Tech – for Everyone

Tech Tips and Tricks & Advice – written in plain English.

Fix Windows Media Player

If you try playing a song or video clip with Windows Media Player, and encounter an “unknown error” or “file corrupted” error on a file you know should play (because you have played it before),  a file WMP needs to function may have been inadvertently damaged. These steps can cure the ‘glitch’, and get your music playing again.

1) Reboot (aka “restart”) your computer.
Folks, this is almost always your first troubleshooting step. Rebooting your machine “clears” it’s memory and refreshes its settings — which is why a ‘reboot’ cures 9 out of 10 computer “problems”.

Didn’t work? Let’s tell Windows to repair itself.

2) Use the System File Checker tool to repair missing or corrupted system files on Windows Vista or on Windows 7. Follow these steps:

  1. Open an elevated command prompt. To do this, click Start, click All Programs, click Accessories, right-click Command Prompt, and then click Run as administrator. If you are prompted for an administrator password or for a confirmation, type the password, or click Allow.
  2. Type the following command, and then press ENTER: sfc /scannow. (Yes, there is a space between the “c” and the “/”.)
  3. You will (probably) see a message stating that you need to restart your computer for the tool to run. Save and Close any work, and then reboot.

When the file checker is running, you will see a black screen with white lettering telling you the progress. The sfc tool can take a while to complete, a half hour or more.

The sfc /scannow command scans all protected system files and replaces incorrect versions with correct Microsoft versions. This should restore your ability to play your media files.
If not, you may next want to run a special “Fix It” script from Microsoft. (Click on the image below).

If those two do not get you going again, you probably have more serious issues going on, and may need to consult a pro, like me (shameless plug).

Today’s reco: The Simplest Way to Print A List of Filenames In A Folder

Have a large listing of music files, movie files, picture files, etc…?  I bet there has been the occasion that you wished there was a simple way to get a printout of those listings. There is and..” Read more..

Today’s quote:Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around.” ~ Leo Buscaglia

Copyright 2007-2011 © “Tech Paul” (Paul Eckstrom). All Rights Reserved.

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December 12, 2011 Posted by | advice, computers, digital music, digital Video, how to, Microsoft, PC, performance, software, tech, troubleshooting | , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

How To Rip Your CD’s To MP3

MP3 is the “universal” digital music format. By using this format, your music collection will likely play on any music player device, for many years yet to come.

wmp_icon The newer versions of Windows Media Player (v’s 11 and 12) come with the ability to rip (copy from CD) music to mp3 files. Many music players, including Apple’s iPod, will not play the default .wma format,  but by switching to the mp3 format, you ensure that you can listen to your music on any music-playing device.

With these easy steps, you can set Windows Media Player to always “rip” your music CD’s to mp3 files.

1) Open the Windows Media Player (WMP): Click the Start button, then All programs, and scroll down the list (Or, type WMP in the Search pane).

2) Click the downward arrow under the Rip button

3) Select More options. (It should open to the Rip Music tab.)


4) In the Format section, use the drop-down arrow to select mp3.

4a) * Optional: you can also user the “slider” to set the music Audio quality “bit rate” from lower quality+smaller file size to highest quality+larger file size.
(I have chosen “Best Quality”, as I do not have an extensive music collection, and the size of my library is not an issue for me.)

5) Now click the Apply button, and then the OK button to close out the Settings window.

That’s it. You’re done. Until you go back in and undo your changes, Windows Media Player will always copy your music CD’s to the more portable, and universal, mp3 file type.

Today’s free download: If you are on an older Windows computer, and have not yet “upgraded” your version of WMP to Windows Media Player 12, you can download it here.

Today’s quotable quote: Our greatest glory is not in never failing, but in rising up every time we fail.  ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

Copyright 2007-2011 © “Tech Paul” (Paul Eckstrom). All Rights Reserved.

>> Folks, don’t miss an article! To get Tech – for Everyone articles delivered to your e-mail Inbox, click here, or to subscribe in your RSS reader, click here. <<

May 20, 2011 Posted by | advice, computers, digital music, file system, how to, Microsoft, PC, Portable Computing, tweaks | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments