According to Wikipedia, a codec is a program which encodes and decodes a digital data stream. The word codec is a mixture of two separate words, compression and decompression. Now it should be clearly understood that a codec compresses an audio or video file and then decompresses it when playing.
Windows comes with its default media player, Windows Media Player. Although Windows Media Player is very good, it can’t play all the multimedia formats because Windows includes on a basic set of codecs and Windows Media Player can play only the supported formats. Windows 8 is Microsoft’s latest Operating System which is still in beta. If you are working on Windows 8 and want to play a lot of different audio and video formats without installing third party software, look no further than K-Lite Codec Pack.
K-Lite Codec Pack has been updated recently and is now compatible with Windows 8 Consumer Preview. The latest version is K-Lite Codec Pack 8.6.0.
The advantage of K-Lite Codec Pack over other similar codec packs is that the codecs included in K-Lite Codec Pack are always updated and you’ll always get the latest version of codecs included in K-Lite Codec Pack. The installation of K-Lite Codec Pack is also very simple. If you don’t know about the advanced options, just keep clicking the Next button until the installer finishes installation. After installation, Windows Media Player will be able to play most of the audio and video formats.
Some of the video codecs included in K-Lite Codec Pack for Windows 8:
- FFDShow MPEG-4
- DivX 8
- Koepi’s XviD Codec
- DScaler MPEG Filters
- Ogg Codecs
- Xvid Video Codec
- Nic’s XviD Codec
- Ligos Indeo Codec
Some of the audio codecs included in K-Lite Codec Pack for Windows 8:
- MPEG Layer-3 Codec
- AC3 Filter
- AC-3 ACM Codec
- CoreVorbis Decoder
- LAME DirectShow Filter
- LAME MP3 Encoder
- Monkey’s Audio
- Vorbis Ogg ACM Codec
There are a few editions of K-Lite Codec Pack, basic, standard, full and mega. Depending upon your requirements, you can download one of the packs from the locations below:
Please note that if you prefer not to install any media codec pack and still be able to play majority of audio and video files, download KMPlayer which does not require installing of media codecs. All the media codecs come pre-installed inside KMPlayer.