Windows Media Player

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Codec pack

Codec packs are a collection of DirectShow filters, VFW/ACM codecs, and tools. Codecs and DirectShow filters are needed for encoding and decoding audio and video formats.

  • K-Lite Codec Pack - With the K-Lite Codec Pack you should be able to play all the popular audio and video formats and even several less common formats.

Play .swf files

The following advice was provided by Phillip Evans at Microsoft Community forum: The problem 'Your current security settings do not allow this action' when I want to open swf file in Windows Media Player.

When trying to play your local .swf files in the Windows Media Player, you will probably be met with a message saying that your security settings do not allow this action. This stems from the fact that Windows Media Player uses as its own security settings, Internet Explorer Security. Therefore, these .swf files will play quite happily within Internet Explorer; the reason being that Protected Mode is OFF when a local disk file is opened. But Windows Media Player makes no such concessions, all ActiveX controls are forbidden.

The problem arises in the Local Machine Zone Lockdown feature. Windows Media Player needs to load the Flash Player control to play the SWF file. But this Lockdown prevents the automatic loading of the Flash Player control (remember, all controls are deemed unsafe in WMP)!

However, don't despair. This issue can be easily resolved by a simple modification to the Registry. There are two ways you could do this - pick the one that you feel more comfortable with.

Method 1 - Automatic Registry Change (Use this if you have never used the Registry Editor before):

Open a new Notepad document. Copy and Paste the following two lines of text to the blank document...

[HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Internet Settings\Lockdown_Zones\0] "1200"=dword:00000000

Save the document as "wmp_swf.reg" (the .reg extension defines the file as a Registration Entry). Save it to a location of your choice. This could be the Desktop or your Documents folder. Close the Notepad window.

Now locate the file at the location where you just saved it. Right-click on the file and choose "Merge" from the menu. Windows may ask for permission to continue, so click "Continue" or "OK". That's it! Windows Media Player will now play all your local .swf files without complaint.

Method 2 - Manual Registry Change (For the more experienced Registry Editor user):

Open the Registry Editor (i.e. run "regedit.exe" and give Windows permission to continue). Navigate your way to the following folder...

HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Internet Settings\Lockdown_Zones\0

In this folder "0" (zero), locate the entry 1200 REG_DWORD 0x00000003 (3) in the viewing pane.

Right-click on the "1200" and choose "Modify..". Change the highlighted value of "3" to "0". Press OK. The entry will now show as 1200 REG_DWORD 0x00000000 (0). Close the Registry Editor.

This simple procedure now allows Windows Media Player to play local .swf files.

Now you've completed this fix, it might be a good idea to change the default opening program for your .swf files to Windows Media Player. I find it more convenient than playing them through Internet Explorer.

Troubleshooting Windows Media Player in Windows 7

Windows 7 has some fine in-built diagnostic tools to help you trouble-shoot Windows Media Player issues, which you may be facing.[1]

To open these specific troubleshooting & diagnostic modules do the following:

Type msdt.exe -id WindowsMediaPlayerConfigurationDiagnostic in Start Search and hit Enter to open the troubleshooting wizard which will help you reset WMP to default settings.

Type msdt.exe -id WindowsMediaPlayerLibraryDiagnostic in Start Search and hit Enter to open the troubleshooting wizard which will help make Media files show up in WMP library.

Type msdt.exe -id WindowsMediaPlayerDVDDiagnostic in Start Search and hit Enter to open the troubleshooting wizard which will help trouble-shoot DVD playing problems.

External links

Also see the utility, Fix WMP which re-registers all concerned dll’s required for the smooth functioning of Windows Media Player and FixWin, which has fixes for some specific WMP problems.

These links may also interest those looking for ways to troubleshoot Windows Media Player: