GoPro Hero 3 in WindowsMy wife bought me a GoPro Hero 3 Black Edition for my birthday. It’s awesome. I’m really looking forward to shooting some SCUBA video with it in Cozumel in a couple weeks, but today I used it for the first time to film some karate self defense applications that I need to send in for review.

After shooting, I was excited to see the footage when I got back to the house this afternoon. I connected the camera to my PC via USB cable, opened the folder on the camera, saw the MP4 files I’d recorded, and double-clicked the first one. Windows Media Player opened as expected, and then played just the audio… with no video. Crap.

I found a bunch of other GoPro users who were complaining about audio-only playback with Windows, but couldn’t find any easy solution. I’m using Windows 7, and I knew I’d recorded the videos in 1440 HD, and figured there was probably some incompatibility with Windows 7 and the HD format used by the GoPro Hero 3.

Eventually, I stumbed on what I thought was an easy solution: install some new codecs. I downloaded a packaged for free called Windows Essentials Codec Pack. However, a virus scan (which is a good idea before installing anything downloaded from the Internet) revealed that this contained some browser hijacking software, so don’t install it if you stuble across it in a web search.

You’ll need to find some legitimate MP4 codecs (you may need to pay for them) before your GoPro will work.

Please post in the comments if you have a free source for virus free GoPro codecs!

GoPro Hero 3 can play HD videos in Windows 7, if you install additional codecs

GoPro Hero 3 can play HD videos in Windows 7, if you install additional codecs