Windows 8 has arrived, both exciting and confusing new users at a seemingly equal pace. While the latest edition of Microsoft’s operating system sports plenty of new features, there is one familiar characteristic that has unfortunately reared its ugly head again: an inability to play back all kinds of video and music files in Windows Media Center.
Getting that new “Windows Media Player cannot play this file” error message can certainly be a pain, but NotebookReview is on hand to provide some assistance. The team at NBR notes that the problem lies in codecs, which are the programs that essentially “translate” a multimedia file’s format, and then allow said files to be played. Windows 8 Media Player, unfortunately, lacks a handful of them, most notably those files in the Flash, FLAC, and MKV formats. Now, some of those have never been supported, and Flash is embedded in the OS’ Internet Explorer 10 browser, but their omissions in Media Player can be an annoyance nonetheless.
The solution to this dilemma is rather simple: just install the missing codecs. Those can either be purchased from a manufacturer, or picked up as part of a free codec package like the K-Lite Codec Pack. Alternatively, users could just quit using the Media Player altogether, and instead opt for simpler, more open software like the VLC Media Player from VideoLAN.
Of course, many users will be just fine with Windows 8’s media options either way, as the Center does still support popular file types like MP3, WMA, and MP4. But those who have gotten frustrated with its bouts of incompatibility would be wise to check out NotebookReview’s complete How To guide for playing back movies and music in Windows 8.