is a good 'un.

Thanks for the advice.