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How To Play MP4 on Windows Media Player

How To Play MP4 on Windows Media Player

MP4 files are becoming increasingly common as portable media players surge in popularity, and the big online stores such as iTunes utilise it as a primary format for video content. MP4 is the perfect solution for portable video, allowing an excellent trade-off between quality and file size.

Strangely enough, given the recent prevalence of MP4, it is still not fully supported by Microsoft (the video compression aspect is supported by Windows Media Player, but only if the file is first re-encoded into the .ASF format), and “out of the box”, Windows Media Player currently has no capability to decode and playback the separate audio/video streams of an MP4 file.

However, by downloading and installing two third-party applications, this capability can easily be added. Just follow the instructions in our simple step by step guide below.

Step-by-Step Instructions

  • 1

    Once you have downloaded both Haali Media Splitter and FFDShow, you must first install Haali Media Splitter. Run the installer, and when the Options screen is displayed, check the Enable MP4 Support box. Proceed with installation. Windows Media Player can now open MP4 files, but not decode them.

  • 2

    Next, FFDShow must be installed and properly configured. Run the installer, and when the Setup screen is displayed, ensure that Generic MP4 Support is checked, as well as H.264 / AVC, DivX, and XviD (these are usually selected by default). Click Next.

  • 3

    Select the correct number of speakers for your current setup and click Next,then Install.

  • 4

    When installation is complete, Windows Media Player can open and play MP4 files. Confirm this by right-clicking an MP4 file on your PC and selecting Open and Windows Media Player. You can associate MP4 files with Windows Media Player by right clicking the file and selecting Properties and Change next to the Opens With field.

Tips & Advice

  • If you have any MP4 files with subtitles, after following the above process, Windows Media Player will now be able to display these too. Look for the Haali Media Splitter icon during playback, right click it, and any available subtitles will be displayed.

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