With Windows 7 Beta 1 officially available for download
from Microsoft as of January 10, 2009, along with the associated product keys, one of the first things that users will have to do following installation is to update the operating system. On January 9, Microsoft started offering an update for both the 32-bit
and 64-bit versions
of Windows 7 Beta, designed to resolve issues related to the Windows Media Center and Windows Media Player components of the operating system. According to Microsoft, the refresh is set up to fix the MP3 file corruption issue in Windows 7, but also problems related to Windows Media Center playback and recording.
“Playback and recording issues that are fixed in this update: protected tuning sources, such as OCUR and ISDB, do not function correctly; MHEG (iTV) in Europe does not function correctly; recording of a series may fail after some time, if the system was upgraded from Windows Vista and the recording of that series was set up in Windows Vista; Windows Vista DVR-MS recordings do not play back in Windows Media Center or in Windows Media Player; and Windows Media Center may become unstable when you perform recording operations,” Microsoft stated
As far as the corruption issue is concerned, the Redmond company informed that it was associated with the process of editing the metadata of MP3 files. However, because of the fact that Windows Media Player is designed to add metadata by default when it is missing, via a feature that is turned on also by default, all MP3 files with large headers in the Windows Media Player and Windows Media Center libraries will become corrupt. Microsoft informed that corrupt MP3 files would lose audio.
“Every time that metadata is edited in an MP3 file that already contains lots of metadata in the file header, some audio at the beginning of the track may be lost permanently. Up to several seconds of audio may be lost,” the software giant informed. “Large headers are common in music files that are purchased from commercial services, because the files usually have large album art. Use of tools to add large album art to existing MP3 files may also cause this audio loss. Specifically, any information that causes the header size to exceed 16 kilobytes will trigger the loss. Each edit will increase the total loss.”
There are two workarounds to prevent MP3 files from being corrupted by Windows 7, in addition to applying the actual update. Microsoft advises users to either set all their MP3 files to Read-only via their properties, or to disable metadata automatic updates in Windows Media Player, through the Tools menu, Options, Library tab, and then un-check the Retrieve additional information from the Internet check box and the Maintain my star ratings as global ratings in files check box.
The company headquartered in Redmond, Washington, also delivered a “Possible solution to the MP3 file corruption issue – if some of your MP3 files have already been affected, you might be able to restore the corrupted MP3 files to their pre-edit status. To do this, follow these steps: in Windows Explorer, right-click a corrupted MP3 file, and then click Properties. On the Previous Version tab, select an earlier version in the File Versions list, and then click Restore. If multiple edits were performed, you may have to revert to the oldest version that is available.”
Windows 7 Beta is available for download here