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Your video player is not awesome

I'm pissed.

I needed to install a third-party video player recently to diagnose a problem with paletted video, only to discover that it was really, fatally broken in that regard. Okay, I can't give too much crap for that, because I've broken paletted video plenty of times in VirtualDub. However, this is the first time that I've seen a decoder broken not only such that it uses the wrong stride to decode the video, but that the stride used depends on the size of the window. At that point I decided that getting a paletted video stream to work in this player was useless, and decided to uninstall it.

That's when I found out how much damage that this player had done to my system.

You see, this player is so awesome that it automatically decided to silently register itself as the default player for ALL video types, including AVI, MPEG, and ASF. Hey, it plays Flash video too, so why not take SWF? People store MPEG video in DAT files, so let's take that too, since nobody would ever use .DAT for anything else, right? And while we're at it, we'll take the .AVS Avisynth extension, because obviously if you're using an Avisynth script it's because you just want to play the result. The File menu in Explorer is a bit lonely too, so we'll add half a dozen menu entries just for whatever you'd want to do with this wonderful player.

Okay, I've been through this before... just reassociate the files with the One True Player(tm) (i.e. Media Player Classic) and go on. Or not. You see, this player also decided to register all new file types in Explorer, changing every single multimedia file type to use its own icon and label, so that instead of "Video file" for .AVI, it would show up as FOO - Video File, even if the type was changed back to use a different player than FOO. Which made me very unhappy as I then had to use Registry Editor to manually fix each and every single file type that had been farked up by this stupid player application, and thus ensuring that this player stays permanently on my Do Not Install shiatlist.

Don't encourage programmers who do selfish things like this.


This blog was originally open for comments when this entry was first posted, but was later closed and then removed due to spam and after a migration away from the original blog software. Unfortunately, it would have been a lot of work to reformat the comments to republish them. The author thanks everyone who posted comments and added to the discussion.