To play videos in most windows program you first need to install codecs. If you are an advanced video user you can probably install what you need. However, perhaps you don’t want to waste time doing that or just don’t know how to do it?

As a developer of some video programs the number one problem I hear from my users are related to codecs. Users are asking me why some or all of their video files not working, or not working as they should. Most of these issues are related to problems with missing or badly installed codecs.

Another, easier, option to get the required codecs onto your computer is to use a codec pack. A codec pack is a packet with a number of codecs (direct show filters) that you install at the same time.

You should be aware that there are a number of bad packs that will install codecs that are incompatible and can ruin your computer. It’s also a really bad idea to get a bunch of codec packs and install them all. However, if you don’t go overboard installing a good codec pack can be a simple solution to your video playback problems.

I have for the last couple of years recommended the ffdshow direct show filter pack. The fast video cataloger installer even asks if you want to download and install that ffdshow pack as part of the installation process.

After a lot of testing I am now recommending The CCCP (Combined Community Codec Pack).

In the coming update of Fast Video Cataloger we will ask if you want to download and install this package instead. So what’s so good about it? Well first of all there are no adwares or malware installed with the pack, though you did not get that with ffdshow either. The cccp does install all the codec filters that ffdshow installed, ffdshow is actually part of the package being installed. It also installs the Haali media splitter that you need for processing videos in some formats including mp4.

All in all CCCP has worked fine on all computers I have tested it on and it’s my current recommendation for a codec pack. You can download it either from the projects homepage at