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How To Use Codecs

Codecs—short for “coder-decoders” and “compressor-decompressor”—are computer programs that can encode or decode video files. In some instances, your downloaded media files may be missing codecs. This leads to you being unable to properly playback your media files, and can cause major frustration for you.

If you use a high-quality media player, a wide variety of codec packs are usually built-in and ready to fill in any “holes” your media files may have. HowSpot recommends VLC Media Player because it supports a vast library of virtually any codec you would ever need!

  • Set Up VLC Media Player

  • 1

    Download and install your free copy of VLC Media Player.

  • 2

    Run VLC Media Player for use. Look for an icon that looks like an orange traffic cone on your desktop. Double-click icon to launch VLC Media Player.

  • 3

    Open your file by clicking the menu Media > Open Folder.

  • 4

    Navigate and find the file you wish to open.

  • 5

    Click Choose Folder.

  • 6

    VLC Media Player will detect missing codecs and search for a suitable solution.

  • 7

    If it is a movie or TV show, it will display an on-screen menu as it would on a DVD player. Click on the on-screen menu’s Start option to begin playing your media.

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