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Media Software Windows Technology

Windows 10 To Feature Native Support For MKV and FLAC 313

jones_supa writes Windows Media Player is going to become a more useful media player for those who want to play geeky file formats. Microsoft has earlier confirmed that Windows 10 will come with native support for Matroska Video, but the company now talks about also adding FLAC support. Microsoft's Gabriel Aul posted a teaser screenshot in Twitter showing support for this particular format. It can be expected to arrive in a future update for people running the Windows 10 Technical Preview. Not many GUI changes seem to be happening around Media Player, but work is done under the hood.
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Windows 10 To Feature Native Support For MKV and FLAC

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  • VLC (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday November 27, 2014 @10:30AM (#48473701)

    has been supporting these formats for how long?

    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Curtman ( 556920 ) *
      VLC is an open source project though. Microsoft used to be the evil empire who spoke of the GPL as a cancer. It took being humbled by Google in the mobile market to make them decide to embrace open standards. It's impressive, but it's still Windows. Wake me up when bash is the default shell.
  • by RichardDeVries ( 961583 ) on Thursday November 27, 2014 @10:36AM (#48473723) Journal
    I could see why FLAC would be considered a geeky format, but MKV? It's pretty common, is it not?
    • For me, it's just the other way round. I ripped all my music collection to flac - it the obvious first choice for archiving audio in a free, lossless, taggable format. Yet, I don't have a single mkv file on my disk.
      • MKV is nice for things like dual audio and subtitles.
        • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

          by CastrTroy ( 595695 )
          Yeah, so it's great for foreign language things like anime, but for the movies that most people watch, it doesn't make a difference in the slightest.
          • Re: Geeky formats? (Score:2, Informative)

            by Anonymous Coward

            It allows for subtitles to be stored and turned on and off at the viewers discretion. Most other formats require a separate subtitle file or hard coded subs that cannot be turned off and are part of the video. There are far more foreign films aside from anime that benefit from a format like this. Not to mention having more than just dual audio and English subtitles like in anime. You can have a great many audio streams and singles for many reasons in a single file that is really changeable by the end user.

          • WebM uses the MKV container. So to play video (lawfully) encoded by people who haven't paid the MPEG LA tax, you need an MKV demuxer.
            • You also have to support MKV format to have the DivX logo.A lot of players support it by default.

              • I'd like to know what the point of DivX is... in 2014. There was a war between the patent encumbered DivX and its OSS rival, XviD... XviD won, but manufacturers didn't notice. Now we have the mp4v and h.264 (x264) codecies... DivX/XviD is inferior, as is its 20 year old favorite wrapper, avi. I have been noticing, finally, that XviD is ever so slowly being replaced with mp4/mp4 and mp4/mkv. There is some rivalry now between mp4/mkv/mp4 and wmv9/wmv... but 264/mp4 has been adopted by the Internet, so I can o
    • I could see why FLAC would be considered a geeky format, but MKV? It's pretty common, is it not?

      Yes, but not in commercial use. Most commercial files without DRM that I've seen are just M4Vs. MKV is used more by hobbyists, IYKWIM. Microsoft has in fact never supported it. It's one of the reasons why you need a clever DLNA server to meaningfully feed your media to an Xbox if you play, uh, media from "disparate" sources.

  • by mark_reh ( 2015546 ) on Thursday November 27, 2014 @10:37AM (#48473733) Journal

    Oh wait....

  • Rather late (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Peter H.S. ( 38077 ) on Thursday November 27, 2014 @10:42AM (#48473753) Homepage

    Not having FLAC and mkv support for a media player is simply insane. Those who cares at all for sound quality uses FLAC, even my tiny mp3 player support FLAC.

    That MS "boycotted" FLAC for years because it doesn't support DRM and isn't a MS-patent trap, just hurt their desire to control all media consumption on MS-platforms; they forgot a "boycott" works both ways, and that people just used software like VLC that actually supported what people wanted.

