A standard codec is something that you don't need to download to play.
I couldn't possibly disagree stronger. What "standard" are you basing your assumptions on? Microsoft's whim for which codecs they ship with their OS? Link me to a standards body that decides which codecs must get shipped with an OS, please. What's wrong, can't find one? That's because there isn't one
The codecs you get when you install Windows are the codecs that Microsoft felt they could license for a reasonable cost, while keeping the per-license cost of their OS at their desired price points. That's all they are. There is absolutely no
sense of "standard" that necessarily mandates these codecs. Similarly, there is no sense of "standard" that mandates the absence of other codecs. The word you are looking for is de facto
If you ever use any other OS than Windows, you will quickly see that the true
standard codecs are much more numerous, and much higher quality, than the codecs shipped with Microsoft's budget OS. As far as I can tell, the only codecs shipped with Windows XP Professional are:
Cinepak Codec by Radius
Intel Indeo Video (various revisions)
Intel 4:2:0 Video
Microsoft Video 1
and the Windows Media codecs.
These codecs conveniently fall into two categories:
1. They are codecs designed and implemented by Microsoft, or
2. They are codecs typically used with digital camcorders.
Really now, does it come to any surprise that they have deprived the uninformed Windows user of media codecs? Of course not -- this would enable users to escape the Windows Media trap, freeing them to create and view content in standard codecs available on other OSes. What this amounts to is that, in order to catch up with the world
, the Windows user has to go hunting for half a dozen, or more, programs and codec installation tools. That's the life Microsoft has chosen for you; if you don't like it, you're out of luck (short of moving to an alternative, superior OS.) Basically, whenever you view any video content today, it is because you downloaded a program
which enabled it. This is all I've asked of you for these videos -- do what Windows users are perfectly used to doing; i.e., click through an installer.
P.S. - VLC does not need any sort of administrative privileges to install. If you can't get the standard installer to work, this suite of programs unpacks from a self-extracting file, and you can store all the program code in your My Documents folder, for example. PortableApps.com
If you only want VLC rather than the whole suite, they have that in their pages, too.
In the film and gaming industry, when you apply for a job and the person trying to watch it doesn't have the codec, they aren't going to find it.
First of all, these two realms are very separate enterprises.
In the gaming industry, every game has an installer. Guess what that installer does, if it needs to?! It installs codecs
! The game developer can choose whatever codec they think is the most efficient for the desired purpose, and just ship it along with the game, never even prompting you if you want to install it or not. For example, virtually all games include the BINK movie decoder nowadays. So, this isn't really an issue in the gaming world. Some developers have been so intrusive that they install kernel modules
in your system, running at the highest level of (hardware) privilege (cf. Starforce). So really, a codec install is neither difficult, nor intrusive, nor uncommon.
In the film industry, things are a bit different. Most of the content delivery methods are either:
1. DVD, where the format is completely standardized and uniform across all platforms (not factoring in HD-DVD and Bluray)
2. DRM music/video stores. These almost always come with an installer that does all sorts of things to your computer -- among them, codec installs
3. Lightweight, web-based download services. These are a bit tricky. Here, your codec (or framework) choice actually does matter. On the one hand, you have to install
Adobe Flash, which can be seen as a sort of codec framework, since it comes with many of them. This handles the vast majority of cases. At the few websites I've found that ship online downloads of non-streaming media, codec choices are usually chosen, again, based on the performance of the codec for the desired job -- not
based on what's already installed. In fact, the first item in the FAQ for such sites is often a link to a codec installer!
I'm really sorry you had difficulty viewing my video, but I had to get that off my chest - my argument is not invalid
; I know what I'm talking about. In the future, go with PortableApps -- the restrictions on your work computer are probably not fine-grain enough to prevent you from running these very useful programs. They certainly aren't where I work. Just be sure not to hold me, the developers of VLC, and the PortableApps guy liable when/if your boss expresses concern over your surfing habits at work