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I'm listening to my music with Winamp (Windows Vista and Windows 7). When I copy files from an external USB memory stick to an external USB hard drive, the music begins to stumble, halts for a short time, then again begins to stumble, the music is not recognizable any more as such.

The music is on an external USB drive, too. All devices are USB 2.0, so I know, it should be no problem to copy files while listening to music. But it is.

I have this problem on two different Notebooks (one from ASUS, the other from HP).

What can I do?

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up vote 4 down vote accepted

To solve this specific problem you can set Winamp to buffer the complete audio file for playback. The setting is somewhere in the settings dialog for the MP3 decoder, iirc.

As for your general problem: Keep in mind that USB 2 is awfully slow for mass storage devices nowadays. You get around 30 MiB/s over USB 2 while modern hard drives are able to exceed that easily. Furthermore USB is pretty CPU-taxing as the controller is (by design) very cheap (contrary to FireWire, for example, which supports this in hardware). This may not be much of an issue nowadays but may be on netbooks.

But I think the main reason you see stuttering is that you're exhausting the bandwidth and Winamp just can't read the audio file fast enough while you're copying.

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This helps, thank you. But as it seams, my problem is much bigger than I thought before. All data transfer from external USB to external USB is very slow, and the PC is stalling. – Martin Jan 6 '10 at 9:02

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