This is purely my subjective opinion and others may feel differently about the topic. I think nowadays you can safely install most codecs and filters without fear of too much instability. I would however stay away from codec packs. They have their use when they contain a codec you can’t find anywhere else or if you’re short on time to search for codecs individually, but the people who bundle them together usually have little time or hardware to test for compatibility across a large range of hardware. Also steer away from programs that offer spyware or adware, or that contain useless bells and whistles (good example is real player 10, with a web browser, cd ripper/burner, and lord-knows-what)
Here’s a list to you started:
windows media player 6.4, divx 5 (free one), divx 3.11, xvid, microsoft wmv and mpeg-4 codecs, indeo, real alternative, quicktime alternative, media player classic, videolan
a lot of people rave about ffdshow but i haven’t had a chance to test it out, and for matroska and ogm containers I don’t know what’s used either.
and keep gspot, avicodec, or videotoolbox handy, just in case you should stumble into an exotic codec someday.
Now for the links...
Windows Media Player 6.4: http://download.microsoft.com/download/winmediaplayer/Update/6.4/W9XNT4/EN-US/mpfull.exe
divx 5: http://www.divx.com/divx/download/
divx 3: http://www.divx-digest.com/software/divxcodec.html
Microsoft codecs: http://www.microsoft.com/windows/windowsmedia/format/codecdownload.aspx (second 'download now' button)
quicktime alternative and real alternative: http://home.hccnet.nl/h.edskes/finalbuilds.htm (scroll down some)
media player classic: http://www.gabest.org
and if you have spare time grab these two
directx (for mjpeg support): http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?FamilyId=9226A611-62FE-4F61-ABA1-914185249413&displaylang=en
Im here to ask for help. The problem is that everyday it appears to be a new codec or file extention or any other crap that to play u have to look for new codecs or player that are all installed in my cpu eventually leading to instability and a formating afternoon. I would like to know from u guys who seams to know about the subject what should i install in my cpu to play most of the videos arround.
I downloaded the latest pride fc in .ogm it would work with all the codecs so i got vlc that menaged to stratch it horisontally, now i got some .rm south park files that i will look for how to play. Its quite frustrating since next week nothing i installed will work anymore and the worst is that the new formats are in my point of view as efficient as the old ones....