WMP 12 toxic to certain MP3 files

WMP 12 toxic to certain MP3 files

Summary: A cautionary note to those using Windows beta 1 build 7000.


A cautionary note to those using Windows beta 1 build 7000:

Several reports from users using the latest leaked build of Windows 7 indicate a potential data corruption issue using Microsoft's Windows Media Player 12.

Windows 7 beta 1 build 7000 leaked over the Christmas holidays and a Microsoft spokesperson has confirmed that there is a bug which affects the leaked build. Approximately 2-3 seconds will get shaved off the beginning of MP3s if you have set your Windows Media Player 12 settings to retrieve information from the internet and update files. The default configuration for WMP12 sets this if you use the "express" option during setup.

The problem seems confined to MP3 files that have variable bitrate. Quite a nasty bug since it quietly damages files, but that's beta software for you.

Topics: Windows, Hardware, Microsoft, Mobility, Operating Systems, Software

Kick off your day with ZDNet's daily email newsletter. It's the freshest tech news and opinion, served hot. Get it.


Log in or register to join the discussion
  • It's a leaked beta ...

    Frankly, I'm surprised it's not worse. So far it runs pretty solid on our test-lab's rig.

    • Yeah..

      Yeah, it's definently running better than the Vista betas or RCs. To be expected, really, since this is Vista "reloaded". I hope they can fix whatever problems they have with it by the time it hits the market, and not one year later like it was the case with Vista.
  • What do I think?

    It is foolish to acquire software from unauthorized sources and use or test it. There is absolutely no assurance the bits are "genuine" and "uncompromised".
    • Irony is

      that even from your genuine sources you can't be sure it isn't compromised either!

      [url=http://www.securityfocus.com/news/480]Oops #1![/url]
      [url=http://www.dgl.com/dglinfo/1996/dg961023.html]Oops #2![/url]
      [url=http://www.theregister.co.uk/2001/04/25/microsoft_security_fixes_infected/]Oops #3![/url]

      3 strikes you're out! LOL so much for "genuine". More like genuine hassle to run Windows! ]:)
      Linux User 147560
      • Wazzu

        I remember the Wazzu "virus", actually a Word Template Macro.
    • Re: What do I think:

      Foolish to use it as the primary OS, yes. Not foolish to install it on a different partition or HDD to [b]test[/b] it...
    • Well, it is cause for concern.

      Why is any piece of software auto-updating libraries of existing media? Are there other unobvious setting where MS decides to update .doc files, or .ppt files, or other things in your static, nicely laid out archives only to find out, someday, that MS put in a proprietary tag making them fail on your Ubuntu box, or screw up your iPod album art or something?

      I am not saying that finding the information is bad, but the default to write it without notification is not kosher.

    • So foolish, in fact

      That other than those pesky SHA-1 digits, which you can compare directly against numbers that were posted on *MSDN itself* when the "leaked" build was posted there briefly last month, there's absolutely no way to tell if what you downloaded is "genuine" or "uncompromised."

  • Nasty bug...

    Just the other day I was listening to my music collection on my Win 7 installation... crap :-P

    Also, WMP didn't work with some video files I had, even after I installed codecs. Had to install VLC, which doesn't work quite right in Win 7. Yeah, it's beta software alright.
  • Betas

    Well, you know, betas are "beta"s for a reason. And "leaked beta"s? I'll let you sort that one out for yourself...
  • That's the new DRM... it's a FEATURE

    They just haven't quite been able to get it to target only pirated music yet...
    • MP3s do not have DRM intaglements (NT)

      • Not in and of itself.

        But the tags, and extended tags exist that most people don't know about. Look at the detailed tags filled in with an Amazon MP3 purchase. A lot of personal data is enclosed. Using this, any technology could be used to deduce suspected content, or check online VS the owner of the computer, etc.

        I have no idea if MS or Windows does this, but people should be aware that MP3s can usually be traced back to the purchaser because they only see the title and artist tags.

        Amazon populates the Comment tag with a SongID, the Copyright tag is filled in. There is also the encoded by tag. I would assume that anything encoded with "lame" could set off alarm bells. :D

        • re: Not in and of itself.

          [i]I would assume that anything encoded with "lame" could set off alarm bells.[/i]

          If you're using lame you probably know how to edit those tags.

          none none
        • Those tags...

          could not be counted on for use with DRM, because they are user changeable. Also inconsistent, just not possible for use.
        • tags and extended tags

          How do you read the extended tags?

          I suppose you mean there's more data there than what Monkey's Audio will let you see.

          So what program will let me see, and hopefully, edit said data, if I ever need to edit it.

  • So what happens if the file is read-only?

    Does the new WMP corrupt *read-only* MP3 files in a writable medium? Now *that* would be a bug of a different color. If so, the workaround then, assuming that the new WMP will even play a file it detects it can't write to, would be to burn files you don't want ruined to R-O CD first.
    • Or OR....

      just wait for a patch :)
      • It is a concern.

        If it does it in this area, who knows where else it decides to auto-update your files? What happens if it breaks again. I have a huge archive of content on my computer, I back it up on regular intervals, on USB. If I don't catch the "problem" and archive it, when did it happen? What am I freshly writing, etc.

        No, auto-update of media is something MS would do well to just remove. Enforce an acknowldegement by the user, or other notification mechanism, etc. See, as these people found out, if it is software, it will have bugs. Even the released golden Windows 7, there is a fail path that will cause corruption. Just some pie in the sky examples.
        1) Power loss during mass update
        2) Suspend computer while WMP wants to do it's thing.
        3) Shutting down WMP while it wants to do it's thing.

        I work in system test, always have, and bad ideas are bad ideas, no matter how valiantly you try to test and this appears to be one of them.

  • Beta is as Beta does...

    File this one under "well duh!"