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mp3 files wont play, but used to. no virus.

Discussion in 'Software' started by richardharveyhowells, Sep 2, 2009.

  1. richardharveyhowells

    richardharveyhowells Private E-2

    This is a bit of a phantom problem sorry, but mp3 files that i used to play merrily on wmplayer now show:
    "Windows Media Player cannot play the file. The Player might not support the file type or might not support the codec that was used to compress the file."
    This message was never shown before and the files played quite fine for the first few months I had them. They aren't dodgy downloads or anything, and i have done a full comp scan using the latest (and regularly updated) version of Bullguard.
    I thought it might be something to do with the files being written to a CD, and that that action might cause them to be reformatted, but the file is still "Welcome To The Machine.mp3" and so doesn't play.
    any further questions about the problem don't hesitate to ask, and i can send a sample of a 'dead' mp3 file if need be?

    thanks allot for your help, I'm probably just doing something reeaaaly stupid.

    Richard. x
  2. DavidGP

    DavidGP MajorGeeks Forum Administrator - Grand Pooh-Bah Staff Member

    Hi Richard

    Try this for me a quick option, right click one of the MP3s and then choose Open With, then choose WMP and make sure the allways open with box at the bottom is ticked, does that help open them ok?

    What Windows version ?
    Have you installed any CODEC packs and if so what ones?
  3. MoPaR

    MoPaR Private First Class

    Check in the WMP options and make sure the Download Codecs Automatically is UNCHECKED, I have had that cause many codec problems in the past.
  4. richardharveyhowells

    richardharveyhowells Private E-2

    they always open with wmp (latest version, with every codec available) and there is always a problem, have also tried itunes, Power DVD, Cyberlink something or other, quicktime, mozilla firefox (as a web page) and media centre and i had no luck.

    and in answer to your other question i have windows xp media centre edition with all the latest updates too.

    cheers. x
  5. nobonic

    nobonic Private E-2

    Are any audio devices listed under speaker in WMP?

    Came across an odd problem at work.

    Same thing as you have, plus WMP addin in IE would not work. Even something as simple as the sample wma file provided by Microsoft.

    I noticed something on one machine where this problem exists for one user's profile and not for another.

    Since we have been having problems with sound cards on these type machines, and are removing them to use onboard sound, I took a look at the sound settings.

    Lo behold, "tools/options/devices/speaker/properties" in WMP showed some audio devices listed there for the working user, but none for the non-working user.

    Checking the other workstations with this problem gave the same results.

    Using regmon from SysInternals, I checked what registry keys might be accessed by WMP when I selected "tools/options/devices/speaker/properties".

    Turns out the audio device information is kept at: "HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\ActiveMovie\devenum". Audio info was missing for the non-working user but present for the working one.

    I manually added the info and voila, it worked.

    ActiveMovie. Who'da thunk?

    Hope this helped

  6. richardharveyhowells

    richardharveyhowells Private E-2

    my problem is nothing like that sorry, because media player and all the others listed below can play about 70% or my songs, but the other 30% dont play and show the message i posted.

    the troubling thing is that more and more files are beginning to stop working, and as i say i have scanned newly broken files separately and performed a full scan of the comp with the latest bullguard with updates and no malware!

    thanks your your help anyway steve! :)
  7. ~Q~

    ~Q~ Command Sergeant Major

  8. richardharveyhowells

    richardharveyhowells Private E-2

    i tried Mr.Question man and files that are broken "could not be scanned" and come up as being 0kb/s etc.

    i do have a ipod classic with a silly capacity, and i synchronised it with my computer before these issued arose and so would it be worth just using that as a backup and deleting songs off my computer that don't work any more?

    cheers for all the help guys!

  9. richardharveyhowells

    richardharveyhowells Private E-2

    i have attached two files for anybody to use if they wish, one is a mp3 (zipped) that used to work but now doesn't and the other is the text file virus scan log from bullguard.

    i hope this helps anybody who is lovely enough to help me :)

    once again, thanks allot!

    Attached Files:

  10. ~Q~

    ~Q~ Command Sergeant Major

    Hi richard, i would not just back up YET, as you really need to find why this has happened, before you go any further!

    That song wont play for me either btw...

    This is very puzzling i must say, i'll get to you later :|

  11. satrow

    satrow Major Geek Extraordinaire

    Umm, an mp3 of Freebird at 9.4kb zipped ... ?!

    MP3's are compressed, Freebird is like 11+ minutes long, at a very high compression, it would be around 12Mb, compressing it in a zip file wouldn't reduce that by more than a few percent, if at all.

    Virustotal result
    That's a very strange file, I've opened it in Notepad and I haven't found any data yet - corruption? But by what - bad codec, infection ... ?
  12. ~Q~

    ~Q~ Command Sergeant Major

    I agree satrow, a very strange file indeed....

    9.4kb zipped to 9.27MB extracted is impossible for any lossy format.

    If the files definitely used to be ok, then it has to be malware i reckon...


    Richard, Does your computer have any other issues at all?

  13. satrow

    satrow Major Geek Extraordinaire

    It may only be a post-malware cleaned file that we are now seeing; Richard needs to head towards the malware forum and do a lot of reading and running, methinks.
  14. gvm

    gvm Private E-2


    I have had exactly the same problem with Windows Media Player 10.

    The problem seems to be a Microsoft security update issued in August 2009 (see here: http://www.microsoft.com/technet/security/bulletin/ms09-037.mspx and here: http://support.microsoft.com/kb/973540). According to the description, it fixes a serious bug, so it seems like a "good thing".

    Unfortunately, an undocumented side-effect is that some MP3s won't play any longer.

    As far as I can tell, based on just playing around with a few files, the problem seems to be linked to the "length" ID3 tag. This is a tag that is inserted by some software to indicate the length of the track (in milliseconds). If you remove this "length" tag from the file, it should be playable again.

    It could be that Media Player doesn't like files that have what it considers to be an incorrect "length" tag, but I haven't found any values that it is prepared to tolerate.

    This seems to be a bug in Microsoft's update (if they don't want to support this field for some reason, the value should be ignored; the file should still play).

    So, the answer is to remove (or re-name) this tag - or you could just wait for Microsoft to fix Media Player...


  15. gvm

    gvm Private E-2

    Hello again,

    Just to clarify - what I'm talking about here is just an ordinary ID tag called "Length", not to be confused with the length values that are calculated by or read from timestamps by the player or ID3 editor. Obviously, these can't be removed because they're just a property of the file.

    If you remove this "Length" ID3 tag from the file, it should be playable again. Removing this doesn't affect WMP's ability to display the track length (it could conceivably affect other players, but I'd be surprised).

    It's always possible that there are other tag names that WMP has also taken a sudden dislike to, so if deleting "Length" doesn't work for you, try deleting all tags. If that works, then it's just a process of elimination to find out which ones trigger the problem.


  16. richardharveyhowells

    richardharveyhowells Private E-2

    Thanks allot guys, i never really looked to see if zipping the file made any difference, but there we go...
    and it is definitly not malware, i save every log of every scan and fix i do will bullguard and 2 music filed have been touched and they were then deleted using File Shredder, so dont exist any longer, no other files were corrupted at all so it cant be that

    however the ID tag sounds like the sort of thing that would happen, i will try that, but how do i find these tags?

    thanks for all the help guys!

  17. richardharveyhowells

    richardharveyhowells Private E-2

    hello, i was just wandering if you had looked at the files. i think it might have either been them breaking in writing them to a CD using media player, it could have corrupted the files, or something to do with itunes?

    could you please help?



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