31 January 2006

FAQ: Playing Video Clips

Formerly When Technology Turns Bad, 08/10/05
Problem 1: I had problems when playing my downloaded AVI files (The New Series of Doctor Who, if you want to know) on Windows Media Player tonight. They kept playing and making a green shuddering like the Matrix or something - so I knew it had to be the Xvid Codec that I recently installed. But when I uninstalled it, there was no video, just sound could play!
Problem 2: One of my good friends, Jack, told me that he downloaded some television series episodes, but when he tried playing them, it didn't work. Now in my terms, it would be useful to be more specific about what is not working, but I think I know the answer.
Many video clips and movies today are in AVI format. This means that they need a codec (COder - DECoder)to 'read' the video image. If you don't have one installed, Windows Media Player will only play the audio.
Step 0: Make sure, if you have Windows XP, that you are an Administrator. This is the only user type that will allow you to install software.
Step 1: Install Codec
For Windows 2000/XP: DivX Play Bundle v6.1 - Download here
For Windows ME.98: DivX v2.6 - Download here
DivX is the best one around. Other codecs that I have tried before make the image shudder with green. I have not had any problems with DivX so you probably want to try this one first.
When it is installed, you don't need to set it up. It's all ready to use.
Step 2: Install the latest Windows Media Player
For Windows XP only: Media Player 10 - Download here
For Windows 98SE, ME and 2000: Media Player 9 - Download here
When you have installed this program, the first time you run it, you will need to set a few things up. This shouldn't take too long to do.
Step 3: Install all Windows Updates
If you get any prompts that say Install or Download, accept them or click Yes.
Please sign up to the new Microsoft Update if you are prompted.
When it has installed the pre-use software, go to the website again, then when the page loads up, choose Custom instead of Express. This way you can choose which updates to install.
Then, when it loads, checkmark everything and click Install Now. Let it install the updates, then you might need a restart.
Enjoy! Please leave a comment if you have any questions.