Codecs and Multimedia Files

If you encounter difficulty viewing a complete and valid multimedia file (e.g., ASF, ASX, AVI, MP4, MPEG, MPG, MOV, RA, RAM, or WMV), your computer may be missing the codec (short for coder/decoder or compressor/decompressor) necessary to play the file. Typically, installing the most recent version of the multimedia player software that you use (see Multimedia Players) will solve most playback problems and install the most recent codecs. If you are prompted to download a license in order to play a file, we recommend that not do so, close your player, and delete the file (see How to Avoid Dangerous Files).

NOTE: You must contact the appropriate manufacturer for support downloading, installing, and using any codec.

If you have installed the most recent version of your multimedia player and continue to experience problems playing multimedia files (that are supported by your player), you might try downloading and installing the popular DivX codec at the following link:

Additional (free and commercial) codecs are available at:

The Microsoft article, Codecs: frequently asked questions, provides more information about codecs and the Windows Media Player.

Please also feel free to check out the the Wikipedia Codec article.

If a link on this page needs to be changed or updated, please send us a message.

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