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Old 8th July 2008
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Default Re: playing a"*.ac3" file(not a movie file contain

I don't know about SPDIF passthrough, never used one.

To play AC-3 format in DirectShow you need to install DTS/AC3 Source (version for 32-bit systems). After the installation of this module Ac-3 streams will appear as movie files without video in BSPlayer, Media Player and other DirectShow frontends.

The best choice for audio playback is of course a dedicated audio player, such as Foobar2000 or Winamp. But getting passthrough working there requires additional steps, or might be completely impossible.
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