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The "Everybody Else" Codec Testing Ground
 Rm & Ram
Ogg or OGM


If you suspect that one of the codecs are missing from your machine, click on the "Test" active link to the right of the codec type and it will load a standardized 3 second clip using that codec. The last column contains the known information as to what OS's the codecs will work on. For codecs involving the extention ".avi" see the Avi page. For extention ".mpg" see MPG. And for ".mov, .Qt" see QT.

Codec/ Extension Other Collected Codec types Press to test
Link to download the Codec
Streaming video format by Microsoft.  Reportedly, this was to be Microsoft's answer to Real Media's RM Video format, that would offer smooth video at relatively low data rates.  Not forgotten but seemingly being bypassed by Wmv.  It can be viewed by Windows users with the fewest problems, other than that you will need a fairly fast computer to view the files smoothly. Drawbacks to asf include the current lack of joining software (PPasf??) and it doesn't Rewind or Fast Forward well.  To compress in asf, use the free MS NetshowOn Demand Producer.
On the Mac, the only application that can view asf is the Microsoft Media Player. One particular caveat for Macs MS Media Player (in beta) - It will play ONLY asf files. Advanced Streaming format by Microsoft. Now, lets see.... this was the new improved streaming codec just for the new streaming codec, before the.....
DirectX by Mircosoft is for all intents becoming a main underlying component of many of today's newest codecs. Developers currently are allowed to "hitch" their drivers to direct show to obtain faster bit rate flows than they could get without it. Again, not a codec, but Macies as well as Wintelers should keep DirectX up-to-date for the best results. No Test
by Emblaze; which, after a buy out or two went to on2tech. Java propelled, there's nothing to add to your system. The first part of the clip is a small java applet the opens your browser and runs the clips. Despite the Ev2 extension as referred to above, the sample clip from Emblaze left a "swf" extension file on my drive when downloaded (see swf). Since it's purchase several changes have occurred to the propriety nature of ev2, preventing anyone failing to download the sometimes hidden html script with the java applet from ever hoping to play it. No Test
ffdshow is a DirectShow (see directX) decoding filter for decompressing DIVX and XVID movies using the libavcodec, or xvid with rich set of video postprocessing filters. ffdshow can also be used as a separate postprocessing filter for other decoders. No Test
Ogg - Ogm
The Ogg Vorbis DirectShow filter collection let  you embed and decode Most video and audio streams but MPEG2, and text streams. You can select the desired audio / subtitle channel with standard interfaces in Windows Media Player as well as other players. No Test
RM or Ram
RM -- RealMedia streaming video format.
Chosen by some cappers because of the small file size relative to .AVI or other formats.  Like asf, the format is proprietary.  Recent announcement of Intel's joining RealMedia in developing the next version of the codec have lead to me leavingthis format an open ended question.  Mostly, you will need the RealPlayer to view the files, free on the RealMedia site, but you'll have to wade through a pile of pitches for their $30 dollar viewer to find it.
Real Media's real advantage is also it's curse.  During compression on the Real Media Producer you may elect to use a multistreaming mode, from 14.4 to T3 streams. This will cause the resulting file to have multilayered copies of the sourcefile that will be played back based on the exchange of data between the player and the file.  Great maybe for use on the web, if you set up on a RealMedia server and want "One file fits All", but for usenet I would strongly suggest that cappers select a single speed, and keep the filesize down.
Once closely linked to Ev2 file types, swf has become (seemingly) a Flash file type. You know flash - those web sties with the loud and active animated opening page??? If you've got a *swf file, give Swiff Player by GlobFx a shot. It's a FREE stand-alone player that enables Flash users to quickly play their Flash movies. Swiff Player offers a variety of playback capabilities.  No Test
VIV -- Vivo streaming video format, bought out by Real Media in 1998. You might find the player on an archive site, or you can add the plugin to your Real Player.
Sun MicroSystems entry into the vids world. Written in java and coded for the streaming market. Untested as of now. Test
- It seems that MS has abandoned ASF as a video format and replaced it with WMV. The new codec seems to do a better job than MP43 and the new WMA audio codec is as good or better than MP3.
Notice to anyone considering loading Windows Media Player 9, and possibly the WMV9 codec pack:
Once you have installed the 9 player, you WILL NOT be able to remove the digatal rights managment system from your computer. It has also been pointed out in the "d" group that the newest version of MS player 6.4, despite having the same version number, will now allow the installation of the wmv9 codec and retain the abelity to play it. This is the change between wmv2 that was used in all versions through 9.02, and those above it.

1. Try a installing 6.4 again using the current version on the MS web site under MPlayer for win95/98.

2. Also done and seems to work for some is to allow M$ to install the new MP9, then before it calls home, uninstall using the "custom option". You might need to reset your file associations for wmv to MP2. This left the codec for wmv behind, and worked fine for me.


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