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Old 11 Jan 2006, 12:46 PM   #1
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Default Help understanding codecs

Hello everyone. I'd like to ask a question regarding codecs. I'm a newbie to video and audio editing and I'm trying to understand or put into some sense how codecs are used by the OS.

As I try to absorb all these things, I see talk of installing too many video editing NLE programs, even for trials, can result in codec conflicts.

I see codecs and codec paks named as standalone products.

I am most likely under a preconceived misconception about all this.

I assumed that (with respect to video editing programs.) when a program was installed on your computer, the files were assembled in folders and subfolders below the programs folder. I also assumed that the call to any specific codec would be a call to a file in one of those folders.

Based on the above, (which may be way off base) I also assumed that no matter how many programs I load for trial NLEs. All of the associated codecs would be in folders below the programs parent folder and not accessable to any other application.

I know you can put different versions of a file in various locations on your computer, and the program that is calling for the file will only use the version it is being pointed to.

I didn't think that Windows assembled some DEFAULT location for all codecs which were universally understood by NLE programs as the place to look, so my questions is .. how can any conflicts arise if things are seperated by the paths they use to look for programs.

If I am way off base (which is LOL most likely) where do I find these codec pools and if a particular program doesn't have one or is looking for one, how would I point the program to them.

Its all very confusing to me, so if someone dares to try to explain this, go easy.... I was never accused of being smart.

dcp
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Old 12 Jan 2006, 08:29 PM   #2
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Some progs behave that way, others don't. A real good codec pack is ffdshow.

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Old 12 Jan 2006, 09:36 PM   #3
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think of codecs as drivers, they're installed deep into windows. each codec has 'merit' (priority). this value determines which codec will be used to decode a certain file. should there be multiple codecs on your system that are able to do the job, the codec with the highest merit 'gets to it first'.

programs like 'media player classic' allows you to override the merit system and specify which codecs to use. if a program doesn't have such a function, merit can be adjusted, with tools like 'radlight filter manager' (freeware).

ps. sourceforge hasn't updated their ffdshow page for some time. get the 'official' latest builds here http://ffdshow.sourceforge.net/tikiw...etting+ffdshow
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Old 13 Jan 2006, 05:11 AM   #4
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Geez my link IS outa date, isn't it? Sorry

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Old 13 Jan 2006, 12:28 PM   #5
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yeah i'm wondering why they're not updating? they're usually the first.

a lot of people google ffdshow and get to sourceforge. not a good idea, as that build can't decode H.264, which is now the primary reason for installing it
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Old 13 Jan 2006, 01:20 PM   #6
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I wouldn't say that. CoreAVC is much more efficient than ffdshow, so no need to install ffdshow for AVC decoding anymore, well unless you want VfW decoding.

What you described earlier was direct show filters. This includes, decoders, encoders, splitters, etc. Some apps will install them, like say a MainConcept mpg splitter might be a common one. Other apps will use internal codecs, like I think Vegas includes an internal DV codec, which is just used by Vegas.
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Old 13 Jan 2006, 02:14 PM   #7
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the only thing stopping me from using coreavc is it doesn't seem to work with mpc's vmr9 renderless, and lack of pp without ffdshow (though not needed often). lightning fast though!

Last edited by anonymez; 13 Jan 2006 at 02:16 PM
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Old 14 Jan 2006, 11:42 AM   #8
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Thanks for your replies! Two reasons I ask, well kinda three I guess, is because with all the potential for codec conflicts you would think the obvious solution would be to put them in subfolders of the specific programs, by the programs and only called by those programs so they get what they want.

Another concern I had was relative to uninstalling about 4 different trial NLEs I have on my system and taking half the codecs with the uninstall LOL

Lastly, I have a new program that works fine on AVIs, but when I put an mpeg on the timeline I get a message saying it can't continue and to go online and register mainconcepts pro encoder. This computer is offline, and although I can hook it up and go through the process, I saw so much about assigning codecs I was wondering if I could just do that with some mpeg encoder I have.

Its all very confusing to a newbie to this stuff like me, and I do appreciate all your help!

dcp
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