James (Jim) Hillier, on 10 September 2010 - 11:40 PM, said:
Hey Raven - I respect your opinion. What do you make of the 'experts' who suggest one should steer clear of these mega codec packs?
Have a read through HERE
A lot of what is said makes perfect sense to me. Would like to hear your thoughts?
Nothing against you, Jim, as I know without a doubt that your ability to weigh an issue is quite sound and tasteful. I detest the site that your link points to due to the fact that over the years I have done quite a great deal of research on many issues and each time that site would appear in the search engine results I would visit it. Each and every time I would get a plain vanilla generalized regurgitation that I could get on any temporary hacker site with about the same enthusiasm. When a site rolls itself as being of a persuasion that caters to "NERDS" and "GEEKS" it should seriously consider what type of commitments that they are undertaking. To actually provide specialized knowledge catering to specialized groups and organizations as these we must consider the following: some are going to be professional Bachelors and Masters level, some will have white coat level occupations with PhD educations, and many will be aspiring young artists in various technologies but, none will need general brown paper bag response to their issue.
My thoughts on the views represented on the page that you pointed out are run of the mill, blatant laziness and I will explain why I feel this way. This is the type of thinking that dumbs down and intimidates everyone when it comes to active, first-person address to their digital existence. More appropriately, this "technology attitude" creates an undesirable and unnecessary dependency that winds up dragging everyone down into a murky ignorance inevitably breeding suspicion and contempt. There is no substitute for competency and the "lack-of" will make any convenience a disaster -- rather than bashing, flaming, raking, or riding the bandwagon they as "technology and hardware gurus" should focus on how to educate someone in correctly interacting with a technology platform more than avoiding responsibility as a so-called group of "experts."
Now, with my opinions above on the line I also understand the other side of the fence where a topical overview can be an essential point in learning and development helping the reader establish a starting point for building a more comprehensive foundation. On this note the site's coverage of the topic discussed regarding "Codec Packages" is valid from the educational stand point that I obsess over without mercy. Some other valid points to acknowledge are the issues of piracy and other criminal activities of which is a severely understated problem in digital living and one that hurts us without us even knowing it. From a purely agnostic, educational platform the site really doesn't delve into how a "normal everyday" end user is going to benefit from this type of software. So, I agree with some of the article and am not totally bias toward the content.
Codec packages are a real world answer to conveniently accessing "soft" video, graphics, and audio drivers from a single repository that can be managed on the client platform for quick, easy access at anytime fashionably. First you investigate: what you need as far as codecs are concerned, what you have as far as codecs are concerned, get educated on the various codecs that you want and/or need, then choose the best variance of a particular codec for your purposes and platform. With all of that said it becomes a process of elimination helping you refine your selections down to the best possible choice for your given objective. It is certainly a Perry Mason ordeal but, it is not a NASA endeavor where the intimacy of physics and space travel should be of concern.
A little work will go along way and your enjoyment, comfort, and growing independence through familiarity will mutate into a level of competency that you will never trade in for popular opinion, status quo, or a free bandwagon ride ever again -- you will be too smart for that.
Windows from Vista on have commercially licensed .mpeg and .avi video codecs as standard. Vista Dream Scenes (Windows video wallpaper used .wmv, .mpeg, and/or .avi video file formats) is proof of concept that Windows is a committed commercial platform oriented to real world media entertainment. Windows 7 can run, but does not come with, Dream Scenes video wallpaper and supports many more formats than Vista. A third party plug-in enables Windows 7 to run video wallpaper with any available system installed video codec -- sweet. Windows 7 also plays .mp4 audio and video, .3GP & .3GP version 2, and a good many others natively. Essentially a codec package really isn't a necessity for Windows platforms anymore but, they still provide good coverage for the general user whom might have additional requirements like OGG Vorbis; etc. It is merely a matter of preferential treatment at this junction concerning Windows and media entertainment.
I feel as though you (Jim) don't conform to the ignorance is bliss philosophy as we had witnessed on some other boards and commend you on being an individual ready to prove that free will and being educated are not sins. Takes an active mind and some serious personal values to get up in the morning and still plug away at the quarry and you are most certainly proof of that concept. Good job.
...and to everyone else willing to make a commitment to a brighter, more educated, independent society my commendations to you as well.
"Soft" as opposed to hard drivers is simply defined as: codecs are soft where they interact with only the operating system or directly interface the API (command line) options of your hardware's drivers. Hard drivers are your hardware's drivers. In an effort to not only distinguish but, make the differences between the two more easily identifiable and understood soft drivers are referred to as codecs and hardware drivers are called drivers. You have codecs and drivers hence. A little something I picked up over the last decade or so. I am getting old and my gray hair is starting to show through it all -- this really stinks.