I generally dislike most codec packs because they tend to install hundreds of decoders for a number of uncommon file types I may never play on the PC. On Windows XP and Windows Vista, I’ve been using CCCP (Combined Community Codec Pack) which pretty much took care of all my multimedia playback requirements with minimum bloat. Now that Windows 7 is out (I mean leaked), lots of folks would be looking for a decent codec pack to use with the OS – one that wouldn’t degrade performance by installing unnecessary crap but one that would allow playback of popular file types. Well here is something you can try – Win7codecs.
As you may have noticed, Windows 7 comes with built in support for several widely used audio and video file formats. Unlike most codec packs, Win7codecs does not blindly replace any of the existing codecs - it gives the user the option to choose between decoders, in real time. Check the screenshot below:
Notice that it even allows PowerDVD9’s MPEG2 codec to be used in playback. However, if any 3rd party codec packs are found on your system and if Win7codecs has an updated version of the same codec, it’ll remove the older version before continuing with the new install.
Additionally, installation of Win7codecs would not re-assign any of the existing file associations (most of us find it annoying when applications do that):
It does not contain a media player and it does not associate file-types. With this package installed you will be able to use any media player, limited only by the players' capabilities, to play all movies and video clips.
Of course, Win7codecs is free of charge and is NOT bundled with any form of adware, spyware or any other crapware. In short, it’s a decent codec pack to have if you use the PC to play multimedia files (including downloaded movies and music).