Many will know the turmoil: After installing a codec pack like say, K-Lite or Nimo’s Codec pack (for the oldschoolers), your player sometimes crashes when opening a movie file, your explorer dies off when you highlight a movie file, sometimes there’s flickering when playing back a movie, an entirely green screen when playing back a movie, or annoyances of the such. All of those are clear cases of a fucked up codec system.
Video playback operates by using Codecs, those are used to render video data via Microsoft’s DirectShow system. How these Codecs are loaded is referenced in the so-called “Merit System”. When you install multiple codec packs, or even multiple codecs that can render the same kind of video data, it is no longer clear which codec is going to be used when you play back a video file. Additionally, many codecs that are installed by some of the many codec packs in existence are beta versions; highly unstable and hence often prone to lead to applicational failure.
This guide will tell you how clean your merit system to the point where it is as tidy as the one on a fresh windows install, and afterwards i’ll point out how to set up a powerful and yet (in terms of software) minimalistic multimedia codec system.