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I listen to ASX streams in my browser (Chrome 12.0.742.91). When I do, the stream opens a new tab and uses the Microsoft(R) Windows Media Player Firefox Plugin (1.0.0.8).

Unfortunately, the plugin uses visualization, which doesn't really matter to me because I'm never looking at the tab.

Obnoxious visualization

The visualization uses significant system resources:

Chrome Task Manager

I've dug through the options/preferences dialogs that I could find, both for the plugin and for the full Windows Media Player application (version 12.0.7601.17514).

Google searches only seem to offer solutions that involve editing the registry or renaming/deleting DLL files, which I don't prefer as solutions because they feel primitive for something that seems like it should be a user preference.

Is it possible to disable the visualization via a user preference, perhaps hidden in some dialog that I cannot find?

If there is no end-user dialog, I'm willing to accept hackier solutions (e.g. registry edits).

How can I disable the visualization?

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Why don't you feel that editing the registry is an acceptable solution? Many (maybe all) of WM Player's options are registry driven. This enables system administrators to control things via group policy. –  squillman Jun 14 '11 at 15:16
    
@squillman - Editing the registry just seems so... primitive. For something like visualization (which uses resources and is really an end-user preference rather than a system administrator setting), it would seem logical to have an end-user interface to configure it. However, I understand that there probably isn't going to be an interface solution. I'll open up the question to accept "hackier" solutions. –  Rob Hruska Jun 14 '11 at 15:39
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1 Answer

I decided that I wasn't going to let Microsoft Windows Media Player dictate to me how I was going to experience my media playback and computer resource usage. So I've dumped it. Now I use Media Player Classic. It's a wonderfully lightweight, no nonsense media player and it's free! You can get it here: http://mpc-hc.org/

Always remember, when the software giants start screwing around with you there are always alternatives!

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