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problem with media playing programs
April 23, 2005 10:47 PM   Subscribe

It seems like divx, WMP, and this other program called PowerDVD are all running problematically on my computer, and they all started doing it today. Specifically, they play movie-type files too fast or too slow, they stop suddenly, the audio/visual synchronisation disappears or one disappears, and WMP specifically jumps around from chapter to chapter unpredictably when I try to make it skip forward. What could be causing this?
posted by clockzero to Technology (4 answers total)
 
Random wild guess: have you changed anything involving audio recently? Some video players I've used have relied on the audio device consuming the sound data at a reliable rate, and if it's not doing what they think it should be doing, the player will start doing weird things with the video playback in a misguided attempt to compensate.
posted by hattifattener at 11:37 PM on April 23, 2005


generic answer: uninstall, hard boot (turn power off for 15+ seconds), then reinstall. See what happens. Seems like a software/codec conflict somewhere. If it's hardware, god help you.
posted by trinarian at 11:38 PM on April 23, 2005


Seconding hattifattener's speculation: back in the day, changing my nForce chipset's audio acceleration settings played havoc with video playback in, among other things, PowerDVD. (I think the problem was audio accel set to none, which was a workaround for the otherwise-well-behaved No One Lives Forever 2.)

If you've changed audio settings, try returning to default. If you haven't touched them, try it anyway -- something else might've. Check video accelleration settings while you're at it.

Consider updating your audio (and, hey, video) drivers while you're at it.
posted by cortex at 11:53 PM on April 23, 2005


You said "movie-type files", but you also mentioned jumping chapters - is this all when using a CD or DVD drive? A dirty or failing drive could cause this (could even be a loose IDE or power cable). Check the disc as well, for smudges and scratches. Or if you are using burned discs, it could be a problem with the burn, low quality discs, or incompatibility between the drive and the disc.

It could also be low memory - are you running anything else at the same time? Are the media programs you're using slow to start (when starting "empty", not loading by opening the media file). Does your hard drive activity light indicate more hard drive access than seems necessary, or than previously seen in similar circumstances?

In general, check anything that did change or may have changed just before this began happening. Any new software or hardware, any updates (Windows or applications), removing any software, browser plugins, etc. Be sure your anti-virus and anti-spyware programs are up to date, and run a thorough scan. Be sure your anti-virus software is not attempting to scan the file as it plays.

Also ditto what others have said: check audio and video drivers. If the software appears ok, also try testing the audio and video hardware by adjusting your screen resolution up and down the scale, and by playing some audio files, with at least two different programs if possible. If it seems it may be a hardware issue, have you had any lightning storms/power surges/brownouts lately? Or it might be just plain failing.

Long story short, there are lots of different potential causes - do what you can to narrow down, then pinpoint, the root cause.
posted by attercoppe at 7:37 PM on April 24, 2005


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