How can I fix sound problems in Windows Media Player?
Dave, I'm going a bit bonkers. Every time I try to play a CD or watch a DVD on my WinXP system in Windows Media Player, the sound fades out and I'm left without any audio track. I've tried jiggling my speaker cables, reseating my sound card, restarting Windows Media Player (or even my PC), and even sacrificing an old Abba CD to the Microsoft Gods, but nothing helps. How do I fix this sort of sound device problems?
First off, sacrificing an Abba CD is always a good idea whenever you have any problems with Windows Media Player! In fact, even when you don't have any problems... (I'm kidding, I actually like the perpetually perky Swedish foursome)
As you suspected from your attempted fixes, it really sounds like Windows Media Player doesn't like your sound card or controller.
I checked at the Microsoft tech support site and here's what they suggest as ways to fix this frustrating problem:
- Make sure that a sound device is installed on your computer; if one isn't, just install one. In most cases, Windows will automatically detect the new hardware and install the necessary software drivers. If Windows does not automatically install the software drivers, run the Add Hardware Wizard to install them yourself (click Start, click Control Panel, and then double-click Add Hardware).
- Another program is using the sound device, and preventing the Player from accessing it. Close all other programs so that the Player is the only program running, and then try to play the file again.
- The software drivers for your sound device may be missing or corrupted. Try reinstalling the most recent software drivers for your sound device by scanning for updates on the Windows Update Web site or by going to your sound device manufacturer's Web site.
- The Player may be using a version of Microsoft DirectX that is incompatible with the hardware features on your sound device. (This may explain why you can hear sound when you use some software programs, but not when you use the Player.) Install the most current version of DirectX by going to the DirectX Web page.
If you're still hosed, then run the Sound Device Troubleshooter by choosing Tools -> Options within Windows Media Player, then click "Speakers" on the Devices tab, then click Advanced (still with me?) then choose the Hardware tab and choose Troubleshooting after you've selected your own particular hardware.
Still no joy? Check out the Web site for the manufacturer of your sound device, perhaps they have some tech note that'll help clarify things? Or, failing that, pull out your sound card or other third-party device and see if things work without it. I've had that problem myself with an eMachines unit...
Want to read more about this? Microsoft has lots of troubleshooting information on Windows Media Player at the Windows Media Player Help Center.
More Useful Windows PC Help Articles:
Let's stay in touch!
Sign up for my weekly AskDaveTaylor Newsletter and you'll receive even more tech and gadget help
right to your inbox, along with exclusive news and industry updates. It's good stuff. I promise!
Reader Comments To Date: 239
Hey Dave, Hope you will help :) I just downloaded limewire and a few songs and I want to transfer the files so I can play them on VLC media player but it doesn't want to play there. Do you have any advice?
I have also tried downloading iTunes so I could transer the files to there so I could listen but it wouldn't download. I have an Hp with windows 7...
Open the Control panel
2. Open the "Sounds and Audio Devices" icon.
3. Verify the "Place volume icon in the taskbar" checkbox is checked. If this option is not available or is grayed out, skip to the next section of this document.
4. If you were able to check this box, click ok and close out of this window and the Control Panel.
5. Double-click the sound icon in the Systray and verify that all the sound volumes are mid-way or higher.
Check Windows services. Right Click My Computer and Manage. Choose Services and Application > Services. Choose "Windows Audio" and set to Automatic and Start.
Now next you can do is
If you open control panel & click device manager the window that opens will show a list of all installed hardware. Look for anything with an exclamation mark beside it, or to do with sound. If you see anything, right click it, check it isn't Disabled then select "Properties." The next window should have some tabs along the top, the one you are looking for is "Driver," you should now see an "Update driver" button.
