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Windows 7: WMP driving me crazy!

11 Aug 2009   #1

windows 7 x64 Home Premium
WMP driving me crazy!

I've got a strange problem with WMP and my music library.

Whenever I open WMP, it begins to update itself. Its idea of an update is to make two to four copies of every song!

WMP driving me crazy!-wmp-1.png WMP driving me crazy!-wmp-2.pngWMP driving me crazy!-wmp-3.png

This began when I tried to use Live Sync to sync my laptop (Vista) with my desktop (Seven)... it would see any song with different metadata as a different song... in other words, if I played a song on one machine, it was seen as a different song because the "played count" was different. This is a known bug with Live Sync, so I uninstalled Live Sync from both computers.

Unfortunately, the problem continues! I cannot figure out why the WMP on my desktop insists on updating, and I cannot figure out where it is finding these so-called "new songs".

I have gone through the hundreds of songs and deleted (from both library and computer) all of the extra songs, and when I open WMP the next time, the songs are gone... for a minute or two. Then the update starts, and I get all of the duplicates back again.

This only happens on my Win7 machine, not on Vista. Is there any way to get it to stop?

My System SpecsSystem Spec
12 Aug 2009   #2

windows 7 x64 Home Premium

OK, I figured out what its doing. I'm still not 100% sure why its doing it, but I'll post what I uncovered in case it helps anyone else.

It is a multi part problem.

1. Somewhere along the way, I installed iTunes (probably when installing QuickTime Player). iTunes copied all my music, and renamed them for its own use (example: K:\My Music\iTunes\iTunes Music\[artist]\[album]\[track].m4a). This part makes sense... WMP thought it was a new song, so it added it to the My Music library.

2. For an unknown reason, an extra name [Amazon MP3\Various Artists] was added into the original file name. This gave me four different versions of each song. The file names looked like this:

K:\My Music\iTunes\iTunes Music\[artist]\[album]\[track].m4a
K:\My Music\Amazon MP3\Various Artists\iTunes\iTunes Music\[artist]\[album]\[track].m4a
K:\My Music\Amazon MP3\[artist]\[album]\[track].mp3
K:\My Music\Amazon MP3\Various Artists\Amazon MP3\[artist]\[album]\[track].mp3

The good news is the fix for this problem is relatively easy. After much experimentation, I came up with a procedure:

1. Dump iTunes.
2. Close and reopen WMP... it won't find the iTunes library anymore. (Two of the four songs will be gone.)
3. Sync the remaining songs to a flash drive. (For some reason, WMP's sync process recognizes them as duplicate songs, and won't copy them to the flash.)
4. Delete the entire album from your computer.
5. Empty recycling.
6. Copy the music back from the flash.
7. Delete the My Music folder from your back-up, and make a new back-up.

You'll be left with only one copy of each song. And don't sync through Windows Live Sync anymore!

I suspect that Windows Live Sync is the villain who added the extra junk to the file names, creating the first duplicates. iTunes added its bit of chaos as well. As for where WMP kept finding these duplicate songs, even after I deleted them repeatedly, I suspect it was my Acronis back-ups... I think it treats it as part of the computer, and if it finds a cloned copy with a different name, it "helpfully" copies it back to your regular data drive.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

 WMP driving me crazy!

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