WAV file won't play in Windows Media Player 11. Message "an audio Codec is needed to play this file". I have look all over the place for this codec. I also try VLC and Real Player but no luck. Got the VLC going but no sounds.

  • You sure it is a wave file? They play fine on my WMP11. – Moab Feb 4 '11 at 3:33
  • very sure it's WAV file, what version is your WMP, I know it's 11 but 11.xxxxx? does it say 2006? – user66009 Feb 4 '11 at 3:55
  • 3
    Is it ALL WAV files, or just one? – Ƭᴇcʜιᴇ007 Feb 4 '11 at 4:20

Wav files can data with arbitrary codecs. While typically they are in uncompressed PCM format, there are other codecs out there, and it is likely this wav file you are trying to play is using one of these codecs.

The first step is to find out what codec the wav file needs. You can do this by opening it up in VLC and look at the Codec Information (under Tools menu). For some reason in my version of VLC you have to play and pause the file to get this info or else this is blank.

Then look at the name of the codec and download the appropriate codec you need.


Try installing the Combined Community Codec Pack, with it installed I have never found that I was missing a Codec (though I'm not an Audiophile or a high volume user of multimedia).


WAV files are typically just uncompressed digital audio with a header on it, there is no need for a codec to play them. Heck, sound recorder (yes it still exists in Win7) can play them!! I would guess something is wrong with your file.

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