Windows Essentials Media Codec Pack 3.4 - Free download and software reviews - CNET Download.com

Windows Essentials Media Codec Pack

CNET Editors' review

Windows Essentials Media Codec Pack provides a set of software codecs for viewing and listening to many forms of media in Windows Media Player. While this program merely enhances a media player, it does a fine job of accommodating many different and unusual types of videos and music.

The program's interface is simple to operate, since it maintains the classic media player layout. Its commands are easy to understand and navigate. This codec pack makes it a bit difficult to measure any improvements to Windows Media Player since it's not a player itself but rather a set of add-ons to your current audiovisual software. However, it adds the capability to watch and listen to a bevy of file formats, from DVDs and CDs to video files downloaded from the Internet. Everything played well, and we never found any glitches during our testing. Using this as a basis, we'd say the program was pretty successful. It also offered an interesting subtitle database feature that lets you input subtitles on programs. This wasn't as necessary for DVDs, which normally come with their own subtitles, but it's a thoughtful and useful addition. While we had a difficult time gauging just what this collection of codecs adds to the original media player, we were confident we could watch or listen to practically anything after downloading and installing it.

Windows Essentials Media Codec Pack is freeware. It lets you view many different media types on your player, and we recommend it.

Publisher's Description

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All User Reviews
  • All versions:

    3.4 stars

    out of 572 votes

    • 5 star: 186
    • 4 star: 163
    • 3 star: 50
    • 2 star: 36
    • 1 star: 137
  • Current version:

    2.9 stars

    out of 10 votes

    • 5 star: 4
    • 4 star: 1
    • 3 star: 0
    • 2 star: 0
    • 1 star: 5
  • My rating:

    0 stars

    Write review

Results 1-10 of 10

  • 1.0 stars

    "Being a free app is nice but at what cost?"

    February 25, 2011  |   By GaryWFish

    Version: Windows Essentials Media Codec Pack 3.4

    Pros

    At this point I am not certain a pro would be appropriate.VLC media player is a better way to go.

    Cons

    Any programs that don't reveal hidden retrieval processes should be held as questionable.

    Summary

    Avira Anti Personal identified 2 Adware/Open Candy Trogens in the new 3.3 update. I had the same problem when I downloaded 3.3 from CNET, Sofpedia, and WECP's main web page. Until WECP corrects this I will no longer update this program. WECP's apps update in the program doesn't work for me either. It is a good thing that we can express these issues on CNET. I appreciate all the good free apps!

    Reply to this review

    Was this review helpful? (2) (1)

  • 5.0 stars

    "so far so good"

    February 25, 2011  |   By boydkasel

    Version: Windows Essentials Media Codec Pack 3.4

    Pros

    been using this codec pack for years now, so far i've never encountered any problems with it, works on all my pcs (xp home, xp pro and windows 7 ultimate)

    Cons

    none i guess

    Summary

    used this pack years, highly recommended!

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  • 5.0 stars

    "Does the job and it's free"

    February 24, 2011  |   By rosettemyree

    Version: Windows Essentials Media Codec Pack 3.4

    Pros

    Install was a breeze, 5 minutes after downloading this I was able to watch all my downloaded vids

    Cons

    Nothing at all

    Reply to this review

    Was this review helpful? (2) (2)

  • 1.0 stars

    "Lavasoft's Ad-Aware blocked 3.3 update install: ZUGO FS"

    February 23, 2011  |   By edgbaston

    Version: Windows Essentials Media Codec Pack 3.4

    Pros

    Previous versions have performed as described in Editor's blurb.

    Cons

    ADWARE!!!!!!!!

    Summary

    Disappointed that CNET hadn't already identified the Zugo (fs), Adware problem and flagged it back to the Publisher. Has rocked my faith in CNET to be only presenting me with clean software options. This is the most worrying aspect here. Is CNET Download to be trusted?

    My rating of this product update as terrible is based solely on the adware's inclusion. But that is the deal breaker for me.

    Reply to this review

    Was this review helpful? (4) (3)

  • 4.0 stars

    "New Update Contains Malicious Code"

    February 23, 2011  |   By Brechan

    Version: Windows Essentials Media Codec Pack 3.4

    Pros

    See Bottom Line Summary

    Cons

    See Bottom Line Summary

    Summary

    After downloading this update; Microsoft Security Essentials determined there was malicious code embedded in the software program-resulting in a cleaning/ restart of my PC.
    Detected Item: Adware:Win32/OpenCandy
    Description: This programs delivers potentially unwanted advertisements to your computer
    Risk: Low

    Bottom Line: If you think this program needs updating; locate the program on your computer, then check for updates through the program itself.

    Reply to this review

    Was this review helpful? (6) (2)

  • 5.0 stars

    "Works like a charm"

    February 23, 2011  |   By douglasreighard

    Version: Windows Essentials Media Codec Pack 3.4

    Pros

    Managed to play all my media files without a hitch and unlike other media players I was able to keep using my default media player without having to switch to another player

    Cons

    None that i can think of

    Summary

    Works, was able to play all my media files, did not have to change media player and it's free

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  • 1.0 stars

    "Includes SweetIM spyware"

    February 22, 2011  |   By OMG_OMG_OMG

    Version: Windows Essentials Media Codec Pack 3.4

    Pros

    Nothing at all

    Cons

    Includes SweetIM.
    SweetIM accesses social network sites, emails and instant messages to give you the option of adding smiley's.
    This is a real privacy risk.

    Summary

    This is a dud codec pack, with a real privacy issue.

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    Was this review helpful? (6) (5)

  • 1.0 stars

    "Doesn't work on Windows 7"

    February 22, 2011  |   By auntie_christ

    Version: Windows Essentials Media Codec Pack 3.4

    Pros

    free and was fast to download

    Cons

    Most of the codecs don't even load on Windows 7

    Reply to this review

    Was this review helpful? (5) (5)

  • 1.0 stars

    "Kids computer science project?"

    February 22, 2011  |   By don_mayk_ma_laff

    Version: Windows Essentials Media Codec Pack 3.4

    Pros

    Well, it is free

    Cons

    It's a huge installer and doesn't include much.

    Summary

    This pack relies heavily on ffdshow, with a few extra splitters to help ffdshow along.
    A number of things are quite conflicting eg. the package has Gabest's MPEG-2 decoder filter, but also has a "selected" option to fix Windows' own decoders. Then, on top of that it installs Media Player Classic and defaults DVD playback to that!
    There is an automatic update that runs EVERY TIME Windows starts, but this package hasn't been updated for nearly a year!

    Reply to this review

    Was this review helpful? (5) (5)

  • 5.0 stars

    "Great product"

    February 22, 2011  |   By fletcherbayani

    Version: Windows Essentials Media Codec Pack 3.4

    Pros

    I've struggled playing several videos I've downloaded, I've tried several codecs before trying this pack, none of them worked as well as this, now all my videos are playing

    Cons

    None that I could find

    Summary

    Great product, and it's free!

    Reply to this review

    Was this review helpful? (5) (2)

Results 1-10 of 10

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