Is WMP Dead and Other Music Adventures


So I picked up an Android phone this weekend and said to myself, "Hey, can I get music on this thing?" The answer, obviously, is yes…

So I picked up an Android phone this weekend and said to myself, "Hey, can I get music on this thing?" The answer, obviously, is yes. But, if you remember, I use iTunes and iPods. I bravely went off looking for iTunes to Android sync utilities. I found Double Twist and in no time had music synced to my phone. However, I found that many albums were missing album art work. Sigh, here we go again!

My search for embedded artwork, yes that is the easiest way to deal with this problem, led me to a number of programs, but I didn't like any of them. I ended up doing what I did last time and fired up Windows Media Player (WMP). I hadn't used the new version of Windows 7 and found it was surprising up to date. It could play my unprotected AAC files and didn't mess with the comments like the last version did. At the moment, I'm happy!

Now the hard part. For whatever stupid reason, WMP pulls in all the music on my hard drive, even in directories that I didn't include. How stupid. DoubleTwist did the same thing, so I was at least prepared for it. After a little sorting on file name, I had all the junk files removed (yeah). Time now to clean up the album art, the reason I started this!

The reason I was using WMP is that the album art wouldn't carry over from iTunes unless it was embedded. I turned off all the auto-pull stuff so WMP wouldn't try to add the art work itself, and then went to work. When I found one missing, I jumped into iTunes and copy/pasted the album artwork. WMP would immediately notice that the change and update. So far, so good!

Now the pain. I found a large number of songs not only missing album artwork, but also missing tag information. I thought it was an iTunes problem, but everything showed up correctly there. Then I remembers, WMP doesn't understand the latest ID3 tag information! Ugh! Back to iTunes, which has tag converter option, and converted all the tags to version 2.3. Bingo, things are looking up. But, really, 2.4 doesn't work! What a pain! But, then, I found a few tags with the wrong Unicode information. Back to iTunes and running the conversion again with that fix. I'm getting closer.

Okay, back to looking for missing album artwork. I know, I could use one of those automated programs, and probably should in the future. I soon had all my missing artwork fixed and I'm happy again! Which brings me back to the title, is WMP dead?

I give WMP in Windows 7 kudos for supporting AAC. But really, you can't deal with the latest standards? Heck, it doesn't even support disks unless you add it to the title. What gives? Does it even have gapless support or is that asking too much? Maybe I should give Zune a try and see if it is fixed there. Of course, that probably only supports Zune and Windows Phone 7, which makes me want to avoid that for now. I got what I needed, but its time to turn off WMP and get back to listening to music.

For me, WMP is dead.



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