Error Downloading Codec/Appropriate Decompressor In Windows Media Player
General - Troubleshooting Playback
Unable to download an appropriate decompressor or Error downloading codec can have a few different solutions depending on exactly what you are playing or try to play in Windows Media Player.
AVI Files - Troubleshooting Playback
If you are not completely sure about what video codec’s are or do I would suggest installing ffdshow (Download ffdshow-20050630.exe) (Project Homepage). This is a simple DirectShow filter (also called a codec or decoder) that will decode (allow you to play) DivX, XviD, 3ivX, and more.
AVI Files - Getting the Specific Codec You Need
Please follow the steps below to find and download the specific video codec you need to enable Windows Media Player to play your AVI files.
- Download the GSpot Codec Tool
- Install the program
- Open it. Select File | Open and select your AVI file
- Look for the FourCC code for the file's Video Codec
- Visit the FourCC website and find out who develops that codec
- You can now go to that developers website to download your codec. You can also visit the Codec section of wmplugins.
- Note: Do not download anything labeled as a “Codec Pack” or from the links at the top of the FourCC website. This will help you stay out of trouble when playing your files.
More AVI Playback Help: Guide To AVI Playback In Windows Media Player
MPEG or MPG Files - Troubleshooting Playback
Reinstalling DirectX will overwrite quartz.dll and re-register the file in Windows. quartz.dll is the MPEG-1 Decoder that WMP will default to.
Reinstalling your MPEG-2 or DVD decoder would be the next step. Windows Media Player does not include an MPEG-2 decoder. If you can get this error for a few MPEG files, there is a chance they are MPEG-2 video. You can use the Windows XP Video Decoder Checkup Utility to see if you currently have an MPEG-2/DVD decoder installed if you are running Windows XP. From within the program you can then set it was the default MPEG decoder. If you see nothing listed, you would want to reinstall that application in order to reinstall the decoder. WinDVD and PowerDVD are two examples of software that would install MPEG-2 decoders that Windows Media Player can use.
Please see DVD and MPEG-2 Support and Windows XP Video Decoder Checkup Utility for more information about MPEG-2 and DVD Playback in Windows Media Player.
More MPEG and DVD Playback Help: Guide To MPEG Playback In Windows Media Player
WMA or WMV - Troubleshooting Playback
Visit the Codec Installation Package for Windows Media Player and run the installer. This should reinstall all Windows Media Codec's on your system. It's also a good idea to reinstall DirectX just after you install the Windows Media Codec's.
MP3 Files - Troubleshooting Playback
Go to C:\Windows\System32\l3codeca.acm and rename the file to l3codeca.bak. Then open WMP and go to Help>>Check for Updates. This will re-download the decoder and place a new copy on your system. If that does not do it then go to Start | Run | Type “regsvr32.exe l3codeca.acm”
RM, RMVB, RA, RAM Files - Troubleshooting Playback
These file formats are proprietary to RealNetworks and can only be played back in RealPlayer .
MOV - Troubleshooting Playback
This format is proprietary to Apple Computer and can only be played back in QuickTime.
Media Advice Archive
Why can't I download an appropriate decompressor?
Where can I learn more about codecs for the Player?
The Player displays "error downloading codec." What can I do?
Windows Media Player FAQ
Why does the Player display a visualization instead of the video when I play an .avi file?
Why does the Player display a visualization instead of the video (or return an error message) when I try to play an .mpg or .mpeg file?
Will installing the DivXNetworks Nimo or Tsunami codec packs solve all of my playback problems?
Do I need to install any special codecs to play Windows Media Audio and Video files?
Why didn't the codec download successfully?