Check ur sound card information by doing this
Click on start menu
Click on Run
Type dxdiag, enter
Click on the sound tab
There is button of test direct sound click on this check if there is sound
Check ur registry. Check if the sound registry key is enabled or disabled. There could be an error in registry, run registry cleaner reg in out to scan for errors.
why does every voice on any email, youtube all sound like somebody breathing helium?
my laptop sound will not work, i know nothing about computers, i don't use plug-in speakers, i gota new hard drive a few month back, but it was working fine after that, but about2 weeks ago the sound just stopped, i don't know what a sound crad is or if i have. please help! im clueless!
So every time I try to watch a DVD on my laptop, the background music is really, really loud, and the voices are very quiet. I can't hear anything they are saying, and it completely ruins the movies. It's my school laptop, so the security wont let me access the control panel. Is there anything I can do to get the sound to work correctly? It's very annoying.
i got windows media player version 12.0.7600.16385 in my windows 7.but sound are not qulity.its not qulity like windows media player in my OS windows vista.how can i fix it?
everytime i download somthing wmp opens up and my dowloads disapear help please
when I play my laptop through my hifi ie mini phono out using the headphone socket from the laptop into the back of the hi fi- the music cuts out for about 1 second about every 5 minutes yet when I play the laptop with the phono lead disconnected it does not do this. any idea what the problem is thanks
Hi dave when i format &change last xp on my computer the sound will be stoped how i solve this problem pls pls help me.
i have recently had a sound issue on both windows media player and real player, the problem is when playing an audio or video file, the music (as in the beat) plays fine through the speakers, however when someone speaks the voice is all muffled but the music keeps coming through, i have checked all audio and video settings including codecs and have had no joy
can you help
this my third time facing this problem and for the last two i had to format the computer put i can't do this every month.
The problem that i have whenever i insert a DVD/CD into me DVD player the sound of my computer goes into a slow motion for example if i am listening to a song in real player or iTunes or any other program the song would go into a slow motion not only the songs the hole computer sound goes like this.
At first i thought it was a virus (for the two time before) but yesterday when i was coping some ".avi" files from a DVD disc to my hard disk it just got stuck and couldn't complete the operation after that the song problem happened again and i am pretty sure that the DVD disc doesn't have virus in it because i was using it before and nothing wrong had happened
Its easy Check your sound and disable microphone. Problem fixed
wenever i try to link on a song's link to download it, insteaad of getting downloaded it starts getting played in windows media player. what shud i do to fix this problem?
hey i have a quick question. no solutions seem to work. i have been trying to add an extender to my computer (specifically windows media center) for my boyfriends XBOX, i have windows Vista and have noticed many people have problems getting a connection. it comes up with an error of "the xbox360 was unable to prepare a connection to the windows vista media center-based pc. restart your xbox 360 and try again"
all i see are questions here....wow.
----- to the people who want limewire songs to play in windows media player, i did this myself, i had to copy all of the music from the limewire files and paste them to my 'music' files under the start button. dont know why, but it worked. if that doesnt work, make sure the file is wmp compatible, like .wmv or so on you can google 'what files does windows media player play?' if it isnt download a simple converter, google 'convert music to .wmv' lots of info will pop up.
----now then, does anyone know why my comp wont play voices as loud as background music? i can fix if i change sound effects, but that also makes it echo. any help would be appreciated. thanks.
i can hear my itunes ok but when i try to play anything from youtube i get no sound. my pc is running vista on a dell pc. HELPPPP!
I started using windows 7 recently and when ever I start playing any songs in widows media player,there is a disturbance in the play where it skips in between and comes to a stop.I am not able to listen to any song completely.
Please Dave, i wil surely appreciate u if u solve dis problems for me...my wmp is not working at all n i've tried all kind of driver on it but still no positive result, wat should i do? Secondly, what is limewire & PS3? Thanks.
I deleted the McAfee antivirus from my dell n4020 laptop the my windows media player stopped working,what should I do to fix the problem?
Dave, your advice was extremely vague and in most cases common sense. It was a Waste of time reading it. Sorry just MHO
Fair enough, "audio guy", but you'd be surprised how often common sense is rather uncommon and while you're an expert (as demonstrated by your 'audio guy' handle) there are a ton of people who are stymied by the complexity and even the jargon associated with Windows Media Player and related.
