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>> What is the Codec Finder?

We receive all kinds of questions about the Codec Finder feature of GOM Media Player all the time. We’ve tried to address the most common ones here.

What is the Codec Finder?
Programs like GOM Media Player need certain software tools called “codecs” in order to interpret the data stored in video/audio files and play them back. GOM has all of the most essential video codecs built-in, so in most cases you won’t need to install anything extra in order to watch a video file.

There may, however, be some instances where you’ll want to play a video file that requires a codec that is not included with the installation of GOM Media Player. When this happens, the Codec Finder will automatically start and ask you if you want it to search for the codec that you need.

What are the Advantages of the Codec Finder?
If you have a codec problem with another player, you may get a crash, or you may simply get an esoteric “codec not found” error message that doesn’t help you resolve the issue at all. GOM Media Player’s Codec Finder will inform you that a required codec is missing, and then it will support you in finding a solution.

By telling the Codec Finder to search for the missing codec, it will automatically determine what it needs, then provide you a page or a link that will explain the codec, and likely include a place where you can download the necessary codec for free.

This process saves the user the effort of trying to figure out what they need to do by themselves, and helps prevent users from uninstalling improper codecs on their system that my interfere with playback of other files.

Why doesn’t GOM Media Player just come with ALL the free codecs by default?
While it does sound logical to include every codec we possible can with the default install, the fact is that most of those codecs will never be utilized by the vast majority of users, and including every codec would just add clutter and confusion to their systems. Furthermore, lots of codecs overlap and interfere with one another, which can cause playback problems for even the simplest, most common video file types.

For this reason, GOM Media Player includes all the necessary codecs to play all the most popular video file formats (AVI, MP4, FLV, WMV, etc), as well as the majority of the other somewhat less popular but still relatively common formats (MVK, OGM, 3GP, etc).

What information does the Codec Finder collect/send from my system?
When you open a media file with GOM Media Player, it checks your system to make sure the proper codecs for playback are installed.

If a necessary codec is missing, the program will cross-reference that codec information with our database. The database tells the Codec Finder where that particular codec can be downloaded or provides the link to the user.

No other information (such as filename, file type, duration, user usage data, etc) is collected, sent, or stored by GOM Media Player.

The Codec Finder should automatically find the required codec for me, but all it gives me is an error message or a dead link!
While the Codec Finder is designed to automatically solve your missing codec problems, it’s true that it’s not perfect. There could be a few reasons why it’s not providing the answers you seek.

As stated above, after GOM Media Player confirms what codecs are on your system and what codec it needs to play that file, it cross-references that information with our database. Our database then sends the Codec Finder the information about what the required codec is, where to download it, etc.

What the Codec Finder doesn’t do is start plugging information into random internet search engines, scanning results, reading forums, and reporting its findings back to you. Sadly, it isn’t that sophisticated.

If the Codec Finder fails to locate required codec, it could be for one or more of the following reasons:
1. The file you’re attempting to play is not an audio or video file.
2. The file you’re attempting to play is corrupted/damaged
3. The codec you require is not freeware/shareware, so we have no download link or other information to provide you with
4. Our database simply doesn’t know what codec you need based on the information it received.

If the Codec Finder provides you with a dead link, it could be one or more of the following:
1. The link has been changed and our database hasn’t been updated accordingly
2. Some extra toolbar or malicious code might be messing with your browser. Uninstall any toolbars that aren’t default and try again.

I installed the codec that the Codec Finder told me to, and I still can’t play the file properly.
Your filter settings on GOM Media Player may need to be changed, or there is more to your problem than just a missing codec. As always, it is also possible that the file you’re trying to play is corrupted / damaged.

One general thing you can try is going to the Preferences window (push [F5]), clicking on the [Reset] button, and choosing “Reset to defaults”. Then try playing the file again.
If you still can’t play the desired file, please check the FAQ pages and the forum to see if your specific problem has already been addressed directly.

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