Here are some answers to common questions about media information. If you don't see your question listed here, go to Windows Media Player FAQ online.

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How does album cover art relate to media information?

Album art is a type of media information. When you rip a CD in the Player, album art is typically downloaded from the Internet at the same time as other media information. For more information about album art, see Add or change album art.

Can I choose which data provider to use when downloading media information?

Partially. When you rip a CD, the Player attempts to download media information from a Microsoft database and then add that information to the WMA or MP3 files that are added to your library. The online database contains media information from a number of data providers. You cannot change which online database or data provider the Player uses when ripping CDs.

When you play a music file in your library and you switch to the Info Center view, the Player displays some of the media information that is in the file, such as the song title, album name, and artist name. Depending on the file and the online store that you use, the Player might also display supplemental media information that is not in the file, such as an artist biography, an album review, and music recommendations. (To switch to Info Center view when you are playing a music file, click the Now Playing tab, right-click the area where videos and visualizations appear, and then click Info Center View.)

The supplemental media information is retrieved from the currently active online store. If you want to see if different supplemental media information is available, you can switch to a different online store. For information about switching between online stores, see Shop online.

Does the Player support ID3 tags?

Yes. The Player reads and writes media information in the ID3v2 format. It can also read media information in the ID3v1 format.

ID3 is the name of a standard used to add media information to a digital media file. ID3v1 is the first version of this standard. ID3v2 is the second version.

How do I tell the Player to automatically fix the media information in my files?

The Player can automatically scan the files in your library and download missing media information or attempt to fix incorrect media information. To change this setting, do the following:

  1. Click the arrow below the Library tab, and then click More Options.

  2. In the Automatic media information updates for files area, select the Retrieve additional information from the Internet check box.

  3. Do one of the following:

    • If you want the Player to only add media information that is missing from your files, click Only add missing information.

    • If you want the Player to overwrite all the media information in your files, click Overwrite all media information.

      Use caution with this option. If you manually modify media information in your files, this option will potentially overwrite all of your changes.

How do I prevent the Player from overwriting the media information in my files?

The Overwrite all media information option might be selected. You should select the Only add missing information option instead. For more information, see the question about getting the Player to automatically fix media information in this topic.

When media information is updated in the library, how do I tell the Player to update the item's file name?

When the Player rips a CD, it names the files according to your preference (for example, "01-Sample Song Name-Sample Artist Name.WMA"). You may have music files on your computer that were ripped by other programs and that have file names that don't match your naming preference.

If you want the Player to change the file names of your music files to match your rip settings, perform the following procedure.

  1. Click the arrow below the Library tab, and then click More Options.

  2. In the Automatic media information updates for files area, select the Rename music files using rip music settings check box.

    Your files will potentially be renamed when any media information in them is updated (either manually by you or automatically by the Player).

When media information is updated in the library, how do I tell the Player to move the files to the appropriate artist and album folders on my computer?

When the Player rips a CD, it names the files according to your preference, and then stores the files in subfolders based upon the artist and album names. By default, if the media information for the files changes (for example, the artist name or album name is modified), the file will remain in the same physical location.

If you want, you can tell the Player to automatically move your files to the appropriate artist or album folders if the media information in the files changes. To turn on this setting, do the following:

  1. Click the arrow below the Library tab, and then click More Options.

  2. In the Automatic media information updates for files area, select the Rearrange music in rip music folder, using rip music settings check box.

    Your files will potentially be rearranged when any media information in them is updated (either manually by you or automatically by the Player).

How do I make sure my ratings are not overwritten by other people who use my computer?

The answer to this question depends upon how your computer is configured. If everyone logs on to your computer by using a single user account, there is no way to prevent other people from overwriting your user ratings if they also choose to rate items in the library.

However, if everyone uses their own user account to log on to your computer, you can configure your copy of Windows Media Player to store your user ratings in your media files and you can configure the other people's copies of the Player to store their user ratings in their respective library database files. The following steps explain the procedure.

  1. Log on to your computer using your user account.

  2. In Windows Media Player, click the arrow below the Library tab, and then click More Options.

  3. In the Automatic media information updates for files area, verify that the Maintain my star ratings as global ratings in files check box is selected.

    When this setting is selected, your user ratings are stored in your individual media files instead of in your library database file. Even though the rating information is stored in a different file location, your ratings will still appear in your library as normal.

  4. Log off of your user account and log on to the other person's user account (you might need the other person to enter his or her account password).

  5. In Windows Media Player, click the arrow below the Library tab, and then click More Options.

  6. In the Automatic media information updates for files area, clear the Maintain my star ratings as global ratings in files check box.

    When this check box is cleared, the user's ratings are stored in their library database file instead of in the individual media files.

  7. Repeat steps four through six for any other accounts that are on your computer.