WMP keeps a long list of open files - how to shorten it


#1

This is about my daily fight with WMP.
(And no, I can't use a different program.)
Looking at WMPÜ through the process explorer reveals, that WMP keeps a rather long list of audio folders open (more than ten).
If you rename these folders, then the list gets shorter (after a new start).
But as soon as the folders are renamed back to their original names, they return to WMP's close watch.
The folder, BTW, usually contain something like 1 to 6 files.
The folder names do not look conspiciuous to me, no special characters (or yes, some with umlauts, but just as many without).
But as one cannot tell WMP to clean its database without creating a new one which takes days, I do not seem to be able to get rid of these entries.
Or does anyone know a remedy that does not mean "create new database"?


#2

What about using an "unlocker" software, like handle.exe ?
Source: https://docs.microsoft.com/de-de/sysinternals/downloads/handle


#3

THe process explorer would kill the handle also.
No, what bugs me: why is WMP so interested in always the same list?
Why don't the folder names get replaced by others.

As larger collections frequently lead to the error message that something is wrong with the WMP database, I suspect that these leftovers are indicators for the underlying problems.
But as I do not know any tool to remove the "zombie folders", I was looking for some advice.
With process explorer, I deleted the handle (with an awful lot of accompaniing warnings, that this could destabilize the system) and for the current wmp session they did not appear again.
But guess what: the next session showed them all in their full pride.


#4

Have you tried to move these folders to a complete other location?


#5

As I said: when you rename them everything is fine, the process explorer shows a list that looks ok as you see only the files and folders that are currently being played or checked for updates. The strange folders do not reappear with their new names.
They also do not reappear when I rename them while WMP is running.
Only after a new start of WMP and the folders having the old names, they get locked by WMP.
Absolutely strange. I suspect some kind of database hickup which apparently cannot be removed.
And as the folders are released as soon as I close WMP, I do not have any inconveniences besides the long list of file handles in the process explorer.

In a way I am dreamer and i dream that someone knowledgeable from the WMP development stumbles over these observations, has a look at the code and improves it. Or releases a decent database maintenance tool so that you do not have to rebuild the whole database and lose all play counters and produce just as many problems while creating a new database as there were before in the messed up one. End of outbreak.


#6

Could it be related to syncing drives? This would be only relevant if the affected files are on an external HDD.


#7

Indeed, the files are on an external drive. And I had a look into the WMP database with a hexeditor and I found the old HDD name for some of the entries.
How would one tell WMP that the files are OK and need no more synchronizing?


#8

You could try removing this drive from the Sync tab (if it's listed there).


#9

I never noticed that - as the "Sync" tab never opened (as opposed to any thumb drive that I plugged into that computer). ....

Edit one day later:
Indeed, the external HDD is listed as device for synchronization.
But that's it.
It is not possible to remove it, the synchronization centre does not show any open synchronizations, commands to stop the synchronization are not available.
The list of open file handles stays the same in the process explorer.
Sorry, I do not know enough about this.


#10

I'm not a WMP user, so consider everything as wildly guessing :slight_smile: Can you check the Device tab under options? Maybe it's listed there and you can modify the sync options for this particular device.


#11

You sort of end up in the Windows synchronization centre.
And there nothing can be set for this device.
But to answer the questions in order:
The HDD is listed under "Devices" like the CD drive, speakers and such stuff.
The "Enhanced" button leads to a dialogue where you can set the conversion options.
The "Properties" button leads to a dialogue with 2 tabs: "Synchron." and "Quality"
"Synchron." lets me set a name and wether I want to create a folder hierarchie. This is ticked.
the option to start a synchronization when the device is plugged in, is disabled.
In WMP itself it is also not possible to start or stop the synchronization. THe alleged "synchronizsation progress" is non: it does not progress.
The process explorer still shows the same file handles.
But thanks for thinking about my problem.


#12

Whereever that came from:
After a long time I checked the library setting for the music files.
And guess what: all the strangely open files were there as locations to watch.
I am absolutely positve that I did not add the folders and files to the library.
The library in the Explorer also did not show these files and folders.
Anyway: removing the files and folders from the "watched folders" list closed them immediately.
Case resolved.
(Sorry, no-one could have guessed this from the outside.)