How to STOP wmplayer.exe from overwriting my Album Art & Accessing the Internet? RRS feed

  • Question

  • WHS 2011 seems to start a few services after 12:00am that hammer my CPU and network.

    At 1:00 am I have noticed wmplayer.exe will start to access my music share and overwrite my hi-resolution Folder.jpg album art. I have these set to read only - BUT whs 2011 will still overwrite them with low resolution hidden system files it using for cacheing the album art (AlbumArtSmall{GUID}.jpg and a few others).Resorce Monitor/Network activity shows wmplayer.exe (PID 3856) and accesses windowsmedia.com and/or the url that is in the desktop.ini below. I want to prevent this - but what else can I do?

    Not only will it change my album art but will start to re-tag some of my perfectly tagged & organized music library with incorrect info. :-(

    My music albums are in individual folders: Artist/Album/song01.mp3, song02.mp3 (or .flac) and a folder.jpg (600x600 resolution)

    It also leaves a destop.ini file in the album folder that it changes. Opening that .ini in notepad reveals it goes online to retrive and update (change!) my tags & album art without my permission. The desktop.ini reads:


    This seems to only happen in albums that are ripped to mp3, my .flac albums remain untouched.

    Why? I have spent years compiling my music library and finding matching hi-res .jpg's that I save as 600x600, but they disappear and get a hidden Folder.jpg that is now 200x200 and look like crap on my 55" plasma. This has been a BIG problem that has been discused in several forums over the past few years, BUT no fix that I am aware of.Lucky for me, I have a perfect backup on an external that is not part of a Windows music library (or ever will be)  for safe keeping. But I have a file server for the purpose of distributing my media throughout to HTPC's and streaming devices in my home. WHS v1 never had this issue! One of several forum threads:


    I do uncheek all options in WMP to keep it from accessing the internet. I also make a group policy edit as described here:


    This group policy edit does work on a Windows 7 system. BUT now that I have moved all my Music to WHS 2011 I can NOT stop it from overwriting my album art or re-tagging my .mp3's.

    My only option now is to NOT use WHS 2011 for my Music share and copy all 900+ GB to each client HTPC/workstation! (And buy a larger HD) why M$ why?



    Monday, June 6, 2011 5:42 AM

All replies

  • If I had known that this was going to happen before upgrading to WHS 2011 I would have basically abandonded this otherwise good product.  It has just erased hours upon hours of time I spend scanning 500x500 and 600x600 images.  I use WHS2011 to feed my Windows Media Center based HTPC, and to get over the problem of the media PC ruining my album art I simply shared the music library with read-only access.

    Seriously Microsoft.  On what planet is 200x200 an acceptable resolution for cover art?  Are we back in the 1980s or something?  Windows Media Center is displaying the image on a 1080p display, which is pretty much the norm these days, and the 200x200 image stretched looks absolutely ratshit.

    Also, on which plane does sharing a media library via UPnP or CIFS/SMB share mean "feel free to just change what you think you know better about"?

    Do the maths.  627 CDs (paid for, I have them in plastic cases and all, except for the new trendy eco cardboard cases on some).  10 minutes each to scan and apply to all tracks.  Now double that since I have to do it all again.

    Seriously... WTF were you thinking?

    Reading the previous post, if this is busy re-tagging all the other information I will not be happy.  I've spend further hours ensuring everything is consistent.  Internet libraries aren't always accurate (for example, I've had "Rolling Stones", "The Rolling Stones" and "Rolling Stones, The" for different albums from them).

    To answer your question Galibier... there is a way to stop wmplayer from screwing up your media.  Disable wmplayer.exe (rename it, delete it, or whatever takes your fancy).  I share media on WHS using windows shares, and not UPnP.  There's other UPnP services that work on WHS that just do as they're asked rather than assuming that they know better.



    Saturday, June 18, 2011 10:40 AM
  • Alex,

    If you've got an account on Microsoft Connect, please go here, and vote up the issue:



    Saturday, June 18, 2011 11:37 AM
  • I have managed to do this by :

    • Making the Music share read only to all users - otherwise any users with write access who are using their Windows PC's with the Music share in Windows Media Player will update it - this parycular one has nothing to do with WHS. Windows Media Player (I am using Win 7) updates the files the 1st time it catalogues the music, whatever you have the options set to.
    • Remoting onto the WHS 2011 Server and change the NTFS Permissions on the D:\ServerFolders\Music. Change the rights on the users MC-<PCname> to read only. You will have one for each PC that is being amanged by WHS. I also have WMPNetworkSvc user with read only rights - not sure if I changed this or it is default.
    • Do not add the music folder to the Music Library on the WHS 2011 server itself, otherwise Windows Media Player on WHS will update it directly.

