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Image Logic technician explains hou rogue CODECs can ruin your day

Maverick CODECs and Filters

We've found a few problems with CODECs and Direct Show filters that can either stop or cripple your 2000/XP/Vista computer and AutoCaption:

Microsoft™ "Windows Media Format Runtime"

The presence of this software will make AutoCaption run slowly while viewing ASF media files on Windows 2000.  It's installed along with Microsoft's Media Player 10™.  Fortunately Microsoft's Media Player 9™ works just fine.

It seems like Pentium processors without hyper threading are particularly vulnerable.  Go to Start - Settings - Control Panel - Add/Remove Programs to remove it.

Nero™ DVD burner software

Ignore this if you don't have the Nero DVD burner software installed.

At least one of the Direct Show video filters stored by default in C:\Program Files\Common Files\Ahead\ are registered for use by any application and as replacements for more predictable Microsoft™ filters that are part of the operating system. 

If AutoCaption stops dead when trying to view video, try renaming the C:\Program Files\Common Files\Ahead\ file folder to something like C:\Program Files\Common Files\XAheadX\.

A Tool to Inventory and Suppress CODECS

This is about Image Logic's FilterExplorer.™  FilterExplorer is software we wrote for our own caption software testing.  The software is free but there are three reasons why only the profoundly techno-savvy should use FilterExplorer:

  1. It's not been tested very much outside our lab, but works reliably on our W2K, XP, and Vista® machines.  It can be used to seriously mess up your computer's media applications, so you need to know how to back up your registry before launching FilterExplorer.
  2. FilterExplorer inventories the media "filters," typically CODECS, installed on your Windows computer.  If your system's working fine it's a good idea to save the inventory for troubleshooting later.  If your media system is not working properly, FilterExplorer can disable and re-enable individual filters in the registry so you can test applications to discover which filter is causing problems.  Disabling filters, even poorly written ones, can disable favorite media applications or games.
  3. FilterExplorer has a cryptic user interface that only an engineer or programmer could love.  But it's a lifesaver when you have to figure out why you can't play a video or why a media intensive application doesn't work.

If you're still with us and want to give FilterExplorer a try, download the 4.2Meg FilterExplorerSetup.exe here (click here for a zipped version).  By default, FilterExplorer.exe is physically installed in C:\Program Files\Image Logic\FilterExplorer and listed at Start/Programs/Image Logic/FilterExplorer along with an uninstaller.

As is the case with all Image Logic software, the uninstaller completely removes installed software so you don't have bits and pieces floating around to bite you later.

Important Legal Notice:  By downloading the above software you agree that Image Logic® Corporation is in no way liable for the performance or uses to which the software is put.  You further agree to not remove or alter any text attributing the software to Image Logic Corporation, remove or alter links to Image Logic Corporation Internet sites, or reverse engineer or model software after it.


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