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Looks like Windows 8 hijacks the ►❚❚ media key: when I press this key, it goes directly to the default system media player.

For example, if I have WMP running, it handles the Play/Pause key even when it is not focused, ignoring the currently active program. If I don't have WMP running, the Play/Pause key is simply ignored in other applications!

This answer shows that you can change the program to which all the ►❚❚ keystrokes go by assigning it as a default media player.

But is there a way to disable this feature completely?

At first I thought that windows explorer registers a hotkey, but I can successfully call RegisterHotKey with VK_MEDIA_PLAY_PAUSE: it does not return any error code. This means it was not registered as a hotkey before. But my application still doesn't receive any input events on it.

Ideally, I would like to revert it to the pre-Win8 behaviour: so that any focused application would receive it, unless it is registered as a hotkey by some other application - then it should go to that application.

Is there a setting for this?


How to reproduce: go to pleer.com and start playing any song. Then press the ►❚❚ media key on your keyboard while the browser is focused. Pre-Win8 it worked: the music paused. It no longer works for me on Windows 8.

  • There is no such behavior in Vanilla Windows 8.1. Do you perhaps have a third-party keyboard driver installed? – Daniel B Jan 8 '16 at 7:40
  • Also, what browser are you using? – Daniel B Jan 8 '16 at 7:47
  • @DanielB are you saying it works for you on Windows 8.1? I see this behaviour on several different PCs with different keyboards. No additional drivers installed. Browser is FF43, but this is irrelevant, since it doesn't work in any other application as well. – torvin Jan 8 '16 at 8:19
  • Oh yes, it most definitely works. I'm using a portable foobar2000 installation which isn't registered anywhere. Firefox reacts to the "Play/Pause" key in a way that isn't compatible with this website - the keyCode is 0. Try Chrome. – Daniel B Jan 8 '16 at 9:04
  • @DanielB I think you are right. I just tried registering the hotkey on my home computer with Win8.1 and it worked. Looks like the problem is not with Win8 itself. I'll inspect the troubled installations more closely. Thanks again! If you post the answer, I'll accept it. – torvin Jan 8 '16 at 9:20
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I use a portable foobar2000 installation (meaning no registration/integration whatsoever) with multimedia keys on Windows 8.1, so there’s definitely no such behavior. Even worse: When multiple players are open, sometimes all of them catch the key.

The website you’re trying to control listens for key code 179 (nano.js, line 5123). However, when Firefox reports the “Play/pause” key event to the page, it reports key code 0 and uses a special name instead. Chrome reports the event with code 179, so it’ll probably work there.

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