Vista Codec Package
A newer version of Vista Codec Package is available.
This download is served from an external siteclose
NOTICE: This link will open a connection to a third-party site. CNET cannot ensure the security of software that is hosted on external sites.
Full user review
"just pass this one up"
seemed promising as far as codec for Windows Media Player (uninstalls fine, and didn't seem to invite malware).
1) Windows error report towards the end of the install, 2) had to use the Settings Application (link in Start menu, see screenshot) to set things like single core (default was dual); i.e. not for basic users, and 3) didn't play DVDs in media player.
For DVD playback, nothing like the software that came with your physical player, or just go with VLC Player.
Not my recomendation, but if you don't want VLC (or don't want to *pay* for a DVD decoder from Roxio, Sonic, Cyberlink, or Corel), you would be better off getting "ffdshow" (which will have www.ffmpeg.org (MPEG-2/DVD), www.divx.com, and www.xvid.org (popular .avi)), but it includes a standalone working media player ("classic", which is NOT to be confused with Windows Media Player); but mind you, this is basically what shark007 is providing, just that they include a player that works.