    This works for me but obviously do this at your own risk!

    Wednesday, June 22, 2011 6:59 PM
  • I've added another work-around to the Connect link that Geoffc1 posted. It involves setting a registry key for the MediaStreamingAdmin user to stop it from updating metadata using information from the Internet.

    I tried a few things for the album art problem, but without a proper solution suitable for my useage case (see http://forum.wegotserved.com/index.php/topic/18939-album-art-downloads-to-music-share/page__view__findpost__p__109782).

    Wednesday, June 22, 2011 8:07 PM
  • My Connect Thread:


    Has been marked "resolved"

    Thank you wiseadam1 for this post:

    Posted by wiseadam1 on 8/1/2011 at 1:12 PM
    This is unacceptable. Not sure if one guy in MS has been the same three eyed mentally challenged ignoramous that thinks this feature being turned on by default in all versions of WMP since v6.4, is the best idea since sliced bread...it's NOT!

    I don't like your music scraper touching my tags, and I'm tired of it. I pay for your server software, and you slip one in on us in the background to start grabbing tags from WMP and the internet that only YOU seem to think are incorrect.

    TURN IT OFF! I understand you think you can make this music media world a better place, if you could only go in and tag it all yourself....but even when I have perfectly tagged albums, you still seem to think the one bonus track at the end is part of a japanese release with a different album art when it's not, or you take the 500x500 perfect album art Folder.jpg and kill it to a 200x200 pixelated craptastic jpg!

    If you, or anyone there ever wondered why we all chose every other music manager rather than WMP....it's because it's horrible at managing music. I wish I was ignorant to the whole thing and I could just dumb it out like I guess what you think the majority are that will use WHS2011, or that use your WMP "recommended settings" will magically do for them, but I can't. I won't. $130 down the drain, and now that it's down to about $50.....so I'm guessing I'm the only one that bought it.

    My view exactly. WHS should behave like a SERVER!




    Friday, August 5, 2011 4:06 PM
  • You can't stop MS from being MS. You would have to kill them first. So, working on the assumption that nothing can be done about WHS or WMC/WMP... EVER, let's just take control.

    The basic idea here is to keep your media library limited to read/only access, thereby preventing any changes from happening. (Note: Read/only file permission is just a "suggestion" to software playing with files - it does NOT prevent software from altering it.) If software can't write to a file, it can't change it!

    First, consider two concepts: BACKUP and SANDBOX. Backup is simple. Get some dirt-cheap externals and make copies of your pristine master library. After you make the copy, lock it down. That means: 1/Mark all Files read/only (for what that is worth.) 2/Designate the VOLUME as read/only (more on that later.) 3/ Never (EVER) share the master library, but if you do make sure the access is left at read/only for all users.

    The idea of a SANDBOX is to use one of your backups as the active library that is exposed on your network. It is a place that can be used by suspect software - like iTunes or WMC - and not touch the master. The SANDBOX is known to music libraries (regardless of what player you are using. You SHOULD share the sandbox with read/only access. All client players (including the host system) should configure the root folder to the (sandbox) library through the shared resource name. This maximizes the ability of share access protection to protect the sandbox.

    Okay, back to marking a volume readonly. This can used on any LOCAL drive (internal or external), EXCEPT the SYSTEM drive. (That means your master library cannot be on drive C:.)

    There is a COMMAND BOX utility called DISKPART. Start a Command Prompt and enter the command "Diskpart." Assume the volume you want to mark read/only is drive M: for this example. At the Diskpart prompt enter the following commands:

    DISKPART>Select Volume M

    DISKPART>Attributes Volume Set Readonly


    Then close the DOS box.

    The first disk command selects the drive you want to manage. The second command causes the selected drive to be unmounted, a readonly flag to be written to its partition table (making this setting persistant) and finally remounts the drive. To clear this flag, use the diskpart command:

    DISKPART>Attributes Volume Clear Readonly

    Windows respects this setting at the lowest levels of disk access, so not matter what other software is doing, when it tries to write to that volume, it fails.

    More on SANDBOXes. I adopted this concept to protect my library from just the abuse you have mentioned, but also to provide a place where iTunes can do whatever it wants (if it can.) Neither MS or APPLE have ever really understood the concept of "Synch"-ing information between various devices. In fact iTunes makes a real mess of a library if left to do its own thing. Fortunately, most software is fairly graceful about dealing with situations where it is NOT allowed to write.


    Wednesday, November 2, 2011 2:32 PM