Windows Media Player: Still Annoying After All These Years

Discussion in 'Audio Hardware' started by SixtiesGuy, Jan 11, 2017.

  1. SixtiesGuy

    SixtiesGuy Ministry of Love Thread Starter

    My Christmas present was a new PC. It's a substantial, Windows 10-based HP PC. It replaces my still-functioning, but rapidly turning obsolete, 2007 Vista-based HP desktop. One of the primary reasons I use it is to maintain my growing digitized music collection.

    Giving it a fresh, just-out-of-the-box start I thought I'd rip a few Christmas music CD's onto it using the ubiquitous Windows Media Player (WMP) which came resident on the new machine. I thought that, certainly by now, the major annoyances which led me to abandon WMP long ago would have been addressed... but no!

    First off, very first disc, a factory-stock, Collector's Choice copy of Dean Martin's A Winter Romance, it tells me that it can't copy several of the tracks because the file titles are too long... but these are file titles which WMP itself generated. So I dutifully edited the file names, which for some reason contained a bizarre amount of information, down to what seemed to be a reasonable size, and moved the files to their rightful place with the album's other tracks. However, when I retrieve the album now, those tracks, which initially appeared where they belong, no longer show up as part of the album. Other albums I've ripped, to the same exact main album file location, aren't seen by WMP.

    Tagging and album info updates are still a major annoyance, too. I don't know what apparently half-assed service WMP defaults to, but it offers multiple versions of the same album, none of which are accurate.

    I know some of you are likely thinking that the problem here is, as my computer-savvy friends used to say, between the chair and the keyboard, but after my new experiences with WMP I installed MediaMonkey, as I had been using on my Vista-based PC, and every file is recognized and located correctly.

    A anybody else in Hoffmanland have any comparable experiences or advice to share regarding the latest version of WMP?
    Last edited: Jan 11, 2017
  2. GuildX700

    GuildX700 Forum Resident

    Never had any problems with ripping a CD with it. In fact CD's that my players wouldn't play would play and rip on my laptop so I could burn a copy that would play in my players.
  3. SamS

    SamS Forum Legend

    Sounds like the perfect time to switch to a modern ripper/media player. Life is too short for bad software.
  4. SixtiesGuy

    SixtiesGuy Ministry of Love Thread Starter

    I've had better luck with MediaMonkey. What do you recommend?
  5. noahjld

    noahjld Witchfinder General/ Das Boz Boz

    I presume you've done all the WMP settings etc?
  6. SixtiesGuy

    SixtiesGuy Ministry of Love Thread Starter

    I have tried to, yes. I was thinking of doing some research on the file naming issue, but then again, rather than spending a lot of time troubleshooting WMP I'd rather move on to better software...
  7. SamS

    SamS Forum Legend

    I (and many others) like dBPowerAmp. Costs a little bit, but it is very solid. No spyware, no junk, and has had good developer support for many years.
  8. GreenDrazi

    GreenDrazi Truth is beauty

    Atlanta, GA
    For ripping, you want a application that uses AccurateRip:

    Windows OS:
    dBpowerAmp (free 30-day trial)
    EAC (Exact Audio Copy) (free, not the easiest user interface and be careful to watch for adware prompts during the install)
    CUE Tools (free)
  9. Strat-Mangler

    Strat-Mangler Forum Resident

    Using WMP for audio management is like using Microsoft Paint for image edit. Bleh. Probably the worst choice possible.

    Get a real ripping application. I like to use EZ CD Audio Extractor. It's fast, has an intuitive interface, doesn't have a million pointless options, and tags everything automatically.

    As a player, I still use WinAmp as I like to have the smallest player possible on my screen and the ability to have skins makes it versatile. As far as audio quality is concerned, with FLAC, it's not an issue.
    SixtiesGuy likes this.
  10. PhilBiker

    PhilBiker member number 666

    Northern VA, USA
    I use a combination of EAC, AccurateRip, LAME, and MP3Tag to manage and rip. Very happy with the results but it would be nice if I didn't need a convoluted solution with so many moving parts.
    Doug_B and SixtiesGuy like this.
  11. Claude Benshaul

    Claude Benshaul Forum Resident

    My experience with WMP has always been disastrous. The media collection DB is a joke, either duplicating records, or dumping them into a various/unknown category and after investing too much of my time on sorting and re-cataloging my collection I was often confronted with WMP deciding to forget all the information that I keyed in manually.

