Categories Multimedia

Play MKV files with Windows Media Player


The MKV file format is audio/video content that works in a DVD-like manner while occupying less disk space. Windows Media Player is unable to decode it natively. This is where Xiph.org Foundation and its free codecs intervene.

Codecs Xiph.org are capable of decoding the following formats: OGG Vorbis, Ogg Speex, Ogg Theora, Ogg FLAC and native FLAC files.

Download them from the following link by selecting the right version of Windows (32 bit or 64 bit):

Codecs Xiph.org OGG, Vorbis, FLAC + (1.0) MiB, 7,153 downloads)

Capture d'écran - Téléchargements des codecs Xiph.org
Screenshot — Xiph.org Codecs Downloads

Do this, install codecs by clicking on the executable. However, it is necessary to check the following points before installation:

  • Uninstall previous versions of filters if needed;
  • Close all media applications including Windows Media Player, iTunes, etc.;
  • Launch the installer;

When installed finished, open a MKV file with Windows Media Player without worries. Note that these filters work with other video players.

While playing a movie or audio file, icons will appear in the notification box allowing you to select subtitles, audio track (e.g.stereo or 5.1), etc. icons that you can disable in the options accessible via the context menu.

Capture d'écran - Icône relatives à l'audio et les sous-titres du fichier lu
Screenshot of screen — Icon related to audio and subtitles of the read file

An alternative is to run VLC to read your MKV files even though the MKV files suffer from a reboot ergonomics and does not offer the same level of integration with Windows 7 in particular. And you, what is your favorite solution to decode your media files?

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