Registry fix for forcing audio files to open in Windows Media player

455 pts.
Tags:
File associations
QuickTime
Registry settings
Window Media Player
Windows Registry
Windows XP
Problem: QT takes over and tries to open audio files such as mp3, mp4 etc, instead of WMP. I have set WMP as default player in the "Set program access and defaults"; I have made sure that file associations were done in ctr. panel -> folder options -> file types for mp3 and mp4. I have opened WMP itself and made sure that it is checked to open these files, and I opened QT and unchecked the same files so that QT does not open them. All this works for a while, until our ITS dept. runs some patches/updates and all the set up is blown again, and QT is back again in its ugly form. On some PCs nothing helps, and I am having them re-imaged. I am looking for a registry fix, so I can have it ready to correct the problem quickly since it happens often. My users have to have access to both QT and WMP. The problem is esp. bad for our teleworkers who log in onto VPN. Searching the web, I have not found any permanent solutions, so I need some help with registry fix. Much appreciate any help.

Software/Hardware used:
Windows XP
ASKED: October 13, 2010  9:57 PM
UPDATED: April 14, 2014  12:39 PM

Answer Wiki

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Stevesz,

Our IT dept. has been notified many times re. this issue, esp. when it become a huge problem for our teleworkers. I have informed the management (and so did my users).The ironic thing is that same IT dept. has asked me for an input re. how to remedy this persistant problem. That is why I am about to create a bach program with all important file associations (assoc. and ftype commands). Our office (Copyright) has different needs than the rest of the institution (Library of Congress) where we are all located. Their attitude is that since it is only a problem for us (and we are unfortunately on the same prod. network -instead of a separate subnet), they are not inclined to change anything, or they do not have the manpower to taylor those updates just for Copyright clients.
However, I do very much appreciate your interest and input.
Sincerely,
Mickey

