Windows Media Player V11.0.6 Windows Vista - Taking Forever To PlayMP3 Files

Discussion in 'Computer Information' started by thekmanrocks, Apr 23, 2014.

  1. thekmanrocks

    thekmanrocks Guest

    Windows Media Player V11.0.6 Windows Vista - Taking Forever To Play MP3 Files

    A few years ago I posted this topic in this news group - seems to have disappeared - but I wasn't too clear in that post anyway!

    As the thread title now states, this issue concerns MP3 and not WAV or other lossless file formats.

    Any ideas now that I have been more specific? :)
    thekmanrocks, Apr 23, 2014
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  2. thekmanrocks

    Paul Guest

    Is WMP searching for a codec to play it, online ?

    Is the content protected by DRM ?

    What do you see when you click the file ? Window appears,
    any decorations appear ? How can you tell your double-click
    registered ?


    See the posting by "ianastas" here. WMP10/11/12 have a licensed
    MP3 codec. If you installed a codec pack, perhaps you now have
    two codecs installed to do the same thing ?

    I thought there was some scheme to add "weights" to codecs.
    If two codecs are installed, the codecs are considered in
    some kind of priority order. And that's a means of managing
    situations where a user has loaded too many of them.

    It's possible your problem is unique to your particular
    set of installed codec packs.

    Paul, Apr 24, 2014
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  3. thekmanrocks

    thekmanrocks Guest


    1st thing I did two years ago was to get WMP as "off the grid" as possible in its settings.

    As far as codec(packs) goes, the only thing I have installed is LAME for my Audacity and Exact Audio Copy programs. Does that count as a codec pack?
    thekmanrocks, Apr 24, 2014
  4. thekmanrocks

    Paul Guest

    It says here, LAME is an MP3 encoder, but not a decoder.
    So that's getting close to being something that might
    interfere. But in your case, it would be a decoder that
    plays in WMP.


    When I play a .mp3 here, I seem to be using the CODEC that
    came with the media player. As near as I can tell.

    Get a copy of this tool...

    and it has a list of the codecs in one of the menus.
    As well as telling you the decode chain if using
    installed codecs. It lists a "merit" value for a
    codec, implying if two codecs are installed having
    the same function, the codecs can be rated by their
    merit number, and the best one picked.

    In my example, a Fraunhofer Institut codec is being used,
    L3CODECX.AX . And that's an decoder (whereas LAME
    would be an encoder as far as I know). That is likely
    the officially licensed one for WMP.

    I also have a copy of Winamp - it popped up when I
    double clicked that file, and I don't even remember
    installing that. That might be an example of a program
    that uses a built-in decoder, rather than looking
    to the system to provide a decoder. Some programs
    do that.

    I don't expect LAME is the problem, but perhaps you'll spot
    something when you go through the CODEC list the above
    program can display for you

    Paul, Apr 24, 2014
  5. thekmanrocks

    thekmanrocks Guest

    Thanks! Very informative.

    Where can I see a list of codecs that Windows Media uses? OS is Vista SP2.
    thekmanrocks, Apr 24, 2014
  6. thekmanrocks

    Paul Guest

    Windows Media Player can use any of the hundred plus ones
    that came with the OS. Most of them are pretty sad ones,
    such as codecs that function as "splitters". So if you
    watch a movie, the first element in the chain would be
    a splitter, followed by a codec for audio and a codec for

    With the GSpot software, you check your OS just after
    you installed it, to see what the "unadulterated" list
    is. Then later, compare the current system, to see what
    software may have added along the way.

    In your case, I'd just skim through the list, to see if
    there is anything MP3 related.

    That tool is just the tip of the iceberg, in the sense
    that it makes you aware of the component parts of your
    OS. But doesn't provide the tools for working with them
    at all. I've never had to "solve" a CODEC problem here,
    so haven't needed to go further than casual examinations
    of media using GSpot. You'll have to do some Googling,
    to discover how the tool chain uses "merit" and how a
    user modifies "merit" to stop a conflict if one is present.

