There are hundreds of audio and video codecs in use today. Some have been created by Microsoft, but the vast majority of codecs have been created by other companies, organizations, or individuals. By default, theÂ WindowsÂ operating system and the Player include a number of the most popular codecs, such asÂ WindowsÂ Media Audio,WindowsÂ Media Video, and MP3.
There might be times, however, when you want to play content that was compressed with a codec thatÂ WindowsÂ or the Player doesn’t include by default. In many cases, you can download the necessary codec from the web for free or for a fee. And, in some cases, the Player can automatically use the codecs installed by other digital media playback and creation programs on your computer.