More Users Mad About WMP 10’s Library Well I’ve done plenty of complaining about the Windows Media Player library and today Chris Lanier brings it back up again. Chris writes, “It has come to my attention that more and more users of Windows Media Player are fed up with the way it handles their library.” Unfortunately I have to agree with Chris.
As much as I love Windows Media Player and Windows Media Center Edition, I have spent countless hours frustrated by Windows Media Player and although WMP 10 offered an ever so slight performance improvement over WMP 9 for the library it quite simply was not enough.
I know that Sean Alexander was testing large media libraries a little over a year ago and had put a call out for people to submit their libraries for testing. So the question is, when will we actually see an improvement?
My issues are as follows:
1. Having a very large WMP library (much larger than 99.9% of the population) the time that it takes to play music, move between playlists, libraries, sort data, etc. is simply unbearable. It can take anywhere from 2 minutes to 10 minutes just to move around in the player. As great as the software is, this just zaps the pleasure right out of working with the application.
As much as I end up frustrated working with WMP 10 in my home office, I’m even more frustrated and embarrassed when I have to demo my MCE machine in my living room for someone and have “My Music” perform so poorly. As someone who is very excited about the media center technology and an influencer to those around me, I can assure you, and I know in a couple of cases for a fact, that my poor performing “my music” on my MCE machine has ended up convincing people NOT to buy a Media Center PC. Even after explaining to friends that my music library is much larger than theirs will be and assuring them that their experience with a smaller library will be almost instant, their hands on experience with my poorly performing library via my music is difficult for them to overcome. And I show my MCE machine to every single person that enters my home.
Although I have personally shown my Media Center PC to over 100 people, each and every one comments negatively about the speed of my library. Several have told me this is why they don’t buy a Media Center PC and have suggested they will when Microsoft fixes this “bug.” Of the many people that have seen my MCE machine only a single person has actually gone out and bought one. Another family member has said he plans on buying one but my machine is a horrible negative demo for people because of WMP’s library issues.
2. For some reason now I can no longer “process media information now” with my player. Ries van Moorselaar, who created the brilliant Album Art Fixer, suggested that I turn off the “maintain star ratings” options and then try to process my media information but I did this and it still didn’t work. Even if it did though this would still be unacceptable as one of my main uses for WMP is to rate songs for playback on my Media Center PC in my living room. Without being able to update my ratings on my WMP on my MCE machine in the library I’m essentially locked out of adding any new 5 star music to my 5 star playlist in the living room.
3. I can’t effectively work with the library in Window Explorer. If I do a search for .mp3 files on a drive of say 30,000 or so .mp3 files it finds them but Windows Explorer locks up before it will let me sort the found .mp3 files by a heading so that I can arrange by “comments” in order to copy my 5 star songs on to my laptop. (Of course I still have no clue why a laptop running Windows XP couldn’t be a “plays for sure” device). At present my laptop is my .mp3 player when I’m out.
4. Why can’t I see the “Custom” fields from WMP in Windows Explorer?
Chris ends his post with, “Is the Media Player team ever going to fix these? Not only do general WMP users suffer, MCE users do to.
Fix it! “
I agree with Chris. Sean asked for large libraries over a year ago. And while I do suspect that a fix is coming at some point I wonder what that “some point” really is. Will we have to wait until Longhorn to see a fix? Or is there a possibility of a fix earlier than that.
And once the fix is in place, I’d love to alpha test that puppy with my large library. Even if it didn’t improve anything you’re not really allowed to complain about alpha or beta software. But stuck here using non beta Windows Media Player 10, today, here and now, I really do seem to have a lot to complain about.
It’s a shame that the beautiful, wonderful, MCE software and user interface has to be tainted by the bad apple that is the Windows Media Player library.
Thanks for once again drawing attention to this ongoing problem Chris.