Lazy Man's Guide to Ogg Media (OGM Files)

20 November 2002 (Revised: 1 April 2003) by #LD-Anime

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An OGM file, or a file with the extension .ogm, is an Ogg Media File. Like DVDs, OGM files can have switchable subtitle(s). The video part of our OGM files has been encoded with XviD, and the audio part has been encoded with Ogg Vorbis.

  1. What Do I Need to Play OGM?
  2. Now, How Do I Play OGM?
  3. Want to Try Other Players?

What Do I Need to Play OGM?

You'll need four pieces of software.

Proper Video Codec

Get XviD 1.0.x and/or ffdshow-2004**** or newer.


You can get it from Tobias's Page. You can install it by just double clicking.

VSFilter and CoreVorbis

Install Lazy Man's MKV (mkvinst_), and you'll have them too.

Now, How Do I Play OGM?

OK, so you have installed the four components you need. Now...

Windows Media Player 7/8/9 is not the best player for OGM, but since many people use it, let me begin with that.

Run Windows Media Player, and open the OGM file with File | Open. Windows Media Player 9 does not recognize OGM files, so you will have to set File Types to all (*.*) in the Open File Dialog box in order to see OGM files there. You may also be asked something like this:

quot;The selected file has an extension that is not recognized by Windows Media Player, but the Player may still be able to play it.  Because the extension is unknown by the Player, you should be sure that the file comes from a trustworthy source. Do you want the Player to try to play the file?quot;

Alternatively, you can right-click ([Shift]+Right-Click in Windows 98) the OGM file's icon to Open With the software you wish to use (in this case Windows Media Player). Or, you can also drag-and-drop the OGM file's icon onto the player directly.

You'll see one or two (typically two) icons in your system tray soon after you open the OGM file with a proper player.

Right-click the green arrow icon (as shown above), select Ogg Splitter, check Always enable all streams.


By default, subtitles are off. Right-click the green arrow icon, select Ogg Splitter, check Always enable all streams; and the first subtitle (English, in our clips) will be on by default.

Then, select DirectVobSub (auto-loaded version) to set your favorite Font, Font Size, Font Color etc. for subtitles. DirectVobSub uses the font settings from the Text Settings group box when you play OGM files. You can override these settings temporarily in the dialog box you get by clicking Launch config dialog.... With this "advanced" config dialog, you can customize the font you see subtitles in even more.

However, you may feel that these dynamic subtitles are too much for your PC, especially when your CPU is not very fast (<1GHz). In that case, you may want to uncheck Advanced Renderer; by unchecking it, the CPU load will be lowered, but you won't be able to change font settings then.

In order to open DirectVobSub Setting Dialog quickly, you can use the shortcut [Alt]+[S]

NOTE: If you want to see Japanese subtitles, select a Japanese font (such as "MS UI Gothic") and Japanese code page (SHIFT-JIS) in the VobSub settings.

If your windows regional settings are not set to Western Europe and United States, then you may experience a small bug in DirectVobSub; DirectVobSub may drop a few characters from the end of each line of subtitles multiplexed in an OGM, if the line contains characters that are between 0x80-0xFF in hex. You won't have this problem if your locale is Western Europe and United States. (As a workaround, we have put 3-64 dummy spaces at the end of each line of the subtitle files (SRT) to be muxed.)

Try Other Players?

You may want to try other players.

Media Player Classic

Media Player Classic and Windows Media Player 6.4 (which is a standard Windows component; you will find it at C:\Program Files\Windows Media Player\mplayer2.exe) are simpler, and probably better than the more recent Windows Media Player 7, 8, or 9. In Windows Media Player 6.4, you can see subtitles not only in the movie, but also as a Caption. (Use View | Captions) In Media Player Classic, you can see OGM file information when you play it. In addition, you can register .ogm as an associated extension; if you do, then you can open OGM files by just clicking the file icon. Use View|Options|Formats

Media Player Classic can also render subtitles directly by itlself, without using VobSub, by choosing VMR7 or VMR9 in View | Options | Playback | Output | Video. You need Windows XP to use VMR7. You need DirectX 9 to use VMR9. Although VMR7/VMR9 may be more CPU-intensive than System Default, you may want to try it especially when you have a trouble with VobSub.

Zoom Player

Zoom Player is also nice for OGM files. It may be even lighter than Media Player Classic. You can use the Options menu to associate the .ogm file type.

BS Player

Some people prefer BS Player. You can associate .ogm with this player too. Use Options | Preferences

If you have trouble when you try to play movies with BSPlayer, go to Preferences | Video and change the mode in Use Overlay, or check Force RGB mode, this may solve the problem.

TCMP (The Core Media Player)

TCMP is the newest multimedia player which supports many formats including OGM. As of 1 April 2003, TCMP is still beta, but it seems promising. For more information, visit


Since Ogg Media is a very new format and is still under development, you may experience some troubles before you can play it nicely. If you have any troubles, you can try to:

Matroska? (This note has been added on 8 June 2003)

Have you ever heard of .MKV, or Matroska, which is even newer than OGM? Matroska seems to be quite promising and most likely better than OGM. Read our short and easy introduction: What's Matroska?

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