21 December, 2011

Codec Pack and Filters for playing flac in WMP/Classic Media Player

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21-Dec-2011

I was searching for the Christmas songs that I downloaded, so I can play them while working. It took a while, for it would only be opened once a year, but anyway, these are the Carpenters songs, and lo and behold, they are in flac format.

So when I tried to open them in Windows Media Player, I was alerted of a probable problem, that the audio format is unsupported.

I therefore searched for this issue, and found a good forum, where the different media players are discussed, the pros and cons, and the various audio formats are also put to the test and evaluated, and of course, the heated arguments are there – usually balanced off by the cool-headed arguers.

Anyway, I got what I wanted, and acquired what I needed, to play the Christmas songs.

But I learned a couple of things from that forum, which is here: Windows Media Player: How do I Play Ogg and FLAC Files in WMP?.

As for the codecs, I downloaded from here, K-Lite Codec Pack.

This is because I decided to stick with Windows Media Player and Media Player Classic Home Cinema. Others went on to advocate VLC media player, or foobar2000, or MediaMonkey, or Zoom player, or what have you!

I also installed DFX audio enhancer for Windows Media Player, which I got from wmplugins site. I just got the free version.

And the other codec pack that I installed (the first one actually) is from Xiph.org: Directshow Filters for Ogg Vorbis, Speex, Theora, FLAC, and WebM.

Findings:

It was not so good for Windows Media Player, in that while it was able to play the flac format, the sound quality was ‘thin’ – kinda squeaky, like there was no mid to low audio information. But when I switched to Media Player Classic, the full sound spectrum was there.

Now at this point, I can’t say what is wrong, so I will reserve my comments what Windows Media Player isn’t at all good for playing flac audio format. For all the good points that users threw at the forum, I am one who will also vouch for this free media player. It is best at its good points, and only poor at its weak points, for one reason that I can presume: those who made it, whatever they fitted it with, made it at its best, so what third-party providers add in, it isn’t – or it may never be – at its best.

Remember Edward Scissorhands? He didn’t get a heart, but he got scissors for his hands, and they functioned very well, he used them very well. It’s like that for Windows Media Player.

Okay, so I will end here, and here’s to wish everyone a very blessed Christmas, and a joyful New Year!

Till then!


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