Windows Phone 7 audio & media codecs

File this under "old, but we missed it" and since s2gordon asked about them in comments yesterday, figured we'd answer...

We're going to leave this to you folks to determine if this list of officially supported audio and video codecs in Windows Phone 7 is a good thing/bad thing, since to be honest we're not aficionados in that area.

Our off-the-cuff first take? It's basic and expected. Nothing extraordinary. 

Full list of WP7 codecs after the break.

Swipe to scroll horizontally
Codec TypeDecoder SupportContainer
AudioWMA LosslessASF (WMA)
AudioWMA Standard v9ASF (WMA)
AudioAAC-LC (Low Complexity)3GP, 3G2, MP4, M4A
AudioHE-AAC v1 (AAC+)3GP, 3G2, MP4, M4A
AudioHE-AAC v2 (eAAC+)3GP, 3G2, MP4, M4A
AudioAdaptive Multi-Rate Narrow Band (AMR-NB)3GP, 3G2, MP4
AudioAdaptive Multi-Rate ide Band (AMR-WB)3GP, 3G2, MP4
AudioQcelp3GP, 3G2, MP4
VideoWMV (VC-1) - Simple ProfileASF (WMV)
VideoWMV (VC-1) - Main ProfileASF (WMV)
VideoWMV (VC-1) - Advanced ProfileASF (WMV)
VideoWMV v9ASF (WMV)
VideoMPEG-4 Part 2 - Simple Profile3GP, 3G2, MP4, AVI
VideoMPEG-4 Part 2 – Advanced Simple ProfileAVI, MP4
VideoDivX 4.x/5.x/6.xAVI
VideoMPEG-4 Part 10 (MPEG-4 AVC, H.264) - Baseline Profile3GP, 3G2, MP4, M4V
VideoMPEG-4 Part 10 (MPEG-4 AVC, H.264) - Main Profile3GP, 3G2, MP4, M4V
VideoMPEG-4 Part 10 (MPEG-4 AVC, H.264) - High Profile3GP, 3G2, MP4, M4V
VideoH.2633GP, 3G2
ImagesGIF (both GIF87a and GIF89a)GIF

[Don's Blog via Midnight Programmer]

Daniel Rubino

Daniel Rubino is the Editor-in-chief of Windows Central, head reviewer, podcast co-host, and analyst. He has been here covering Microsoft since 2007 when this site was called WMExperts (and later Windows Phone Central). His interests include Windows, Microsoft Surface, laptops, next-gen computing, and for some reason, watches. Before all this tech stuff, he worked on a Ph.D. in linguistics and ran the projectors at movie theaters, which has done absolutely nothing for his career.

  • It looks good to me, we have .AVI and MP$ for video containers so that covers things. I wasn't expecting support for something like mkv or ogm etc, but you can find many free and good mkv to mp4 converters out there.
  • Only thing I see as a major exclusion is xvid, since the zune hd even supports it
  • As was posted below, Xvid is there, it's official name/technical name is MPEG4 Part 2 etc etc. Basically anything the Zune software and hardware can play then WP7 can as well.
  • This list actually includes xvid because xvid (just like DivX) is a variant of MPEG-4 Part 2 Advanced Simple Profile. mkv is a container, and usually contains MPEG-4 Part 10 (also called h.264) HD video, so all you'd need to do to watch your mkv file would be to remux it to a different container (mp4, for example). Remuxing is not recoding and only takes a couple of minutes per video. So the good news is that this list contains almost everything you'll ever encounter in real life with only minor problems which are easy to solve, and this is by far the best out-of-the-box support available in the market. The only omission here is AC3 sound. There's bad news, however, and that bad news came with April Refresh of developer tools. MPEG4 Part 2 Advanced Simple Profile was removed from the list of supported codecs. This means no support for your xvid/divx .avi files. Whether the list is now final remains to be seen, but currently it looks like you'll have to re-encode all SD content, while HD video will only require quick remuxing. This is still way better than on other competing platforms including WM, but, unlike WM or Android, support for missing codecs cannot be solved by third parties as it will require native code. So unless Microsoft adds support or OEMs will do it for certain devices or somebody will write an application that will require jailbreaking, real-life video watching will be somewhat close to iPhone experience. That being said, even though nothing technically prevents ISVs to do video players for Android, everything that platform has sucks tremendously anyway...
  • With all the storage available now, I'd love to see FLAC support on the audio end as well.
  • So, for us English speakers, will it support DRM'd subscription tracks, like Rhapsody?
  • it supports Zune only as far as ive see
  • I'm not sure if Rhapsody would be there at launch but if the devices sell I think we'll see them soon enough. As with Pandora I think Microsoft will probably release the in-house APIs for it to work in the background.
  • I'm very disappointed to see no FLAC there. My entire CD collection is in FLAC format and I don't want to have to convert to play :\ Quality is more important than file size to me.
  • I remember them talking about this in the zune Insider podcast. Basically, they didn't feel that FLAC was widely used enough to devote resources to adding it. However, anything is possible down the line.
  • I've been using WMA Lossless for my CDs since it sounds better than MP3 and MP4 and is compatible with my ZuneHD. Unfortunately, you will have to convert your files for them to play. I've not seen wide implementation of FLAC either, so I can only see this as a potential "somewhere down the road" type of inclusion.
  • FLV would be nice
  • This will be coming to IE in WP7 shortly after launch (if not right along with it). They've already said this.
  • Digital photo frames are common in 7 inch (17.8 cm) to 20 inch (50.8 cm) sizes.Digital Photo Frame Some digital photo frames can only display JPEG pictures. Most digital photo frames display the photos as a slideshow and usually with an adjustable time interval.Hiphone They may also be able send photos to a printer. Digital photo frames typically display the pictures directly from a camera's memory card, though certain frames also provide internal memory storage. Some allow users to upload pictures to the frame's memory via a USB connection, wirelessly via bluetooth technology. Few are able to send photos with cellular monitor Some frames allow photos to be shared from a frame to another.