I am trying to configure my Windows Media Center (Windows 7 Ultimate). I selected folder with my movies and added it to the library, but when I went to the movies library, it says "There are no items in this library yet - Windows Media Center is searching for media files in the background...". I have all necessary codecs installed, Windows Media Player opens those movies correctly. When I right click on the file -> Open with -> Windows Media Center it also plays them without any problem. Any ideas why they don't appear in the libraries?


  • Movies are coded with divx and xvid codecs and they have ".avi" extension. Windows doesn't have problems playing them.

  • I told Media Center where the files are. I even pointed Windows Media Center to a folder with only one .avi file it still couldn't find anything there. (I have given it quiet some time, even though searching in the directory with only one file shouldn't take more than a few seconds.)

  • When I add a folder with a lot of movies, I get a dialog box "You can wait while media is added or select OK to continue using Windows Media Center.".                                                                        At the end it says it added about 90 movies, but when I go to the libraries, it's still empty.

  • what type of movies. I mean what file format and which codec are they encoded with? – Kelbizzle Apr 1 '10 at 14:06
  • WMC takes a long time to index stuff I have noticed. Have you given it substantial time? – mxmissile Apr 1 '10 at 16:23
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    You may wish to try Media Browser which is a 3rd party WMC plugin that is an awesome way to browse and play videos. – Catchwa Jul 27 '10 at 7:19

I'd recommend getting a plug-in to manage your Movies. I had some similar issues with a couple of formats and wanted to play ISOs thru WMC. I found this plug-in: http://www.mediabrowser.tv/ you can configure it to pull information from IMDB such as movie posters, synopsis, actors, genres, ext. Even lets you search by actor, genre, ext. Works a lot better than the built in movie library management tool. It till work out of the box with daemon tools if you have any iso's. Auto mount and auto play. Hope that helps.


I noticed one time mine didn't show .divx movies. I ended up changing the extensions to .avi and they started showing and playing in WMC.

I found this http://windows.microsoft.com/en-US/windows-vista/File-types-supported-by-Windows-Media-Center

The following table lists the video file types that are supported in Windows Media Center.

Video file types (format)

File name extensions:

Windows Media file:

.wm and .asf

Windows Media Video file:


Windows video file:


Microsoft Recorded TV Show file:


Movie file:

.mpeg, .mpg, .mpe, .m1v, .mp2, and .mpv2

  • Thanks for reply. Most of those movies have .avi extension and they still don't appear on the list. I tried to use Media Center on another machine with the same version of Windows and different movies with exactly same effect. – DrJekyll Apr 1 '10 at 14:29
  • Do you know which codec the avi's are encoded using? Just checking because I have to ask...but did you tell WMC where to find your movies? I just opened WMC on my laptop for the first time and it didn't show any of my movies. I had to tell it to look in the "dvd_rips" folder I created. – Kelbizzle Apr 1 '10 at 17:53

Have you considered using Boxee or XBMC? They are great alternatives to Media Center that in my opinion work better. I personally use XBMc and it works will every file that I've thrown at it, including .iso, .vob, and divx xvid.


What worked for me was just restarting the computer. And you're sure you're going to Video Library, not movies, right?

protected by nhinkle Feb 13 '12 at 6:24

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