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Common Windows Media Player Errors

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Microsoft Windows Media Player is a Windows component that is shipped with various versions of Windows operating systems.

The latest Media Player version is 11, which is shipped with the Windows Vista operating system.
Additionally, you can install it on Windows XP and Windows 2003 computers.

Discussed here are a few common Windows Media Player problems and their resolution methods.

Audio Plays, Video Does Not Play

If the codec required to play a particular type of audio or video files is not installed on your computer, the following errors may be generated on the system.

”Windows Media Player cannot play the file because the required video codec is not installed on your computer."

”Windows Media Player cannot rip files; play, burn, or sync the file because a required audio codec is not installed on your computer.”

”A codec is required to play this file. To determine if this codec is available to download from the Web, click Web Help.”

To resolve this issue and prevent future problems, configure Windows Media Player 11 to automatically download updates from the Internet. To do this, perform the following steps:

  1. Go to the Tools menu and select the Options command.
  2. On the Player tab, select the Download codecs automatically check box, and then select the OK button.

Now, try to play your audio/video file again—ensure that you are connected to the Internet. If prompted, select Install to install the codec and resolve the error.

Unable to View, Add, Delete Items to Media Player Library

The database of Media Player 11 has been overhauled and made more robust.

It also includes a self repair feature that helps it automatically recover from minor problems.

However, at times, the database might get corrupt and cause the following problems on the system:

  • You cannot view, add, or delete items in the library.
  • Any media information changes done by using the Apply media information changes option are not applied and the progress indicator is not displayed on the screen.
  • You receive frequent database corrupt messages.

To resolve this problem, you will have to clear the Windows Media Player database by performing the following steps:

  1. Close the Windows Media Player 11 application.
  2. Run the following command based on your operating system.

    On Windows XP:

    Open Start menu, select Run, type %userprofile%\Local Settings\Application Data\Microsoft\Media Player, and then select the OK button.

    On Windows Vista:
    Open Start menu, select Run, type %LOCALAPPDATA%\Microsoft\Media Player, and then select the OK button.

  3. In the Media Player folder that opens, select all the files, right-click and then select the Delete command.
  4. Restart Windows Media Player and make the required changes to verify that the problem has been resolved.

Unable to Uninstall Windows Media Player Updates

If you are having a problem with Windows Media updates on your Windows XP computer, then you can uninstall them from the Control Panel. To do this, perform the following steps:

  1. Open Control Panel.
  2. Select the Add or Remove link.Select the Show Updates check box that exists in the upper part of the Add or Remove Programs window.
  3. Next, in the Currently installed programs list, locate the Windows Media Player update option.
  4. Select each option one-by-one and uninstall them by selecting the Remove button.

After you have uninstalled all Media Player updates, close the Add or Remove program window and reboot your system.

For troubleshooting PC problems and preventing Media Player and other computer errors from occurring, it is important that you perform regular preventive maintenance.

Some of the simple tasks that you can do are:
Use a registry cleaner tool to perform registry scan, repair and defrag to maintain an error-free registry.
Use antivirus and antispyware tools to ensure that your system is free from malware information, and use Disk Cleanup and Disk Defragmenter tools to maintain a problem-free optimal hard disk.

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