Problems with Windows Media Player Codecs
A codec is a small software application that either compresses or decompresses an audio or video file. If your computer’s copy of Windows Media Player is showing an error message regarding missing codecs, you are probably attempting to play a song or a video that has been compressed by a codec that is currently not installed. Some codecs have been created by Microsoft, while the rest have been made by third party companies.
Windows Media Player has a number of built-in codecs, but it may not necessarily include the one that you have to have for your file. For instance, it may have the popular codecs for WMA, WMV and MP3 files, but perhaps not for OGG or Xvid. Luckily, Windows Media Player gives the option to add as many codecs as you want to make it compatible with files of different formats. Sometimes the player can automatically install the codecs. For that, click the “Now Playing" tab on the player window, and click “More Options." Then, click “Download codecs automatically."
The automatic downloads may not necessarily include the codec you want. If you already know the exact name of the codec or its ID, you can search for it over the Internet or find them on the website WM Plugins. An important point to remember when downloading codecs is that you have to specifically download the one that is designed for your operating system. For instance, if your computer is running on the 32-bit Windows 7 version, download codecs for the 32-bit operating system. To find out whether your operating system is 32-bit version or 64-bit, click “Start," and right-click “Computer." Information about your operating system will be listed here.