"A collection of codecs and related tools."
If you want to play all sorts of formats on your Windows PC then K-Lite Codec Pack is a must have for you. Along with the capability of playing any format or codec imaginable, this pack comes with a standard media player, the Media Player Classic Homecinema. Its enhanced functionality and limited focus on appearance makes it more of a tool than a full fledge application, so it should be considered as a Swiss Army Knife in the arena of multimedia. It is available in different sizes of 10, 17 and 20 MB; greater the size greater will be the support for codecs. It is one of very few freeware available today that promptly makes and suggests updates.
Almost all versions of Microsoft Windows support the codec pack as its main reason for existence is supporting formats that are not by default supported by Windows. There are no special requirements for installation apart from 50 MB available memory.
Installation guide makes the whole process as simple as clicking ‘next’. The whole process requires few clicks, however, it asks you which codecs you want to install through the pack. At this point, you should check all or choose according to your preferences.
It is essentially a pack of video/audio codecs plus a media player, bundled together to work as one. K-Lite Codec Pack comes with Media Player Classic Homecinema, a lightweight media player with a very simple interface. Main buttons like pause/ play, stop, forward and audio control are present followed by a lot of options available through the top down menus; these options combined with the pack's included codecs, make this player a choice for serious movie enthusiasts. Apart from these, the interface packs nothing flashy as the main goal of the player is to be as lightweight and easy to use as possible, resembling the old Windows Media Player.
The codec pack along with all associated features included in it offers many features like:
- Great deal of customization options
- Very simple layout and design
- Preferred mostly by serious skilled users
- Comes with no added spyware or adware
- Available in different sizes and functionalities, according to your requirements
- Supports all Windows OSs
- Updates and new codecs are easily available
- Very limited support issues
It has no real drawbacks, but you should consider unchecking the Media Player Classic Homecinema during installation if you're not looking for an old-school looking player, with a simple interface. If you're after great functionality, you should give it a try though.
With 5 options available for download, Basic, Standard, Full, Mega and the 64bit option, it can be a bit confusing for a novice user. We recommend you install the Full version, reviewed here, to make sure you get all the essential codecs you'll need.
The best alternatives of K-Lite Codec Pack with all the support it provides are close to none, at least in the freeware category. Its close alternatives are ACE Mega CoDecS Pack, Windows Media Player 9 Codecs Pack, X Codec Pack.
Among all the options available on net as freeware, K-Lite Codec Pack stands tall and supreme over the rest. With frequent updates, you can be sure you are getting the most up-to-date codecs which can handle any video and audio file on your PC.
Version 9.9.5 to 10.0.0:
- Now contains both 32-bit and 64-bit codecs!
- Updated MPC-HC to version 188.8.131.5270
- Updated LAV Filters to version 0.58.2-31-g59e9b3b
- Updated ffdshow to version 1.3.4523
- Updated madVR to version 0.86.11
- Updated xy-VSFilter to version 184.108.40.206
- Updated GraphStudioNext to version 0.6.1.267
- Updated Codec Tweak Tool to version 5.7.0
- Updated MediaInfo Lite to version 0.7.64
- Updated Icaros to version 2.2.3b1
- Icaros: improved thumbnailing speed
- MPC-HC: improved support for HTTP/RTP/RTSP/MMS/RTMP streams
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