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All posts tagged "Windows Media Player 11"


Friday, October 17, 2008

I've Got CPU Cores to Spare...Why Won't Somebody Use 'Em Smarter?

Posted by Jason Dunn in "Digital Home Talk" @ 03:39 PM

I was synchronizing music over to my SanDisk Sansa Clip today, and I configured Windows Media Player 11 to transcode the music to 128 kbps WMA files from the original 256 to 320 kbps music files. 128 kbps WMA files still sound pretty good for rock/pop music, and at the gym sound fidelity isn't quite as critical as is it at home. What surprised me was how poorly the Windows Media Encoder used my multiple cores. It did better than some programs because it was using two cores to transcode a single MP3 file, but what it should have been doing is multi-threaded encoding, where one core is assigned the task of transcoding one file, and have all four CPU cores transcoding the audio. Just like using FTP to download a bunch of files, even if you have restricted bandwidth or CPU cycles, efficiencies can be gained by processing multiple files in parallel.


Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Windows Home Server Music Sputtering Issue

Posted by Jason Dunn in "Digital Home Talk" @ 11:00 PM

This likely doesn't impact many of you, but I wanted to share it anyway: if you're using Windows Home Server on a machine that you built yourself, you may have encountered an issue where listening to music using Windows Media Player 11 results in random pausing in the music - and it's inconsistent enough to make it really hard to track down. I've been running Windows Home Server for almost a year now, and quite like it, but that one issue was irritating enough to force me to stop using it for media streaming (it was causing frustration for my wife). There have been some very long discussion threads about it in the WHS forums, but the WHS team has thus far been unable to track it down. It seems to be isolated to home-built WHS boxes, not the commercial packages from HP and others. My "work around" was to use Foldershare to copy all 80 GB of my music from my media computer (not the WHS) to my wife's computer, and use Windows Media Player 11 to play it all locally. Talk about an ugly kludge!

Two weeks ago, I decided to switch my wife over to the Zune software for listening to music (more on that topic later from me), and guess what? Playing directly off the shared WHS drive, I saw zero problems - I've streamed music off it day after day, on multiple systems, and never had a problem with the music pausing. I don't know how or why this is, but it works and I'm suddenly much happier with my Windows Home Server.


Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Grahm Skee vs. Windows Media Player 11: FIGHT!

Posted by Jason Dunn in "Digital Home Talk" @ 01:30 PM

http://www.anythingbutipod.com/arch...am-adoption.php

"Let’s face it, Windows Media Player is a dog- its slow, fails to play anything outside of a few major codecs, and it fails to extend its usefulness to portable devices. Microsoft’s own Zune media player even outperforms WMP in many aspects, only failing at more of the hardcore features such as library organization and tag editing. Ditching the WMP code and building on top of the Zune software or opening the Zune software up to all all MP3 players would be an ideal approach, but I doubt either will happen. So instead here are 3 extremely critical aspects WMP need in order to be a viable media player for the masses."



Grahm Skee from anythingbutipod hits upon some very critical points on what's wrong with Windows Media Player 11. The title of his post is a bit peculiar, because Windows Media Player is certainly a mainstream application (anything that ships with Windows qualifies for that title), but he's dead on with the problems that Windows Media Player 11 has. After the break you'll find my quickly-brainstormed list of what needs fixing. Read more...


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