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I am running a Dell Latitude D630 with Windows 7 Ultimate installed. Windows Media Player 12 was installed by default. I am having a problem playing 32 kbps mp3 files on this player. Every 10-15 seconds of playback, there is a microsecond pause in the playing. It's not much, but I do hear it and it's annoying to hear it all through a file. I can best describe what happens as if someone pressed the pause button and right away pressed Play. It's a very very slight pause which only happens on playback of these lower bitrate files.

I have many of these 32 kbps files in my collection. Some play all right, but the majority have this micropause problem. I can, however, play higher bitrate music files with no problems in WMP 12. No pauses or glitches of any kind with these files. Audacity plays the 32 kbps files well with no pauses, so I don't think it's a hardware issue. I have the installer package for Windows Media Player 11, which will play these lower bitrate files just fine on my older computer.

I disabled Windows Media Player in the Programs and Features section of the Control Panel, deleted most files containing Windows Media Player on the hard drive, and even deleted all the registry keys related to Media Player in the Regedit program. I ran the WMP 11 installer in compatibility mode under Windows XP Service Pack 3. It will install for about a minute and a half, then the message will be shown that Windows Media Player 11 could not be installed. To modify Windows, please run the installer again. There's a web help button and a close button.

Is WMP 11 not compatible with Windows 7 Ultimate? Is there a set of codecs I could download that would force Windows Media Player 12 to play these lower bitrate files? Is there another way to install Windows Media Player 11 that I'm overlooking? I will not install any other player unless it shares Windows Media Player's audio equalizer technology. In my experience, no application does a better job of isolating the different parts of the sound spectrum (1 HZ, 62 Hz, etc.) than Windows Media Player. I appreciate any suggestions you can give me.

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I don't have much experience with WMP, so I can't comment there. I would try VLC or Foobar. VLC is aimed more at videos, but can play audio and has filters and EQ settings. Foobar will most likely give you the most freedom to do what you want, however. They both have heaps of plugins and support literally any file, but Foobar is more aimed at audio (it only plays audio, actually) and has a great native equalizer. I would give Foobar a shot for your audio needs.

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To be honest, as soon as I tried out VLC Media Player at first, I switched to it, straightaway. It has got many plugins both for playing audio and videos.

You can download it here - http://www.videolan.org/index.html


VLC Media Player, unlike WindowsMediaPlayer, supports other plugins. A popular plugin which is helpful for lossless audio files and/or video files and playlists is '.flac'. Another useful plugin which is supported by this player is '.mid' which opens MIDI files. Moreover, another plugin is 'mkv' and/or '.mka' which are useful for audio and/or video files with subtitles. Actually, with this player, you can watch a film with subtitles, unlike WindowsMediaPlayer. Subtitles come from a '.srt' file which can be added to the folder containing the video file and/or the audio file. The '.mkv' format [Matroska Multimedia Container] is a file format which can hold an unlimited number files [audio, videos, pictures, subtitle tracks] in one file. A lot of videos are in 'flv' format which is supported by this player. As stated above, the 'mkv' format is supported. Another format supported by this player is 'aac' [Advanced Audio Coding] which achieves better sound quality than MP3 at similar bit rates. These ones are just a few examples of the formats that VLC Media Player supports.

It can do even media conversion and streaming. You can get more detailed info on this link - http://www.videolan.org/vlc/features.html

VLC Media Player is a free and open source cross-platform.

  • While I agree VLC is great, can you maybe list some of the features, mention it's Open Source, etc? Please edit to improve your answer. – Canadian Luke Aug 6 '14 at 22:45
  • WMP supports "everything" too, sort of. It can use DirectShow codecs after all. – Daniel B Aug 7 '14 at 16:20

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