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Old 14th March 2013, 16:51   #1  |  Link
Newstech
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Codec madness -- way too many in PC

So the other day I decided to use Gspot to take a look at the codecs and filters on my PC. Yikes. 300 entries. (Though I'm posting in Audio, this applies to Video too.)

Just to provide a sampling of the sources:
--Cyberlink. Their excellent software was bundled on this 2010 Compaq laptop. Many codecs.
--Canon. Loaded with camera software.
--AMD/ATI. Loaded with graphics drivers.
--ffmpeg.
--muvee technologies.
--divx.
--Quicktime.
--Microsoft quartz.dll.
--Ulead.
--lame.
--et cetera, et cetera.

It seems like I have many redundant items. Does it make sense to try to purge out some of these things, or adjust the "merit" settings? If so, where should I start? I know every machine/user is different but I'd appreciate some thoughts on the matter, especially from those of you who have tackled this task.
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Old 14th March 2013, 21:47   #2  |  Link
Asmodian
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If it isn't broken don't fix it.

Just my 2c
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Old 14th March 2013, 23:05   #3  |  Link
jkauff
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Asmodian View Post
If it isn't broken don't fix it.
That's my advice, too. Some may be left over from programs you uninstalled, but you're very likely to screw something up.

Just don't look. You'd be amazed how much useless stuff is installed on your computer--until some program needs it.
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Old 16th March 2013, 00:19   #4  |  Link
Newstech
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No doubt there's much to be said for the "ain't broke" argument. I think I'm regretting shotgunning ffmpeg and the K Lite Mega Pack into the machine. The good thing is that they cover codecs to handle stuff that otherwise might not have played. The bad news is that they don't just fill in the holes, but rather declare their own codecs superior. With Gspot, Filter Manager and Codec Tweak Tool I'm knocking back the merit of some of these things to normal. Don't think I'll take anything out. As you say, jkauff, never know when you might need it.
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Old 16th March 2013, 01:53   #5  |  Link
clsid
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You actually want codecs such as LAV Filters to have a high merit, because those are superior to the other codecs. Don't mess with things if you don't have the required knowledge, certainly if you are not having any actual problems. Stuff like QuickTime and ffmpeg isn't even used by other programs like normal codecs. Just remove the stuff you don't need. My advice would also be to remove DivX, or at least its splitter, as that is a bit buggy and useless.
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Old 16th March 2013, 02:52   #6  |  Link
Newstech
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Thanks! I didn't know what to think about LAV -- that was a new one to me. I'm not a newbie re this stuff at all but at a certain level it becomes black magic. So, you think the ffmpeg xvid handling is better than the old DivX stuff that's hanging around? Also, any opinion re AC3? It seems like AC3filter is doing the trick for me.
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Old 16th March 2013, 09:25   #7  |  Link
Sharc
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You may want to try this utility for (temporary) disabling those filters you think you don't need.
http://www.nirsoft.net/utils/installedcodec.zip
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Old 16th March 2013, 14:44   #8  |  Link
Newstech
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Thank you, Sharc. I'd used several of Nir's utilities but hadn't seen that one. Date displays are especially handy.
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Old 16th March 2013, 21:07   #9  |  Link
clsid
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LAV Filters works great and it supports practically any format that you can imagine. There is a development topic for it here on the forum, so it is easy to get help. Problems are usually fixed very quickly.

DivX installs a lot of junk. Since you want to clean things up, that is something you really don't need or want. AC3Filter works fine. If you like it, there is not really much reason to not use it. But if you don't use any of its advanced settings, then you could also just use LAV Audio decoder for everything.

You mentioned ffmpeg a few times. But that is not really a codec. It is a multimedia library that is used by many programs, including LAV Filters. Perhaps you meant ffdshow? The same applies as for AC3Filter. If you like the extra settings it offers, then it is fine to use it. Otherwise, you are better off with using only LAV Filters.
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Old 16th March 2013, 22:23   #10  |  Link
Newstech
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DivX is out of there as of this morning. I've been working on creating Dolby 5.1 CDs so I guess I'll stick with the fancy AC3. I was thinking of ffmpeg like the K Lite pack -- a one-size-fits-all solution to handle dozens of types. But I think I need to spend more time understanding ffmpeg, libavcodec and ffdshow. I had been thinking the proprietary components might be better than open source but that may be backward thinking, since open source is always being updated. (I've done manuals for a couple Sourceforge projects, so I'm not biased, I hope.) Thanks again. I'm already much better focused.
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Old 17th March 2013, 16:42   #11  |  Link
Sparktank
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Newstech View Post
K Lite Mega Pack
I use that and pretty much only that.
It can be handy and also quite a bit to handle if you're new to it.
I've configured mine to let lav filters handle video and ffdshow to handle audio.
I let the splitters pretty much stick to the default settings.

There's a few very handy tools that comes with KLCP.
You can find them in the installed directory or the Start Menu>All Programs.

Codec Tweak Tool, gives you quite a bit of control over your installed codecs. You can enable/disable filters like ffdshow/lav/xiph/microsoft/third-party/etc. You can also disable any codecs/filters showing up as broken (probably due to incomplete uninstallations where one component is uninstalled and not the rest or other various reasons). You can set the preferred splitters for AVI, MKV, MOV, etc. It gives you access to all your installed (and active) directshowfilters like ffdshow, lav, haali and directvobsub. It's "Fix" function can come in handy after uninstalling old stuff or when you install something new that interferes with your current configuration.

Win7DSFilterTweaker is great for Win7/8 users. Only a few functions available but very powerful.

GraphStudioNext works almost like GSpot but displays the used codecs/filters/splitters in a graph and provides more functionality. It also has benchmarking so you can test a video with different codecs/filters. The graph can be saved and used for advanced editing or something or other that I haven't really looked into.
Others can elaborate more on the use of saved graphs.

I quite like using the GSN to quickly diagnose why a video won't play in MPC-HC.

I would definitely look into the dedicated forums for ffmpeg, libavcodec and ffdshow. Even if just to read what they're doing.

Also testing a few videos in controlled environments will really help you decide which you like better for given circumstances.

Lav doesn't really provide as much filters for processing videos or audio as ffdshow does.
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