More Users Mad About WMP 10’s Library


WMP 10 Library

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.

Be Sociable, Share!
Loading Facebook Comments ...

21 Comments

  1. Ed Bott says:

    155,000+ tracks???? Crikey!

  2. Media Player says:

    J River Media Center is a great product, but it doesn’t fix the problem as you can’t use it with XP MCE.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Wow – just the kind of post I was looking for. I’m having all kinds of problems with my library – just now using it because, as mentioned before, you have to in order to listen to music on MCE.
    My question is that I have an album of MP3s that have exactly all the same ID3 tag info, but for some reason 2 tracks are listed under a different artist – for example there will be, in my library Green Day, and Green Day (American Idiot) – but they’re all supposed to be from the same album!
    I can’t figure out any difference between these and can’t force them to go in the same album.
    Any ideas? BTW, fantastic blog – I love all these media center blogs!

  4. Dear anonymous: read this article to fix your problem http://msmvps.com/thinice/articles/15229.aspx

  5. Jim Hull says:

    Thank you so much. I’m anonymous – too sleepy last night to put my name down – I’ll have to add ThinIce to my Media Center FeedDemon channel – thanks!

  6. TommyXP says:

    I have a strange problem with my WMP 10 on my new Dell MCE 2005 machine as well. It will not let me rip CDs to MP3 format, the option to choose it is there but when you actually go to rip the CD it asks me to purchase a third party codec. I know for a fact that this was the case with older versions on WMP, but I know now that the MP3 option should be there with version 10. I have an older machine running WMP 10 on XP Professional, and that works fine. Anyone have an idea how to get this MP3 option back. Can I just redownload WMP10 and install on top of it, because I know you cannot uninstall it first. Is the version of WMP 10 included with MCE 2005 different from the standalone version in XP Prof? Or is this maybe Dell selling a Media Center box that is somehow missing the MP3 ripping codec.

    Thanks and I hope someone can help, I hate always having to go back to rip CDs on my old system and then transfer the files to the new one.

    Tom

  7. Thomas Hawk says:

    I’d probably just reinstall WMP 10. No reason why you shouldn’t be able to rip to .mp3.

  8. TommyXP says:

    OK Thanks, Thomas

    I am just going to download it and reinstall it on top of the other version since you cannot remove it first. I wanted to ask just to make sure the version of WMP with Media Center is the same as the standalone version that you use with XP Prof etc.

  9. Ben says:

    Hey
    I just noticed that, in my library of a couple of thousand songs, right down the bottom of the screen, it says “999 items”. Not exactly a performance issue, just a pain in the ass. They actually thought everyone has less than 1000 songs?

  10. Mur says:

    I have about 160GB of music ripped into WMP using the new lossless format in v10. This is all on my PC and I now want to access that music using my laptop. I have set up a network and successfully searched for and added those files into the laptop media library. I am unable though to get the star ratings to transfer over as well. I have experimented with different combinations of the “Maintain my star ratings …’ option but to no effect. I have also tried using the ratings migration plug-in to no avail.

    Any suggestions would be very welcome because to have to rate that amount of music again would be extremely unpleasant.

  11. Anonymous says:

    I’ve got exactly the same problem as TommyXP. I have an old PC with xp pro running MP10 which is fine, but my new Dell laptop running XP Home (aren’t Dell cheapskates) won’t rip to MP3 now I’ve upgraded from MP9 to MP10 (not sure if MP9 did or not as I didn’t try it). My work IBM laptop with XP Pro works fine with MP10 ripping .MP3.

    I’ve reinstalled MP10 and still no joy.

    MS knowledgebase is worse than useless with this problem, suggesting I buy a 3rd party encoder, only in La La Land could they design software like that.

    Roy Booth

  12. Adrian says:

    WMP10 is an absolute disaster. It uses more than 40% of my cpu when playing mp3 files, and freezes my system as soon as the ipod comes up.

    Personally I absolutely hate iTunes, and what exactly are the users who don’t like the library style interfaces supposed to do these days? I would have hoped that when MS decided to copy the iTunes interface they would at least be able to make it work efficiently and improve on its flaws. I guess not.

    Is it too much to ask to have the WMP library run as a separate background process so that my system doesn’t freeze when it starts itself up? WMP9 wasn’t exactly great, but at least it was usable. Has microsoft forgetten about making things that work, and instead followed apples strategy of making things that look good but don’t work? (It seems in the days of google and apple popularity microsoft has forgetten who and what it is..)

    foobar2000 anyone?
    (Wow, it actually only uses max 2% of my cpu – just like playing an mp3 should do! No, it doesn’t look fancy, but more features and 20x more effiicient – I can settle for that!) (try vnc/mplayer for videos..)

