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Windows 7: some sound files do not play with some music players only under win 7

23 Sep 2014   #1

Windows 7 Home Premium 64 bit
some sound files do not play with some music players only under win 7

Here is a tough one for the audio gurus out there.

I have been recording lectures on my phone for years using a program called Easy Voice Recorder. It records in wav format. I transfer the files to my PC and convert them to smaller mp3's, which I typically play with winamp. I could of course also play the original wav files with my default player for those, windows media player (WMP).

This worked fine under winXP. A few months ago I converted to win 7. Now, when I play the wav files in WMP, the progress indicator moves along, but there is no sound. When I play the converted mp3's in winamp, the graphical level indicators bounce up and down, and progress indicator moves along, but there is no sound.

Before you tell me to turn up the volume, or turn on the speakers, or to select the right output device, note that when I play wav files from another source in WMP, there is sound. And when I play other mp3's in winamp, there is sound as well on win 7.

Furthermore, when I play the recorded wav files or mp3's with VLC, they do play and produce sound under Win 7. When I play the mp3's with another editing program called mp3 direct cut, they also play fine and produce sound under win 7.

Furthermore, when I play the same wav and mp3 files on another older machine still running XP, they still play and produce sound there as well.

So the problem is very specific - that recordings made with this software (Easy Voice Recorder), played with these players (WMP, winamp), on this system (win 7) appear as if they are playing, but there is no sound.

[The recording program is set to record at 16 KHz, with 16-bit PCM. I tried reducing that to 8 bit, but it made no difference. Also, the setting "use audio MIME types" is selected. Unselecting it also has no effect.]

What could this be?

Thank you in advance.

My System SpecsSystem Spec
23 Sep 2014   #2

Windows 10 64 bit

16 bit, 16Khz is not a valid Windows format from what I see. 16 bit 44.1Khz is the lowest wav format (this is "CD" quality). I looked at my RealTek and that was the lowest I could go.

Possibly this is the problem?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
23 Sep 2014   #3

Windows 7 Home Premium 64 bit

I wonder does not being a setting on RealTek (your audio chip I guess) mean that it is not a valid wav format? If it is not a valid format, then why would this Easy Voice Recorder app offer it, and how does VLC play it and produce sound on both Win7 & XP?
And why does winamp appear to play the mp3, with the level indicators bouncing up and down, but while producing no sound on Win7?

And if it is invalid, why does the wav file play in WMP on XP (as well as the converted mp3 in winamp on XP)?
My System SpecsSystem Spec

23 Sep 2014   #4

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bits 7601 Multiprocessor Free Service Pack 1

Please post a "not playing" mp3 file.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
23 Sep 2014   #5

Windows 7 Home Premium 64 bit

Yup, here it is.
The uploader would not let me upload an mp3 so I had to zip it.

Attached Files
File Type: zip (149.0 KB, 2 views)
My System SpecsSystem Spec
23 Sep 2014   #6

Windows 10 64 bit

The MP3 file plays on my WMP and on my audio editor (Goldwave).

I would guess when you "converted to Win 7", something (codecs ??) was not installed with the Win 7 installation.
My Windows 7 does not have any extra codecs (for regular Windows operation), which points back to a bad Windows 7 install.

However, installing a "codec pack" may take care of the problem. There are several available including the "K Lite" codec pack. Codec Guide: K-Lite Codec Pack - For XP, Vista, Windows 7 and 8
My System SpecsSystem Spec
23 Sep 2014   #7

Windows 7 Home Premium 64 bit

I did a "clean install" of W7 on an existing XP system. At the time, I did not know to disconnect all of the other drives (3) when doing so, so it installed the boot files elsewhere and it was quite a messy puzzle to get it sorted out. But it was sorted out, and now the system is running fairly cleanly, touch wood. I have so far not detected anything else missing.

If I install the K-lite codecs, can I uninstall them painlessly if necessary?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
23 Sep 2014   #8

Windows 10 64 bit

I don't know if they have an uninstall feature. Create a System Restore point first and then install them. If they don't fix your problem, you can do a System Restore using the Restore point you created.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
10 Oct 2014   #9

Windows 7 Home Premium 64 bit

Thank you for your response and sorry for the delay.

I installed the K-Lite standard package, and it makes no difference. It does not appear to help, nor so far to hinder playback.

Also, in response to the idea posited above that the mp3 file format is non-standard, I have found the same problem (does not play in winamp nor in WMP, but does play in VLC and mp3directcut) in an mp3 that I received from another source today. I don't know the parameters of its creation (other than the bit rate of 64k bps), but I know that files from that source also used to play fine in wmp and winamp on my previous XP system. This file is sent to hundreds of people, so if the problem was that it was non-standard, many people would be unable to play it and the complaints would be flying.

The bizarre thing is that even in winamp and WMP the progress indicator in the player moves along, and the output level meters jump up and down as if there is sound being produced. If the player could not decode the file for want of the correct codec, I would not expect that to be happening.

Note that all of these media files do play correctly in VLC and in mp3directcut, but not in WMP nor in winamp. Under my previous XP system files from the same source(s) used to play correctly in all 4.

My regular music mp3's continue to play correctly in all 4 players under W7.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
10 Oct 2014   #10

Windows 7 Home Premium 64 bit

Aha - I solved the problem - sort of.

I was playing around in windows Sound settings. I had been through there several times before.
This time I selected the speakers, and then Configuration. The system has 2.1 stereo speakers and stereo speakers was selected. Correct, you would think.
But I selected Quadraphonic anyway just to try it. Then I selected "test".
That's when I got my surprise. A popup said something to the effect (from my memory) of: "The speakers are in use by another program, by continuing with this test that program could stop working."
Well that's interesting, because checking through the programs open, nothing was open that produced audio. I had closed all of the media players. And the speakers were on, so if something else (my browser, for example) was producing sound, I should have heard it.

So I proceeded anyway to see what would break, and it ran its test, for which I heard sound in the front speakers, and nothing when the rear speakers were being tested. Nothing broke or appeared to stop working.
I reset the selection to Stereo, and continued to the next step.

There I selected Full-range speakers for Front left and right, Next, Finish.

That's it. The settings were in exactly the same position as they were before. But now the audio from the recordings is playing through both winamp and WMP.

So - what was the mystery program "using" the other two rear speakers?
And was the non-playing mp3 recording being played through the rear speakers for some reason, while the Sound settings already specified that there were only stereo speakers?

Shall I roll back the system to uninstall the K-Lite codecs to avoid system clutter?
My System SpecsSystem Spec

 some sound files do not play with some music players only under win 7

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