Installing New Codecs

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A CODEC (COder/DECoder) is a software driver used by Windows to enable wave files to be played though a computer sound card. Codecs are used by programs such as Windows Media Player and Bytescribe WavPlayer. In order for a wave file to be played, a CODEC must be installed on the computer.

CODECs that are installed on a computer can be seen by clicking the 'Multimedia' icon in Windows Control Panel. To access Control Panel, click Start | Settings | Control Panel and find the 'Multimedia' icon (or 'Sounds and Multimedia' on some computers). When opening the Multimedia Properties window, click the last tab that appears. Audio Compression Codecs appears in the list of devices. On a Windows 98 computer is would look like the image below.


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If a file cannot be played by the Bytescribe WavPlayer, it may be that a CODEC for the particular wave file is not installed. Some wave file formats such as Dictaphone or DVI may need special CODECs installed. To check the format of a particular wave file, simply right-mouse-click on the wave file and select properties from the menu.


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From the wave file Properties window, select the Details tab to see the Audio format of the wave file. If no Audio format information is given, it means that a CODEC for the given file does not exist on the computer. Continue the steps below for installing a new CODEC.


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To install a new CODEC, follow the procedure below.

Note: You must perform this procedure once for each CODEC you wish to install.

Open the Windows Control Panel by pressing Start | Settings | Control Panel. Double click on Add New Hardware. This will start the Add New Hardware Wizard.


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Click Next. The Wizard will ask "Do you want Windows to search for your new hardware?". Select No, and press Next. In the Hardware Types list select "Sound, video and game controllers" and press Next.


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If the manufacturer of the CODEC you wish to install appears in the list, select the manufacturer and the CODEC. If you are installing a Microsoft Codec (i.e. ADPCM or GSM), select "Microsoft Audio Codecs" in the Manufacturers list. If you are installing the DSP Group's TrueSpeech codec, select "DSP Group" in the Manufacturers list.


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If the manufacturer does not appear or if you have disks or drivers for the CODEC in another location, click the Have Disk button and select the installation files. In the Models list, select the CODEC you want to install and press Next. Press Finish. You will be prompted to restart your computer. Make sure you reboot before you try to use the codec. Once you have restarted your computer, the newly installed CODEC should appear in the Audio Compression Codec list shown at the top of this page. Your Bytescribe WavPlayer should be able to play wave files that utilitize this new CODEC.