Windows 7 Might Block Third-Party Video Codecs

Are a few things in Windows 7 starting smell off? Gizmodo investigates

Windows 7, coming to a PC near you: Lifehacker Australia

Something we love about Windows 7 is that it has much better native codec support, like H.264 and AAC. But the price might be high: It looks like Windows 7 might block third-party video decoders.

(Before we jump in, here's our ultimate codec primer, if all this "code" talk is confusing.) Here's how a directshow developer lays it out: MPEG-4 and H.264 codecs are hard baked into Media Foundation, and you can't override them, since Microsoft's list of preferred codecs in the registry can't be edited, even in admin mode. Which means basically that Microsoft has "blocked the possibility to use alternate codecs in their applications," according to the developer, so you couldn't use them in Windows Media Player or Windows Media Center.

The flip side is that we are talking about a beta (the 7057 build, in between the public beta and the upcoming release candidate), not a final release, so maybe this won't apply in the final version of Windows if developers bitch loud enough. Also, third-party applications should be able to find a workaround, postulates DigitalWerks, so VLC should be okay. Oh, and with so much codec support built in, it's likely the average person won't need third-party codecs anyway.

Still, pretty lame and non-open on Microsoft's part if it stays this way.

Story from Gizmodo Australia



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I don't like using VLC, it's a clunky and awkward program that inevitably ends up killing itself half way through some of the movies I watch for various reasons.

Having downloaded the Windows XP Codec pack from some website somewhere, between Windows Media Player and Real Player I can play pretty much every file I come across.

Here's hoping that they have already implemented the codecs in that pack to the normal operations. Save having to hunt them down again

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