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How to find and replace a missing video codec

A reader wrote to us complaining that she couldn’t get video files to play in Windows Media Player. Our Helproom expert diagnosed a missing codec, and set about solving the problem.

QUESTION I transferred some Mpeg4 video from a Kodak camcorder to my PC. An orange Play icon appears next to each clip in Windows Media Player, but it refuses to accept them. What am I doing wrong? Karel S

HELPROOM ANSWER This problem usually arises because Windows is missing a codec. This is a small program that functions in much the same way as the drivers for your peripherals; rather than telling Windows how to communicate with hardware, it tells the operating system how to decode (and sometimes encode) the audio and video contained within a file.

If you still have the box for your camcorder, you’ll probably find a disc inside that contains the necessary installation software. This will include the codec you need. Otherwise, check the support section of Kodak’s website to download the file.

If this doesn’t work for you, try the free VLC Media Player. This includes codecs that allow it to handle most video files without additional software.


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