Let's first talk about Windows Media Player(WMP). A well-known and all-in-one media player from Microsoft that can play almost all the popular media files including MOV.
Since the first Media Player 3.0(was changed to Windows Media Player later) came out in 1991, in the past 26 years Microsoft has released Media Player 3.0-5.0 and Windows Media Player 6.1 to the current latest Windows Media Player 12 on Jul 22, 2009, together with its OS from Windows XP to Windows 10. Preset as the default player for Windows users, WMP is always playing a significant role in people's digital enjoyment.
Why MOV Codec is Needed for Windows Media Player
Windows Media Player is well equipped with and all major audio and video formats - including 3GP, AAC, AVCHD, MPEG-4, WMV and WMA and AVI, DivX, MOV, and XviD files. However, in some cases, Windows Media Player will require an appropriate codec to properly play video (and even music files). If no such codec will be installed, the video won't be played and therefore you will receive an error message like this.
When you search the related question online like: MOV won't play in Windows Media Player or with the exact version number like Windows Media Player 12, the best answer is to suggest you have a MOV codec installed for WMP. This is why MOV codec is needed for WMP in this case.
What is Codec Pack and What is MOV Codec
Now we come to the main part: what exactly are codes pack and MOV codec? Literally, codecs are small programs that encode digital signals in a file or data and decode. Only in this way, the player can interpret the streams as music or film and play correctly. To put it into a specific case, codec pack is a collection of audio and video codecs for Microsoft Windows that enables an operating system and its software to play various audio and video formats generally not supported by the operating system itself. MOV codec is one of the codecs from big codec pack family that shall work for MOV format exclusively in Windows Media Player.
Where to Download and How to Install MOV Codec
Since it's understandable to have a MOV codec for WMP, where to download and how to install it? Usually this can be done in 2 different ways:
1). Add MOV codec and update others exclusively for Windows Media Player:
* Launch WMP and click "Help"-> "About Windows Media Player"-> "Technical Support Information"-> "Video Codecs"to view all the codecs and file formats supported by the respective codec.
* To let Windows Media Player automatically instead of manually download and install updates and codec enhancements from the Internet when available, just follow the easy steps here. Launch WMP and click "Tools"-> "Options"-> "Player" tab -> "Automatic updates".
2) Add MOV codec using 3rd-party program K-Lite Codec Pack:
K-Lite Codec Pack is another great 3rd-party program with a collection of popular video and audio codecs to play various video and audio that can not be played by the OS itself. It has four editions named Basic, Standard, Full and Mega, all are free of charge and all are with the proper codec support for MOV and HDMOV format mainly for QuickTime. K-Lite Codec Pack also includes several related tools, including Media Player Classic Home Cinema (MPC-HC), Media Info Lite, and Codec Tweak Tool.
The installation of K-Lite Codec Pack is quite easy as well. Download it from its official website and follow the instructions there.
Alternative Player of WMP to Play MOV
There are actually two important reasons why we should avoid those codecs and find some other better and easier alternatives. 1). Windows Media Player is no longer with Windows 8 and 10, so it's necessary for Windows 8 and 10 users to find something else; 2). There is already an all-codec built-in player out there on the market, no need for extra codec thing at all.
Leawo Blu-ray Player is such an all-codec built-in player that can play anything without installing codecs and it could be the perfect replacement of WMP in certain ways. It can play Blu-ray(BD-R 1.1/BD-RE 2.1, BD-R 2.0/BD-RE 3.0, BDROM 2.2, etc.), DVD(DVD-Video, DVD-VR, DVD+VR, DVD disc, IFO file, DVD ISO File), network protocol clients (UPnP, NFS, SMB, Zeroconf), video(.M4V, .3G2, .3GP, .NSV, .TP, .TS, .TY, .RMVB, .IFO, .MOV, etc.) and audio(AAC, .AC3, .APE, .DTS, .FLAC, .M4A, .MID, .MKA, etc.).
The tutorial below will show you exactly how to play MOV file without an extra codec installed.
Step 1: Launch Leawo Blu-ray Player and you will see the main interface like this.
Step 2: Import MOV file from your computer and adjust the related settings like Playback, Audio Output etc. if necessary.
Comparison Chart between Leawo Blu-ray Player and WMP
|Windows Media Player||
● Compatible with windows operating system well
● Supports limited range of video or audio formats
|Leawo Blu-ray Player||
● Easy and intuitive to apply
● Requires software installation