    • Re:Rather late (Score:4, Informative)

      by Lunix Nutcase ( 1092239 ) on Thursday November 27, 2014 @11:19AM (#48473911)

      This is support out of the box. WMP supports both with the proper Directshow filters.

    • by xfizik ( 3491039 )
      I'll keep using VLC anyways.
  • by mrspoonsi ( 2955715 ) on Thursday November 27, 2014 @10:45AM (#48473763)
    Microsoft had an agenda to push Windows Media Audio Lossless, this has pretty much been abandoned now, hence the adoption of FLAC.

    Apple are now in the same position, not including support for FLAC to push Apple Lossless on people.
    • Same for pushing WMA - they even went to the extent of bundling with Windows a CD ripper that only saved to WMA and a simple video editing application that only saved to WMV. Even with that level of underhanded advantage they could never establish a dominant position.

      MP3 is just too entrenched. Many have tried to displace it, both open-source and propritary. Mp3 pro, vorbis, WMA, AAC, AC3... some have achieved a level of success, but none rival MP3 in popularity. Despite the fact that, compared to any of th

  • Has anyone else noticed how much nicer Microsoft has been getting (with respect to supporting open standards) now that their market share is dropping? Smells like hypocrisy to me (I say that, but of course I want native support for these formats).

    MKV and FLAC are not "geeky". MKV is simply a superior container format for video. Xvid has been on the way out for awhile now, and FLAC is necessary for people that truly care about audio quality, so it's more of an audiophile format. It could be said those peo
    • I like xvid video in mkv container fine, thanks.
      In truth, I don't care very much about the video container or codec, I'm more bothered that the sound track is usually 128kbps MP3 or 128Kbps AAC and not something with twice the bitrate while keeping the video size low enough.

      • xvid is rather badly dated now. h264 is the current holder of the 'best codec' title, though another may well displace it in time.

        I vaguely understand that VP8 and h264 are actually around the same level, as codecs - but h264 has a very mature and refined encoder, x264.

    • I don't know about their market share, but the new CEO probably has something to do with it, Ballmer would probably resolutely steer the titanic straight ahead into the iceberg if he was around.

    • Re: (Score:2, Troll)

      by hairyfeet ( 841228 )

      It has nothing to do with hypocrisy, it has to do with getting rid of a shitty CEO that only cared about sticking Winflags on everything to a good CEO that cares about having happy customers.

      You look at what Nadela has been doing since getting the big chair and its pretty much tossing out everything the Balmernator stood for, no more trying to force metro down your throat, no more refusing to sell software to somebody because the platform they are on doesn't have a Winflag on it, its almost like....gasp!.

  • Glad you could make it Microsoft. Glad you could come to the party and support formats that we've had for years. Oh and please make sure you support the latest and greatest too and do a good job? Not like you've done for MP4.

  • by CanHasDIY ( 1672858 ) on Thursday November 27, 2014 @11:21AM (#48473919) Homepage Journal

    Consumers want a program that will play any media you throw at it, without it whining about codecs or DRM or any other unneeded pains in the ass; I know this is a stretch... but has anyone at MS considered that?

    Guess not.

  • What I'd like to know is whether or not this means we don't have a install a codec park (like Shark007) just so we can get support for all the common video formats in Windows Media Center.

    Talking of Windows Media Center, does Windows 10 actually improve on this awesome (but sadly neglected) piece of software - or are they going to squander the opportunity again like they did with Windows 8?

    • What I'd like to know is whether or not this means we don't have a install a codec park (like Shark007) just so we can get support for all the common video formats in Windows Media Center.

