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I'm having weird issues with the media keys (play/pause, previous, next, etc.) on a new Acer Aspire laptop. This is the first Acer I've owned and also my first Windows 7 computer, so I'm not sure whether the behavior is a result of some hidden Acer process that I haven't rooted out yet, or some Windows 7 option that I'm not aware of, or something else.

I'm experiencing two issues that I suspect are related. Both problems are intermittent but happen more often than not. The media player I'm using is Winamp. I'm pretty sure I've had the same problem when using other media players, but when I tried to verify that before posting this, I only had the problems with Winamp. Because the problems are intermittent, I'm not sure if that's significant.

1) When I press the Play/Pause media key, in addition to playing or pausing the media player, it brings up a little menu in the center of the screen that lists my removable drives (CD/DVD, USB drives, etc.). To make the menu go away I have to either click away from it or hit Escape. Selecting a drive on the menu doesn't seem to do anything.

2) When I press the Previous or Next media keys, it skips 2+ tracks instead of just one (the exact number seems to vary).

I've poked around all the control panel options that I can find, and looked through all the utilities that came with the computer with no luck. There's nothing that I can find in the (very slim) documentation, either. I have a hunch that the problem is caused by whatever utility manages global hotkeys, but I haven't found any way to configure that.

Any guidance would be greatly appreciated.

UPDATE: It looks like Winamp was the culprit. I did have the problem when using other media players, but when I uninstalled Winamp, the problem went away. I'd like to use Winamp, but I can survive with other players.

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What is the model number of your Aspire? Generally manufactured computers will come with a utility preloaded that adds media key functionality, I have seen this interact with programs like iTunes and Winamp and "double up" sometimes, i.e. your NextTrack is actually an action being received by Winamp AND the built-in utility - hence skipping twice. –  DavidChenware Aug 27 '11 at 7:39
It's a 5750-6589. It does have a media key utility. As far as I was able to determine, it wasn't a case of both programs trying to skip ahead, since if I disabled the utility or disabled Winamp's media key support the media keys would stop working altogether. –  Morgan May Sep 4 '11 at 19:04

2 Answers 2

up vote 4 down vote accepted

I found the solution to both problems. Install AutoHotkey and set to autorun next script:

Media_Next Up::
Send {Media_Next}

Media_Prev Up::
Send {Media_Prev}

Media_Play_Pause Up::
Send {Media_Play_Pause}

Media_Stop Up::
Send {Media_Stop}
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It may be worth looking on the Acer Downloads page ( for an updated media key utility. It should be named in a non cryptic manner.

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As far as I can tell the utility is up to date. It actually appears to be a slightly newer version than is listed on their site. –  Morgan May Sep 4 '11 at 19:12

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