    Now I use EAC if I have to rip a CD, it's not the most modern application but it does exactly what it's supposed to do. For playing and cataloging I use J-River media center, which is not free, but I can't bother with foobar2000 and J-River has never crapped on me since I started using it at ver 15.
    PhilBiker and SixtiesGuy like this.
  12. Tim S

    Tim S Forum Resident

    East Tennessee
    Yes, move on. WMP is a relic, and has always been a POS.
    sunspot42, mj_patrick and PhilBiker like this.
  13. Rat44

    Rat44 Forum Resident

    I also use dbpoweramp to rip my cds amd JRMC to play them back.
  14. R. Totale

    R. Totale The Voice of Reason

    WiMP 6 or so came on my XP PC when I bought it. I never upgraded or looked at it. I just got a new phone and for some reason it refused to connect to the PC to transfer files unless I "upgraded" to WMP11 so I did. I hope not to look at this one either. There are better free programs to do everything it does that I use.
  15. Diskhound

    Diskhound Forum Resident

    IMO, there is nothing terribly wrong with WMP. People trash it all the time but my experience for the past 15 years has been very good. I have 1600 + discs ripped to WMA lossless and very nicely managed using it. They sound awesome. The truth is that too many discs have terrible authoring. That could be the issue here with this Collectors Choice disc.
    PhilBiker likes this.
  16. Carl Swanson

    Carl Swanson Resident blabbermouth

    It stopped annoying me when I stopped using it and turned it off in Windows features. Out of sight, out of mind.
  17. qwerty

    qwerty A resident of the SH Forums.

    I disliked Windows Media Player when i used Windows 3.1. I've never used it for anything more than playing media, but have always disliked it. I understand why Microsoft includes utilities with Windows, but I don't understand why they don't develop them into usable products. I'm not suggesting that they compete head-on with the market leaders, but I don't think it's unreasonable that they should have good interfaces with the functionality of doing what most people would need them to do, and to do that well.

    To pick up on the Paint analogy, Paint has always been useless, and I can't see any point for them to continue to include it. Several years ago Microsoft developed a replacement paint program which appeared to be an excellent entry-level product - and definitely usable. For some reason they dropped the development just before it was of releasable quality. Some copies circulate, I can't recall the name of it. I would love them to fix WMP.
    Grant likes this.
  18. sunspot42

    sunspot42 Forum Resident

    San Francisco
    Exact Audio Copy for ripping. MediaMonkey for library management.
    Grant likes this.
  19. BradOlson

    BradOlson Country/Christian Music Maven

    Paint in Windows 10 has been replaced with Paint 3D with an interface that is even worse than the original Paint. I have Adobe Photoshop CS3 installed.
    Grant and sunspot42 like this.
  20. onlyconnect

    onlyconnect The prose and the passion

    Winchester, UK
    I rather like Paint. Simple, fast, always available, always works. Like Notepad.

    Not defending WMP though!

    PhilBiker likes this.
  21. onlyconnect

    onlyconnect The prose and the passion

    Winchester, UK

    Still around Paint.NET - Free Software for Digital Photo Editing ยป

    Obviously far superior features but for a quick crop and resize I use Paint :)

    qwerty likes this.
  22. marcob1963

    marcob1963 Forum Resident

    There is some good free rippers mentioned already. For playback I suggest Foobar2000 which is Freeware, don't use Windows Media Player.
    Grant likes this.
  23. Grant

    Grant A Musical Free-Spirit

    I've never had an issue ripping with WMP, but that was only on a rare occasion with the Vista laptop when I was away from home visiting someone.

    For my ripping needs, I use dbPoweramp. Install that and leave WMP behind.

    WMP is OK for watching video files I have on my hard drive, but it tends to crash if I open too many, and chokes on some files.
  24. mj_patrick

    mj_patrick Forum Resident

    Elkhart, IN, USA
    I seem to remember Windows Media Player resizing all my high resolution album artwork marked "folder.jpg" down to 200px x 200px without asking me. It was set up to do that by default.

    That was 2001 or 2002. I haven't used it since then.
    sunspot42 and PhilBiker like this.
  25. Aerobat

    Aerobat Well-Known Member

    My CD collection is small, but growing due to dollar CD bins. I haven't had a problem with WMP but may have to look at the suggestions above.

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