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Is there a way to prevent Windows Media Player from connecting to the internet and MS using the hosts file or other methods?

Edit: (Nov 20 2009 at 19:16)
I have both VLC and MPC and I do use them. However I am currently using WMP to organize all my music and I hate that WMP is always making outgoing connections. I just tried TCPView and can't believe how many connections WMP makes when you first launch it. I have even disabled everything in its options that relates to connecting to internet.

Could any of you recommend a good media player thats also good for organizing your music library like WMP, and doesnt connect to the internet? Preferably one that a WMP user would actually like as much as WMP. The reason I use WMP is because I like its interface, the way its setup and how it looks.

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3 Answers 3

If you do not want Windows Media Player to access the Internet:

1. On the File menu, click Work Offline.

Note: A number of features of Windows Media Player are unavailable when working offline, such as the Media Guide, Radio Tuner, playback of streaming media, and gathering related media information for your content. This setting is made through Internet Explorer and will therefore affect other software that may be using Internet Explorer to access the Internet such as Microsoft Outlook and 3rd party applications.

2. In Windows Media Player go Tools|Options|Privacy and uncheck EVERY checkbox. This will at least keep Media Player from suggesting things.

Then, go to your c:\windows\system32\drivers\etc and open the file called "HOSTS" in notepad. Add these lines at the very end:

127.0.0.1  windowsmedia.com
127.0.0.1  services1.windowsmedia.com
127.0.0.1  www.windowsmedia.com

3. Use a software firewall to block internet access for WMP

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I know it may not be what you want to hear.. but the best solution for misbehaving programs is often to not use them. Have you tried Media Player Classic?

A software firewall can help, look for one that can block outgoing (instead of just incoming) connections. Programs still try to connect with this solution, however, and may not work.

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Way back when I did exactly this (and for Real Media player, and QuickTime Player too). I ran TCPView, open up WMP, examined which connections were opened to external sources (prior to me even playing anything) and added relevant hosts entries. I can't remember if I just used localhost/127.0.0.1 or 0.0.0.0).

I don't bother anymore, since I haven't used any of those players for a long time. I use a combo of VLC, and MPC now rather than fighting those other players' poor behaviour.

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