Native MKV, FLAC And HEVC Support In Windows 10

Native MKV, FLAC And HEVC Support In Windows 10

While there are still a number of competing multimedia formats, there are a few that you can always count on — H.264, AAC, FLAC and containers such as MKV. There’s nothing more frustrating though than having software that doesn’t want to play nice with these and Windows takes the cake for requiring either a codec pack or an alternative player after a fresh install. Fortunately, Microsoft is taking a more serious look at the supported audio and video formats in Windows 10.

Microsoft’s Engineering General Manager Gabriel Aul tweeted the above image of Media Player in Windows 10, which shows several music files with the “flac” file type. Aul also tweeted earlier this month that Windows 10 will support the MKV container format as well as High Efficiency Video Coding, otherwise known as HEVC or H.265.

VLC has become the media player of choice for most savvy users and it handles pretty much anything you throw at it, but that doesn’t mean Microsoft should ignore what formats and codecs are popular. While WMA and WMV have their place, we know they’re not frequently used online, where it’s a combination of MP4 or MKV and H.264 with ACC or MP3.

It’s about now you realise you know far too many acronyms…

@GabeAul [Twitter, via gHacks]


  • I don’t think Windows “takes the cake” for having an extensible architecture that allows you to install support for extra codecs. One might take a shot for Apple for doing the converse and not even allowing playback of even some of its own codecs with its own software.

    VLC can get under the radar for a lot of format support whereas copyleft provisions and other open source licenses make it harder for Microsoft to directly support them without copping the legal consequences.

    “While WMA and WMV have their place, we know they’re not frequently used online,” but WMA is still by far more common in vehicle sound systems where mp4/AAC is commonly only supported if you plug an iPod/iPhone in – there’s no native support.

    • That’s actually a good point, I’ve seen plenty of car stereos support wma and mp3 but yeah the Apple codecs ummm…. yeah not once.
      I am glad for the flac support though as most of my files are flac, can maybe ditch winamp at last. And use my htpc as Windows media player instead of xbmc.

      • I plugged FLAC into WMP years ago. Full playback and library support with very little effort.

        For most of the world native support of what are – in mass market terms – niche codecs is simply the legendary bloat that know-nothings like to complain about.

        • I just spared myself the effort And used as mentioned xbmc or cccp’s media player bundle. Wmp is really nothing exceptional, I’m just having driver issues with debian and my tv tuner and on my desktop wmp was never really a preference.
          Although not mass market yet, flac is no longer quite niche, they’re even music streaming services delivering in flac. Though for a lot of people their end user gear doesn’t really have the need for lossless.
          I do like you know nothing’s comment though, high horse much? Or just a tool.

          • Yeah I moved on from WMP after a very long love/hate relationship, but I recognise that I (like most people who comment on tech stuff) here are part of a 0.0..01% of users who will customise or use something like a flac streaming service. It’s degrees of niche really when the main Windows audience is in the 100s of millions.

            Sorry, I couldn’t parse your last line.

Show more comments

Comments are closed.

Log in to comment on this story!