  13. Anonymous says:

    Adrian, What are you on??

    WMP10 looks like s**t. It plays like s**t it cannot organise a library properly, leaves empty folders in your mp3 directory, fails to maintain star ratings, is a nightmare to import/maintain/embed artwork, wont syncronise artwork to portable devices, (even MS ones!) is CPU hgungry, always fails to auto update over networks, etc etc etc. The list of failings is unbelievable. How can you hate iTunes? It does everything listed above with style and has a wonderful interface. If MS had actually copied the iTunes interface, it would have at least been ‘one’ improvement over WMP9 and one less thing for me to moan about. I use MCE everyday, if I didnt, I would be solely using iTunes and laughing at WMP10 from afar. I have tried and tried and tried with WMP10 beacause I use MCE so much but I still hate it for the reasons above. Sort it out MS!!! Just copy ITUNES dammit!!!!!

  14. Anonymous says:

    Adrian, What are you on??

    WMP10 looks like s**t. It plays like s**t it cannot organise a library properly, leaves empty folders in your mp3 directory, fails to maintain star ratings, is a nightmare to import/maintain/embed artwork, wont syncronise artwork to portable devices, (even MS ones!) is CPU hgungry, always fails to auto update over networks, never streams, lacks inbuilt codecs, frequently ‘encounters unknown problems’, etc etc etc. The list of failings is unbelievable. Even the eagerly awaited WMP10 Mobile edition is a TOTAL letdown. It wont even play divx or avi formats. It fails to stream media, wont remember where your library is stored (my device/SD card). I just cant believe how idiotic these MS designers are. Have they actually ever USED media software? So mant other FREE players just wipe the floor with their products (VNC, BS Player, iTunes, Betaplayer). However, I wont have anyone badmouth iTunes. It does everything listed above with style and has a wonderful interface. If MS had actually copied the iTunes interface, it would have at least been ‘one’ improvement over WMP9 and one less thing for me to moan about. I use MCE everyday, if I didnt, I would be solely using iTunes and laughing at WMP10 from afar. I have tried and tried and tried with WMP10 beacause I use MCE so much but I still hate it for the reasons above. Sort it out MS!!! Just copy ITUNES dammit!!!!!

    roostaar

  15. Anonymous says:

    sorry to post twice, the second post is updated.

  16. glenn says:

    I just got a HP z557 Windows Media Center. We have a lot of problems with MC losing connection with Media player. There are specific disks that continuously give us problems. We restart do other CDs successfully, then go back to the problem disks and it locks up. Usually, the failure is like this:

    1. finds CD
    2. starts to play CD
    3. we stop the playing
    4. starts to copy CD
    5. stops at 4%
    6. Everytime you restart copy, it stops again, eventually nothing works. Go to desktop to find Media player has failed and wants to send a report.
    7. send report then when player closes, Media center loses connection with player (obviously)

    Also, sometimes the when you put in a CD. The computer doesn’t want to Auto play the CD… is this also part of the problem? I don’t know.

  17. rainyday says:

    is there anyway to import aac, vorbis and mp4 files to media library with tags????

  18. billy says:

    Hey I think you may have already helped another user with this problem, but I was wondering if anyone got any further with it. I mix a lot of music with Acid and became disappointed with wmp10. I just bought a brand new Dell E1505 with 2 gb of ram and a fast processor and all the other stuff, but I still cannot rip cd’s into any mp3 format whether it be 96 to 320 kbps. I went to the troubleshooting page and they said delete a registry value (all sanctioned by microsoft), did that and still the same thing. I would rather not uninstall and reinstall this prgm. and put my new machine in jeopardy. Is there any other kind of fix. I see that both my problem and the other guy’s have to deal with dell computers

  19. Kehmal says:

    I also use a huge Media library. When I listen to some songs the complete system is rebooting without shutdown;-) Any Idea?

  20. Anonymous says:

    A simple way to ease your speed issues is to copy the db to a ramdrive and point the WMP at the ramdrive.

    I use batch files to copy the db over at startup and shutdown to keep them in sync, and so not lose the library in case of a power failure.

    Of course, this assumes you have enough ram, but 1gb should be enough to create a 300mb ramdrive.