Thanks for the help. Ended up being the DirectX fix.
I have this problem, in that when I put a D.V.D in my computer, I have NO SOUND, and its frustrating, a few months ago it was all OK but at present [ 20/09/2011 ] its useless,so what can I DO can you please advise me by email. THANKS
DAVE, it would be much appreciated.
signed: Graeme Wilce
this did not help at all. i hear static when i play a certain song and these suggestions did nothing !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I have recently downloaded some video songs for playing on my laptop
some are playing well
But some of them are playing without sound
Means only video is playing on windows media player
But not having sound
Plzzzzzzzz Help me....
Is it possible to run Windows Media Player 11 on a Windows 7 computer, even though that machine comes with WMP12? If so, on which source disc (the reinstalls that came with my Dell laptop) is WMP11 found, so as to install it? Can I even do it from said disc onto another machine? Much thanks.
I am having trouble with sound on my PC; it sounds a bit like a sonar!
I have a GE Force 220 Sound Card and my PC keeps updating NVIDIA settings....
Do you need any more info?
Hello! I am having a problem with my windows media center's volume while watching live TV! All of a sudden out of know where, I don't have any volume what so ever. I can listen to my music or watch the internet TV through MCE with no problems at all. My only issue is absolutely no volume while watching live TV. I have tried everything that I know of...
My problem is somewhat different than those listed. I am currently getting all sounds perfectly thru my on board digital coax out into my receiver for home theater perfectly. Trying to run a secondary out i.e. headphones or stereo speaker analog to my multisource, the only sounds that come thru are the system sounds. With my laptop running vista I can do both. Any suggestions for my desktop running 7?
i can hear the music properly but can not hear the singer's voice clearly it plays in background can you a solution to me ?
i connect headphone with ipad i hear the sound very well. but if i connect the headphone with my system i can't hear sound.why?
I have an overloaded HD. Windows vista in response has halted any form of text to be displayed upon start-up. Therefore I cannot use the menu in order to lighten the load on my HD. Re-starting in safe mode provides no joy either. HELP please
Maybe is the Bits version of the Media player...if you have 32 bits and you download the 64Bits version your sound card will fail!
i was having the problem of not being able to hear actors voices over the background noises. i was using VLC player which is my fav!!!
this worked for me: went to speakers properties then enhancements. checked the box with vocal. all actors voices could then be heard, no downloads or any complicated fixes needed!!
hope this is of help.
good morning sir,
this is santosh, how to lock & unlock the windows media player for does not play the videos and songs
how to lock the mass storage divice does not connecting the system
Just wanted to say thank you for this article. I was having this sound issue, followed your instructions and my sound issue is fixed!!!!
Hello Dave.My question is,whenever I play anything on youtube,windows media player or any audio I get a strange metalic sound,kinda slow motion,it happens for about 2 seconds but does it every minute or so.I play everything thru Winamp and I have windows 7.Any help would be appreciated.Thank you!
I started recording my lp's to my computer and everything was fine. When I stopped for a while and then went back to record some more records they wouldn't record. I was using windows media with a turntable plugged into the mic port on my laptop. I used troubleshooting and the problem was fixed. I stopped after recording for a while and the next day when I was ready to record again windows media wouldn't record. I've also been getting an echo sound and although the last time I recorded I clicked on stop recording and unplugged the turntable, every time I brush the front of the laptop or make a sound it is amplified. When I turn on sound recorder instead of the green bar being on the left hand side it's all the way to the left as if I was recording something. I've tried troubleshoot again but it says all setting are right. Please help, if possible. I have a lot more lp's to record before I move to another country.
I do have a lot to say, and questions of my own for that matter, but first I'd like to say thank you, Dave, for all your helpful information by
buying you a cup of coffee!||
Follow Me on Pinterest
Find Me on Google+
ADT on G+