Friday, December 15, 2006

Windows Media Player 11 Warning - or - Why Didn't I wait for PC iTunes!?!

I am one of the 15-17 people on Earth who decided to buy digital music through a store that uses Microsoft's DRM protected .wma instead of Apple's iTunes. In my defense, I don't think iTunes was available for PC when I started buying my music online.

I've been running Windows Media Player 10 for a long time with no problems at all. That all stopped when I started my player to get a White Stripes fix yesterday. I was informed by a friendly little message that Microsoft had a new version of WMP, and I really needed it. I thought that maybe the little message was right so I ran the update and kept Jack and Meg waiting while the download and install commenced.

Everything looked good. The new windows interface was much cooler than the old Win 95 style I still run in XP. (XP looks horrible, and it's blue. How am I supposed to color correct photos with these big fat blue menu bars everywhere?) I was happy - until I tried to play some music. All the sudden these red x's are by all my songs. The error message told me that I needed a security download, but when I tried to download it nothing happened. I tried it several times before WMP crashed. I was getting pretty uptight because I've got a lot of money tied up in my music library. (No illegal music here, I believe in intellectual property rights, have to, I'm a photographer and I'd bust you if you stole my pictures.) Anyhow, I ran Windows Update and tried to restore licenses. After a while I figured out why Microsoft included a rollback option in the software. They knew it would be needed.

Thankfully, the rollback procedure worked. I uninstalled Media Player 11 and the new rights protection format through - Control Panel - Add-Remove Programs. After a couple of restarts I am now listening to Offend in Every Way as I type.


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