    I don't even know, if you can use tools like Process Monitor,
    to capture the movie filter chain building process, and see
    what it is up to. There is a tool called "Graph Edit", which
    again, demonstrates the chaining of these things, to achieve
    a desired result, but I don't know how you work on the
    diagnostic side of things. I don't know of an easy way to
    help you figure out what is busted. I would certainly
    try with Process Monitor, because it does capture Registry
    access, and the names of things in those registry entries,
    tells you what the software is up to. So this is one of my
    favorite tools, to collect enough data to do Google searches

    Even when your computer is "idle", the stupid OS reads
    maybe 100-200 registry entries *per second*. Just out of
    boredom. The log collected by Process Monitor, rapidly
    fills with irrelevant crap. You remove the tick box
    in the File menu, to stop a capture. You use the "Clear"
    function, to erase the trace and collect another one.
    When you are about to play your music, you tick the capture
    entry in the File menu again, to do a trace, then go back
    to attempting to play your music. When the thing has
    finished malfunctioning, you stop the trace again in
    Process Monitor, then scroll through the trace at your leisure.

    You don't need to define a filter using the Filter window
    to use the thing. For the first run, just dismiss the
    filter window and let it capture everything. You can add
    filter terms, as you recognize the need to concentrate on
    just one program. So by telling the filter to only capture
    WMP events, you can reduce the clutter in the display. But
    for your first run, don't freak out if the Filter window
    pops up.

    That's how I dig up hints, when something doesn't work right.


    Building graphs, is how Microsoft software figures out
    how to play your music and movies.

    Example of a filter chain - in this case, the "MPEG Audio Decoder"
    would be a CODEC. The video decoding is done by something
    in the video card. GSpot is doing this sort of thing as well.
    Only the display GSpot puts on the screen, is simple text. graphedit_rendereddvrms_thumb.png

    Programs like WinAMP, may use their own subsystems and use
    a different approach to decoding. Not every software
    uses the GraphEdit approach. WinAMP might easily play
    your music, when WMP is completely busted. With the
    availability of third party applications (WinAMP and
    VLC), you can simply avoid broken OS stuff.

    Paul, Apr 24, 2014
  7. thekmanrocks

    thekmanrocks Guest

    I should add that it eventually does play the MP3, but only after 45-60sec.

    Subsequent mp3 requests play immediately; it's only the first one after turning on the machine that I get gray hairs waiting for.
    thekmanrocks, Apr 24, 2014
  8. thekmanrocks

    Paul Guest

    So then maybe you see WMP sending packets off
    to Microsoft, looking for information related
    to the material it's about to play ?

    When I tested here, the network size of things was
    relatively quiet.

    I did a test in a virtual machine here, using Vista SP2
    and WMP11. My MP3 played in only a few seconds. No 60 second
    delay. I collected a ProcMon trace, and I could see things
    like what might be the setting up of a Protected Media Path,
    kicking the Audio subsystem, an attempt to load a
    screensaver (which fails, because the VM doesn't
    have accelerated video for any visual effects).
    So my test isn't exactly like yours, because
    my WMP11 cannot deliver any visuals.

    But still, in terms of real time response, it
    started playing in say, five seconds. Just a
    guess, because I was staring at the ProcMon trace
    at the time.

    And the funny thing is, I couldn't see any
    explicit calls for CODECs in there. The registry
    accesses use a ton of CLSIDs, but it would take
    me weeks to translate all of those into potential
    file names. So I could easily miss details like that.
    There were around 145,000 events in the trace I was
    looking at. And as is usual with Windows, as soon
    as you start doing something you want to do, all sorts
    of background activities start up. Like Windows Update
    preparation activity, and other crap. Maybe a little
    file indexing thrown in for good measure.


    You can attempt to look on the Event Viewer, but
    the chances of gaining useful information from there
    are almost zero. If it was throwing an error, it
    probably wouldn't do it so quietly, as to leave the
    only trace as an Event entry.


    Do you normally use file shares in your setup, like
    playing music off your NAS ? Perhaps the delay, is
    an attempt to reach a totally irrelevant file share
    source, before it decides to continue with the
    command to play your current file.

    And that's another capability WMP has. It can function
    as a streaming server, to play music on a device outside
    of your computer. Do you have any DLNA devices
    pestering your computer ? A TV set for example,
    may be able to ask the computer about your
    music library (that WMP can see).

    Paul, Apr 24, 2014
  9. thekmanrocks

    thekmanrocks Guest

    Again, the long delay is after requesting only the first MP3. After that, it's typical speed - fast.
    thekmanrocks, Apr 24, 2014
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