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  • Schmidtw
    Just did a quick search. I apologize for not reading thoroughly...but it looks like it might relate to your inquiry: Microsoft Registry and File Associations Hope this helps! -Schmidtw
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  • mikidc
    Schmidtw, Sorry for not responding. I did not scroll far enough and thought nobody really wanted to touch my question. I am aware of both keys, but I am not sure what values are supposed to be entered. I have my mp3 file ext. set to open in WMP. When I checked LOCAL USER - CLASSES, I did not even see the mp3 in the list. That was confusing. When I checked LOCAL MACHINE - CLASSES, the mp3 was there alright, but then what? You click on it and see that opens with shows both options: WMP.exe and QT.exe. I imagine I have to delete the QT.exe option. In addition, there are no assigned values on the right hand panel. I am not sure if any should be. Thanx for the input. Mickey
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  • Pjb0222
    If this is happening after patching, then you should talk to the people patching. They should configure the iTunes / QuickTime updates so they do not take over the media types you want associated with WMP. In the default configuration, QuickTime asks on first launch and most people simply hit OK.
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  • Pjb0222
    just remembered this.. If something is corrupting WMP playback in IE, you can try this to reset the WMP in IE for WMP 10 or WMP 11.
    cmd /c "%systemroot%System32regsvr32.exe" /s "%systemroot%System32wmpdxm.dll"
    This should update this key to the correct value:
    Correct value:
    "HKLMSOFTWAREClassesCLSID{22D6F312-B0F6-11D0-94AB-0080C74C7E95}InprocServer32"
    default = C:WindowsSystem32wmpdxm.dll
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  • mikidc
    Hello pjb, Thanx for great input. Unfortunatelly, these problems happen anytime our ITS gods send down ANY updates or security patches (which is becoming a weekly thing) to clients. Despite the protests from us, they do not care, and I can take care of issues here, but it is our teleworkers (VPN) who are left hanging. I am trying to come up with a quick fix for all important file associations in a form of registry fix or batch file (I am doing that now, experimenting with ftype command) that can be remotely executed for them. I also like your suggestion in the second post, and I may want to use that in my batch file. Thanx Mickey
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  • Stevesz
    Mickey, I hope you have documentation on your requests to IT for help, and of any replies they have given you. You can take those to your immediate supervisor, and let him know that you are spending x hours a month on this problem, have not found a solution on your own other than to do what you have been doing, have requested help and been refused. Ask him to do what he can to get this issue resolved as those hours spent each month are basically wasted hours. Hopefully, he will talk to his counterpart in IT to get this issue resolved. The documentation is important because, it the departmental tone is as you described in IT, the counterpart will come back to yours and say we have never heard of this prior to now. At that point your boss can bring out the ammunition you have given him. He will also be able to add to it with his experience should it need to go further up the food chain to get taken care of. You may also want to write out why your department needs both players other than to look at movie trailers from Apple's site <g>.
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  • carlosdl
    Hi Mickey, Try something like this: For example, to fix mp3 files, look in:
    HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT.mp3
    There should be a "(Default)" key, whose data, in this case, will probably be "mp3file". Then look for:
    HKEY_CLASSES_ROOTmp3fileshellplaycommand
    and set the "(Default)" key to something like this:
    "C:Program FilesWindows Media Playerwmplayer.exe" /prefetch:6 /Open "%L"
    To know the exact command you have to put in here, look in:
    HKEY_CLASSES_ROOTApplicationswmplayer.exeshellplaycommand
    Let us know the results, please.
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  • carlosdl
    Something went wrong with the formatting. Trying again: --------------- Try something like this: For example, to fix mp3 files, look in:
    HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\.mp3
    There should be a “(Default)” key, whose data, in this case, will probably be “mp3file“. Then look for:
    HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\mp3file\shell\play\command
    and set the “(Default)” key to something like this:
    “C:\Program Files\Windows Media Player\wmplayer.exe” /prefetch:6 /Open “%L”
    To know the exact command you have to put in here, look in:
    HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\Applications\wmplayer.exe\shell\play\command
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  • mikidc
    Carlos, Ok, I checked my set up in registry and it is all fine; I will export those keys and keep it handy on my thumdrive, and test it on any PC here the moment user looses the associations and QT takes over. My question is that there are many places with similar entries in the registry: I saw it in the Local Machine/software/classes, Local User... and Local Machine.. same stuff. Since I am by no means expert in registries (I am learning though), how do I know that I do not need anything in other places. In particular, both Local User and Local Machine under mp3 have folder for OpenWithList. In one of the there was only wmplayer.exe. But in another place there were both wmplayer.exe and quicktime.exe (which is what I do not want). If I see under mp3 option for quicktime.exe, do I delete it (well I did :)), but just checking Thanx a million. Frustrated overworked govt. employee (it does happens) Mickey
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  • carlosdl
    Well, if this works then you know that you didn't need anything in other places :-) I would prefer to try this manually when the problem arises again rather than importing the key (you would only need to import [HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\mp3file\shell\play\command]), just in case the path to the player is not the same in all machines. If it works, you can create a script to read the path to the player (from HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\Applications\wmplayer.exe\shell\play\command) and modify the play command to the desired file extensions appropriately. As for "OpenWithList", I don't think it affects the default program used to play or open the files. It just defines the programs that should be listed when the user right-clicks on the file and select the "open with" option.