      Nope. It only means that you won't have to install a codec pack with support for MKV containers. You'll still need to install codecs if you want to play the files with the latest, greatest encoding. The container support will still have to be maintained until the sun sets on current versions of windows, but if this signals a change in Microsoft's attitude towards container formats, it might help them remain relevant. I know I used to use WIMP a lot because it was the only thing which was very good at identi

  • This reminds me of the days you could run IE5, Windows Media Player 6.0 (don't update to 7 it's garbage!), Paint, Notepad, MSN Messenger and it was all good.
    File manager turning into IE or FTP and vice versa was awesome and the software very lightweight. Pinnacle of GUI, of course Active Desktop was the first sign of garbage you had to disable so you had the first signs of microsoft turning really evil and crappy.
    Great games and software in the quicklaunch if you wanted, including the almost-real DOS prompt

    • To me it's kind of a lost computing heaven, much like some of you nuts that used NeXT, BeOS, Amiga or whatever perfect "real Unix" that never really existed. Of course IE had to go first, replaced by firefox 0.x and 1.x, then the 64K resource limit got atrocious (Firefox 0.7 ; problem stabilized at version 0.9 ; then Steam as a huge offender) and then only the 2000/XP/2003 branch was viable. Had to move from that one to linux.

  • Am I stupid? Download k-lite codec pack and you have all the codecs you can imagine, which idiot is going to pay microsoft an other tax for a few codecs... I stay with windows 7, works fine... I have been having those codecs for years, for free... even under windows xp... Same is with iso file as drive DEAMON Tools lite, also for free. It's nice they have it, but not a reason to buy a new version of there shit...
  • Not a reason to upgrade to Win 10. A tiny (180k ?) free download adds support for these if you want to use WMP.
  • by OldSport ( 2677879 ) on Thursday November 27, 2014 @03:11PM (#48475173)

    I'm still going to uninstall Media Player as soon as I buy a new Windows box or upgrade to 10. I haven't used Media Player in probably 10 years now. Shit, even Winamp is outdated and no longer being developed but it still handles everything better than Media Player -- including FLAC.

    • I'm still going to uninstall Media Player as soon as I buy a new Windows box or upgrade to 10.

      Why bother uninstalling it?

  • Wow, about freaking time... Welcome to the MKV party... about 10 years late.
    As to why it is geeky, I would say because at one time pretty much all anime coming out of Japan was MKV format.

    They have probably noticed that the MS Media Player sucks, and that users are moving en masse to alternatives. Mostly to VLC.

    About the ONLY reason I still use MS Media Player at all, is because it is integrated with the Windows Media Center. If there was a VLC version that worked as a Media Center and remote that didn't su

    • The container makes no significent difference to the size of the file. That's a codec thing. Codec and container are seperate.

      MKV is popular for anime because it has reliable support for multiple audio streams and subtitle streams. Something that AVI and MP4 lack.

      • I have noticed a trend in movies including more and more subtitles and foreign language in mostly English films.

        It may just be the tinfoil hat in me, but either this is a cultural thing, or an artistic thing, but my gut tells me that the industry knows that much of the digital formats and players used, are not very sub friendly, making it harder to reproduce... particularly in regards to only partial subs. Formats (formally) supported by MS would fall into that category.

        Perhaps this is MS finally starting t

    • People have been messing about with Media Player for years with Codec packs and various other add ons for years trying to make it more useful than MS will let it be. Crazy.

      You're right; Microsoft is really crazy for developing a platform that lets anyone create plugins/addons so that the user can customize their experience. Microsoft should have been less crazy and not let any non-MS software run on, or plug into, any of its platforms.

      • They are not supported at all. You can kill your Media Player in the attempt. Your can need a clean Windows install to fix. Half of the things are laden with adware.

        As mentioned, most are more willing to just stop using Media Player entirely, and instead use VLC, which requires none of that crap. How is it that VLC can do it and yet MS cannot. A: They can, but choose not to, so screw you users, we refuse to give you want you want.

        That is what this is all about.

        I see MS allowing MKV into the fold as a small

  • In other news (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Kevin Fishburne ( 1296859 ) on Thursday November 27, 2014 @09:59PM (#48476715) Homepage
    Microsoft has decided to start using the wheel. I remember sometime before switching permanently to Linux when I noticed IE couldn't display PNG transparency. It was probably the last Windows-related facepalm I ever made as a Windows user.

If graphics hackers are so smart, why can't they get the bugs out of fresh paint?