If you recently purchased a new computer or you upgraded your version of Windows Media Player to version 12, the newest version available, you may have noticed a considerable slow down when transitioning between tracks in your playlist. Sometimes it can take anywhere from three to four seconds to switch tracks, which leaves an uncomfortable dead silence that can be annoying, not to mention concentration breaking for those of us who love to trance out to our favorite tracks.
The good news is there is a fix for this, depending on the operating system you use. If you use Windows Vista, the likely culprit of the slow loading times are the new audio effects that are included within the operating system. These effects are supposed to enhance your listening experience, but in reality they have very little impact on the sound and once they are disabled, the transitioning between tracks commences much more quickly.
To find and disable these options in Windows Vista, take the following steps:
- Click the Start Menu.
- Click the Control Panel and find the Sound option.
- Click the playback tab and then double click Speakers/Headphones.
- Click the Enhancements Tab.
Here, you should see a list of the “enhancements” Windows Vista has included, such as virtual sound, loudness equalization, and room correction. Tick the box marked “Disable all sound enhancements” and apply your changes before closing the window. With these changes made, you should see a noticeable improvement in the speed at which your Windows Media Player changes tracks.
After a while, many people report problems with their Windows Media Player installation. Some commonly reported problems include taking several seconds to start up and then several more seconds to load a playlist or to switch between songs. These problems could be caused by a wide variety of things, but the most common problem is registry errors.
Registry errors occur when you install and uninstall software. Sometimes software leaves behind registry keys that are still loaded, even though the software that uses these keys is no longer present. Running through several different useless keys before starting any program will result in significant slowdown, regardless of the program you are trying to start.
There are plenty of free registry scanners you can use to scan your registry for unused entries that can be safely deleted. System Optimizer Pro is a popular registry scanning tool that will fix errors and help you boot programs faster. A registry scanner should be run at least once a month, perhaps more frequently if you frequently install and uninstall programs.
Aside from registry scans, you should also run an anti-virus on your computer. Some forms of viruses such as trojans and worms can embed themselves within the files of your computer and instead of destroying the file system, they cause massive slowdown by offering hackers back door access to your computer. Preventing this is as simple as scanning your computer and using a secure network to connect to the Internet.