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  • mikidc
    Carlos, I will do it manually first time I have a chance to test, as you suggested. As far as writting script, I am in a big doodoo here since haven't written any in, say like, 15 years (and than I was like Cobalt and SQL developer, not using much DOS). Now I am pure troubleshooter and love it, but lot to learn. I am feeling thankfull and great about all sharing their knowledge here on this great site. In an actual job, IT people will rather give up the information re. the size of their body parts, than share with you IT info. Sad.... Mickey
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  • carlosdl
    Good to read that you love your work. I think I missed something: If this doesn't work, you might want to try modifying the same key, but under HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE (i.e. HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\mp3file\shellplay\command), since more specific settings (when they are defined) usually takes place over global ones. As for the script, maybe we can help you with that too. Good luck.
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  • carlosdl
    Sorry, it seems that I read from a wrong RAM segment... "...more specific settings (when they are defined) usually take precedence over global ones"
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  • mikidc
    AHA Carlos! Thats exactly what I was thinking about (after all this time spending looking into the subject)! I did sort of get a feeling that Local Machine should be my starting point since it has the globality dimension. I was not coming forward with this observation due to the obvious lack of confidence in front of all you techi gurus! But now that you sent this last post, I am realizing I am starting to understand better. Currently all the users are under control here on the floor (just went through several patches), but I think next week we will have more. Meantime, while my users are gone home, I will log into few machines and just observe some of the key values stored (since they have been "fixed" manually by me to work properly after the patches). As for my teleworking users, I will have to create a batch file (a script?) and see if IT dept. would run it on Copyright machines after they run their patches. Mickey
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  • mikidc
    oh well, I guess I was wrong. so if it is changed in HKey classes root, that would take precedence over Local Machine... Mickey
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  • carlosdl
    Hi again Mickey, the path to the key under HKLM was incorrect. This is the correct path, sorry: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Classes\mp3file\shell\play\command
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  • Pjb0222
    Not knowing the politics of the situation for you I can give insight as to how I have resolved such items. The first thing is to get your management's backing as Stevesz said. My preferred method as it does not require agreement of the problem software owner nor a confrontation with anyone: Ask your certification group to add for all deployments into production including patching to include your requirement that WMP (or any other item) must not be impacted and have test cases added to the standard battery performed for all software and OS (includes patching) certifications. Alternative that can force visibility on the situation: 1. Submit a ticket for each and every system broken by the item to the responsible team (patching in your case) to resolve. 2. Take the body of tickets to problem management for review. Usually triggers a "root cause analysis." 3. Sometimes required: repeat the second time it occurs then an automatic "root cause analysis" is triggered as it impacts productivity. 4. One "root cause analysis" is usually enough to change methodology (or behavior). As the victim in "it’s not my problem" oh too many times (I am one of the OS configuration and deployment guys with the OS often getting the blame) setting myself up for a "root cause analysis" on issues while not exactly fun will resolve things and bring lots of visibility (including the why is the OS guys doing this analysis as it is clearly an issue for X). If you do not have change management and certification suggest it as a method to reduce downtime and user imapct.
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  • mikidc
    Pjb, Thank you so much for careful and exhaustive suggestions. As always, there is much politics involved, and in the short run I will offer some quick fixing method. The deciding factor in my decision is that these live state deliveries (LSD) do not affect all my users. It is few at the time - say 10%. In addition, some clients are affected all the times and some just very seldom. The problem is that these LSDs are increasing in frequency and complexity, from what I can see in the last few months. That leads me to your suggestion which will have to be implemented by slowly transfering these tasks (by sending them official tickets) to top IT group so that they can start to feel the impact. My users work on production, and need immediate help. The management (who is bullying my users for ever greater numbers - its a sweat shop) got used to me being there in seconds and fixing it, so that will be a big obstacle. Anyhow, I was off yesterday and will be off for couple of days - got to relax and play some poker :)) Cheers to all and again thank you all so much!! Mickey
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  • Genderhayes
    You get a double library listing (which is just a visual defect), just switch away and then switch back to the Library pane.
  • If you're on Windows XPSP2 and wish to rollback from WMP10, you will want to check the "Show Updates" button in the Add/Remove Programs control panel, as WMP10 is a system update. It is not possible to install WMP9 on top of WMP10 and you wouldn't want to.
  • The Nero Fast CD Burning Plug-in does not work in WMP10 at this time. You would likely want to remove that.
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  • AdamLPoniatowski
    I only have one question.  Are you on an Active Directory domain?  

    If so, there is a possibility, that there are policies set in place, causing this issue and it is possible to do the things that you require.  

    Ask your IT department to find a resolution for this.  If you are not in a AD domain, then try the registry fixes the others have posted.
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