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I normally use Linux where, if I want programs to be able to encode video, once libXXXX.so is installed all programs which are aware of it can use it. By comparison, I have witnessed various programs install Microsoft VC++ Runtime on the same computer in succession -- I guess that means libraries are not shared on Windows.

I am playing around with a Windows machine which has Premiere Pro and Cinema 4D installed. Premiere Pro can encode h264 output but Cinema 4D can't. (In fact Cinema 4D can only output to AVI using Intel IYUV or Microsoft RLE or Microsoft Video 1 compressors, whereas Premiere Pro has many options.)

Is it the case that each application installs and manages its own codecs, or does this machine in fact have codecs which are accessible to Cinema 4D (and other programs in general) but it happens to be that this program has been misconfigured? Or what?

In a nutshell, how does this sort of thing normally work on Windows?

  • Most programs install their own codecs for their own use, then there are codec packs that can be installed for any program that wants to use them, basically expands the Windows codec store. You only want 1 codec pack installed at a time in Windows, if you want to use a different codec pack, uninstall the old one first. I use to install codec packs so Windows Media Player could play more movie types. I really depends on how the program is written if it uses the Windows codecs or not. – Moab Jun 16 '15 at 12:39
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Some libraries are shared on windows (system32, check your PATH variable).

With video codecs there are like you mentioned two routes: internal functionality (like VLC) or use Windows Media Foundation (Directshow is outdated, but still used alot). WMF codecs are written using some windows SDK, and after installation can be used by software that uses the WMF framework (like Windows Media Player).

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