WMP 12 (Windows 7) won't play WRM'd WMA files

Discussion in 'Windows Media Player' started by Herb Tyson [MVP], Sep 19, 2009.

  1. I download books from my local library (using Overdrive Media
    Console)--licensed for three weeks. I can then upload them to my mp3 player,
    and they work fine. When I use the identical process in Vista, they work
    just fine.

    However, on my desktop running Windows 7, a WMP 12 window appears, and I
    quickly get:

    Windows Media Player encountered a problem while playing the file

    When I click Web Help in that window, it takes me here:


    I don't see any usable clues there. The sound card and drivers are fine. No
    yellow anywhere in the Device Manager, and no problems playing non WRM'd WMA
    files from other sources, or WMA files that I create.

    Overdrive Media Console cannot play these files in Windows 7 either, and
    neither can VLC (VLC produces a clicking noise, and Overdrive just sits
    there (when I click Play, the green play arrow returns very quickly and the
    track time does not advance)--neither gives any kind of error message

    Since files play just fine when using the identical process in Vista, I'm
    guessing that something is missing from Windows 7... but what? And how do I
    fix it?
    Herb Tyson [MVP], Sep 19, 2009
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  2. Thanks, Neil. Unfortunately, it didn't solve the problem--even after a

    A possible clue, however, is that if I try to play the files using VLC, I
    get squeaking/squawking noises as if it's trying to play the content, but
    maybe doesn't have the right kind of codec. Nothing intelligible... but it's
    perhaps more of a clue than what WMP and WMC provide (which are apparent
    misdirection--WMC suggests that the files are corrupted, which they are

    Note also that if I try to play files for which I don't have a valid license
    (e.g., the license has expired), I get a message to that effect. So, the DRM
    aspect seems to be working (at least so far as reading the licensing
    information). I'm also able to sync these files to my MP3 player--until the
    license expires... where they work just fine. So, it appears that WMP/WMC
    (as well as VLC) are missing something they need in order to process the
    content correctly. WMP/WMC don't even try--they give error message. VLC
    tries, but produces noises instead of intelligible sounds.

    I'm now wondering if maybe installing VLC overwrote something with a file
    that doesn't work in Windows 7. I wish there were a way to
    reinstalling/fix/repair WMP, but I don't see anything in the interface that
    will do that, and WMP 12 is not available for download/install (at least not
    as far as I can tell). Also... uninstalling VLC does not fix the issue.

    Herb Tyson MS MVP
    Author of the Word 2007 Bible
    Blog: http://word2007bible.herbtyson.com
    Web: http://www.herbtyson.com
    Herb Tyson [MVP], Sep 21, 2009
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  3. Herb Tyson [MVP]

    zachd [MSFT] Guest

    You mean like Turn Windows Features On or Off :: uncheck Media
    Features->Windows Media Player, reboot, turn it back on by checking that
    same checkbox?

    That's your first wish. You may or many get another. ;-)

    Windows 7: Making Wishes Come True Since 9/21. ;-)
    zachd [MSFT], Sep 22, 2009
  4. Herb Tyson [MVP]

    zachd [MSFT] Guest

    In WMP's Help:About:Technical Support Information menu tool, what Indiv
    Version/Level are you?
    zachd [MSFT], Sep 22, 2009
  5. Herb Tyson [MVP]

    zachd [MSFT] Guest

    "may or may not"
    zachd [MSFT], Sep 22, 2009
  6. 12.0.7600.16385.

    But, I managed to solve my problem... sort of. I uninstalled and reinstalled
    the sound drivers for my audio card 8 times. The very last time, the system
    said I needed to reboot. I rebooted, and the system said it couldn't load
    any audio drivers--yellow flag. I loaded them from the Device Manager, and
    it told me it needed to reboot. I did, and the audio card had a yellow flag
    again. I reloaded the drivers, and it told me I needed to reboot. Scenario
    was suspiciously similar to the previous two times. So, I decided to ignore
    the reboot instruction, and tested to see if the WMA files would play. They

    So, it's fixed, apparently... but I suspect that when I reboot, the audio
    card is going to be yellow-flagged again. So, that's why I said "sort of".

    In any case, I guess I can live with having to manually reload the drivers
    each time I boot up, since I don't have to reboot very often.

    Herb Tyson MS MVP
    Author of the Word 2007 Bible
    Blog: http://word2007bible.herbtyson.com
    Web: http://www.herbtyson.com
    Herb Tyson [MVP], Sep 22, 2009
  7. I looked and looked for that a couple of days ago, but couldn't find it.
    Funny how easy it is once you know exactly where to look. <sigh>

    I'll remember that for next time.

    Herb Tyson MS MVP
    Author of the Word 2007 Bible
    Blog: http://word2007bible.herbtyson.com
    Web: http://www.herbtyson.com
    Herb Tyson [MVP], Sep 22, 2009
  8. Herb Tyson [MVP]

    JoanlySl Guest

    JoanlySl, Mar 2, 2010
  9. Herb Tyson [MVP]

    JoanlySl Guest

    JoanlySl, Mar 2, 2010
  10. Herb Tyson [MVP]

    JoanlySl Guest

    JoanlySl, Mar 2, 2010
  11. Herb Tyson [MVP]

    JoanlySl Guest


    I see that you wrote this post a few months ago. Do you have any better
    answers yet? I am having the same problem and have exhausted all my searches
    on the net.

    JoanlySl, Mar 2, 2010
  12. Herb Tyson [MVP]

    rgalverson Guest

    Amazing. I have the same problem also. I haven't tried reinstalling audio
    drivers yet, though.
    rgalverson, Mar 18, 2010
  13. Herb Tyson [MVP]


    Oct 2, 2011
    Likes Received:
    Did anyone come up with an answer to this question?

    I'm having an impossible time with this particular issue.

    I have installed Overdrive Media Console repeatedly, as well as the Windows Media DRM Upgrade, all to no luck.

    Have uninstalled/reinstalled WMP12 using Programs and Features, to no luck.

    I do not have an Audigy soundcard, so that isn't the issue. I have no problem using it on my desktop computer which has Windows 7 64 bit installed, with WMP12.

    Thank you for any assistance
    jmk55412, Oct 2, 2011
  14. Herb Tyson [MVP]


    Oct 2, 2011
    Likes Received:
    Hi folks.

    Just found an answer on another site, and it worked for me! WMP12 now plays the test wma file, and Overdrive Media Console now plays the files that you can download from your library. Tested on audiobook, music, and video.

    The answer was to change a key in the registry. Start Menu/type regedit/hit enter. Look for this key. Change from 1 to 00000000


    After this reboot.

    Hope this helps others that have searched high and low for an answer.
    jmk55412, Oct 2, 2011
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