Microsoft Retiring a Windows Media Player Feature on Older Windows Versions

Posted on January 28, 2019 by Mehedi Hassan in Windows with 20 Comments

Microsoft is removing a feature from the media players in older versions of Windows. As Windows 7 is now nearing the end of extended support, the company is no longer going to officially support the metadata service in Windows Media Player and Media Center.

This means that you may not be able to view the metadata for songs or movies as a result in both Windows Media Center and Windows Media Player. The company says it has decided to discontinue the data after analysing usage data. Metadata services will be affected for Windows Media Player in Windows 7 only, though Windows Media Center’s metadata service will be affected in Windows 8.1, Windows 8, and Windows 7.

“Going forward, you may be unable to view information (metadata) such as the title, genre, and artist for songs, and the director, actors, cover art, and TV guide for movies in Windows Media Center and Windows Media Player. After looking at customer feedback and usage data, Microsoft decided to discontinue this service. This means that new metadata won’t be updated on media players that are installed on your Windows device. However, any information that’s already been downloaded will still be available.” Microsoft said, explaining the change (via Windows Latest).

The change here shouldn’t be surprising to see. I doubt a lot of people actually use Windows Media Player anymore, and the metadata features are probably used by an even smaller portion of users. Either way, just a heads up.

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Comments (20)

20 responses to “Microsoft Retiring a Windows Media Player Feature on Older Windows Versions”

  1. wunderbar

    I'm not sure why they felt the need to discontinue this on Windows 7 when there's less than a year of support. Why not just keep it running until Windows 7 support expires. If that were the case i'd be much more understanding, since it is no longer supported.

    • coeus89

      In reply to wunderbar:

      The only thing i could think of is maybe they were under contract with a 3rd party or there is a patent that they have to renew the license. They obviously don't want to renew anything at this point. I can't think of any other excuse. Doesn't make much sense.

  2. ggolcher

    What Mehedi's article doesn't mention is that the metadata service will continue working in WMP on Windows 10, which makes the decision seem arbitrary and a breach of trust since Windows 7 is still supported.

    • markbyrn

      Betanews described it as, "Microsoft cripples Windows Media Player on Windows 7 -- a seemingly dirty tactic to increase Windows 10 upgrades"

  3. dontbe evil

    I'm sure that most of people that will complain, never heard about this feature ... but it's cool to bash ms

  4. kherm

    I see a lot of people saying that this decision is entirely arbitrary, however I actually use this feature regularly on Windows 7 and 10 and I can say that they use entirely different Metadata services. However, the Windows 7 version is vastly superior; it adds Metadata for composer in music files where the windows 10 version won't

  5. CaedenV

    I am super confused by this; The meta data is in the file. So if I have a file with metadata on it, it won't be added to WMP? Or are we talking about the service that poorly guesses what metadata belongs on the MP3 and that I had to fix for years before I figured out how to turn it off?

  6. red.radar

    I am sort of surprised that the meta data isn’t resident with the file. Then at least that way you just need to retrieve the data once. Which then means most people wouldn’t be terribly effected. I just find it odd the data is retrieved every time you access. Not like the information changes ...

    i guess another reaon reason to not trust the cloud. Always. Be in control of what is important to you.

    • Kevin Costa

      In reply to red.radar:

      The metadata is resident with the file, however, new files that users scan with WMP will not get any metadata. Trump could nuke the world tomorrow, if you already has the metadata inside your mp3 file, then you are set. :)

      I recommend using MusicBrainz Picard in conjunction with mp3tag to tag your music efficiently.

  7. tom_james

    Will this affect the Zune desktop software too, I wonder...?

  8. JaviAl

    Microsoft destroyed the catalog and library in Windows Media Player 11 and future versions greatly limiting the options and features of the library catalog. Then I migrated to MediaMonkey and MusicBee to catalog music. I own more than 4 TB. of Hi-Res music.

    Microsoft: Destroying our own products since 2010.

    • cr08

      In reply to JaviAl:

      To be fair even back with Windows 7 I rarely ever used the music library function of WMP and usually left that to the likes of Winamp or MediaMonkey. I think these days you are more likely to see the vast majority of users not having much of a local library and using primarily streaming services. Even for myself what little content I have that cannot be found on streaming services I have uploaded to Google Play Music and stream from that. I'd wager that all probably factors in to why Microsoft is slowly rescinding support for these features. Simple ROI so to speak.

      Additionally from another personal anecdote perspective I have had to use WMP11 (in Windows 10) a little bit recently to properly manage metadata and sorting of media going on to a USB flash drive to go into my car. Specifically WMA Lossless files. Never felt much of a lack of functionality in this scenario. It still seems to hold up.

  9. Aaron44126

    Used Windows Media Player for music back in the day because its music library feature was actually quite nice for organizing albums and such... Grudgingly switched to iTunes when I realized that Windows Media Player was basically dead.

  10. david.thunderbird

    I thought it was dead with 8 but then I've used VLC since 98SE.

  11. MikeCerm

    I was a diehard CableCard and WMC guy, but when YouTube TV came along I was finally able to ditch the CableCard. I can't keep recordings forever like I could with WMC, but YouTube TV is a whole lot more convenient, and the ability to DVR unlimited channels and not fill up my hard drive to do it is incredible.

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