Media Players

How to play .divx files

People constantly ask what DivX is all about, and how to play .divx files running Windows Platforms?

DivX was a hero for its time

Let’s go back to the year 2000, when the hardware was extremely expensive and slow by today’s standards - high-end computer CPUs were actually weaker and slower than the central processor in your current mobile phone. And common computers packed just 128M RAM and maybe 20GB of hard-disk space. The big firms like Microsoft, Apple and RealNetworks all developed their own proprietary formats to handle media playback with these hardware limitations. Microsoft developed the WMV format, Apple developed QuickTime MOV and RealNetworks developed RM/RMVB.

And they all claimed that their media format was the best, but of course nobody could truly agree. In order to realize superior visual quality within the speed and space limitations of given popular hardware, they came out with a better algorithm for encoding and decoding media files, and named the format “DivX.”

We call it a hero for its time because it indeed solved technical problems of that era, and thus offered many people a better media playback experience. Over time, as other similar and arguably better media encode/decode techniques became popular, DivX seemed to slowly fade out of view.

How to play .divx files on Windows

As to media file playback on Windows platforms, Microsoft was providing a solution (with the typical hype) by defining common and uniform program "interfaces" for media processing. Soon many different modules had been implemented aimed at a specific function defined by those interfaces. An implemented module was called a "Filter." You could easily find hundreds of those filters on your Windows system, particularly in your Windows Registry.

One such filter, FFdshow implemented a decoding module for divx playback. By installing this filter package, your system has the ability to play many different media formats for you, including the aforementioned DivX formats.

The problem with this approach is that it will install a whole lot of things into your system, and write tons of information onto your Windows Registry in order for the media players be able to handle such a relative simple task.

So, if you're like us, you don't want to see this to happen to your fragile Windows Registry. You would prefer to download and install a small stand-alone media player if possible.

Stand-alone media players won't mess up your Windows Registry

Ace DivX Player is a media player which handle divx files smoothly while simultaneously using very little system resources. It won't mess up your system at all as Ace DivX Player won't affect the Windows Registry. Everything needed to play .divx files is present only on your program install folder.

Ace DivX Player has its own media engine, based on an underlying media library “libavcodec,” similar to how FFdshow operates. But Ace DivX Player uses a built-in uniform media engine which won't require access to your Windows Registry.

Feel free to take a closer look by downloading Ace DivX Player. (3.3M)