Since 8.1 update, media playback becomes super-slow, with no sound

Since the update to Windows 8.1, I am running into a media playback problem. For no apparent reason (it seems to happen sometimes after the computer has been idle for a while) all media content (streamed and local) will play back at slower than half-speed, and with no sound. The only way to fix the problem, that I can find, is to reboot. Then it's gone again for a while, but always comes back eventually.

I've got a Gateway desktop with Intel integrated graphics. At first I thought it might be a result of my Intel graphics drivers needing an update after moving to Windows 8.1. But the problem persists. It doesn't appear to be a processor/memory/resources issue -- the computer itself runs fine throughout. Just this bizarre issue with super-slowed-down and audio-less media playback.

I'd be glad for any suggestions from MS or anyone who has run into and resolved this problem.
 

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Last updated September 18, 2019 Views 7,371 Applies to:

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Hi,

 

1.    Do you get any error message when you playback music files?

2.    Which media player are you using?

3.    Is the issue occurring only when you playback a particular format files?

4.    Is the sound issue specific to Media Player on the computer?

5.    Have you made any recent hardware or software changes to the computer?

 

I suggest you to refer to try the following steps if you are using Windows Media Player to playback files.

 

You can run Windows Media Player troubleshooter and check if it helps.

 

Method 1: Troubleshooter

 

Windows 8 has a built-in troubleshooter which can check and fix any device issues. I would suggest you to run this troubleshooter. Refer these steps:

 

a)      Press Windows key +X, select Control panel.

b)      Change the view by option on the top right to Large icons

c)       Click on troubleshooting and click on the view all option on the left panel

d)      Run the Windows media player settings troubleshooter.

 

Method 2:

 

You can change the speed at which files play in the Player. For example, you can slow down the playback speed if you're taking notes while watching a training video, or you can speed up the slow sections of a presentation.

a. Play a file, and then switch to Now Playing mode.

b. If you’re in the Player Library, click the Switch to Now Playing button in the lower-right corner of the Player.

c. Right-click an open space in the Player (such as to the left of the Stop button) , point to Enhancements, and then click Play speed settings.

d. Move the Play Speed slider to the speed at which you want to play the file, or click the Slow, Normal, or Fast links.

e. To select speeds between the labeled play speeds, in the Play speed settings dialog box, clear the Snap slider to common speeds check box.

f. To hide the settings, click the Close button in the Play speed settings dialog box.

 

Method 3:

 

I would suggest you to enable “Allow applications to take exclusive control of the device” under Speaker properties”


Follow these steps to allow applications to take exclusive control of device.

a. Right click on the Speaker icon in the system tray and click on Playback devices.
b. Make sure your rear speakers are set to default under playback devices.
c. Select the speakers and click on Properties.
d. Click on the Advanced Tab and check “Allow applications to take exclusive control of the device”.
e. Click Apply and OK.

 

You can also refer to the following Microsoft article for more information.

 

No sound in Windows

 

http://windows.microsoft.com/en-US/windows/no-sound-help#no-sound=windows-8&v1h=win8tab2&v2h=win7tab1&v3h=winvistatab1&v4h=winxptab1

 

Hope this helps.

 

Please post back with the required information and we will be glad to assist you further.

 

 

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Thanks for your reply. One important point is that the issue is very intermittent. I will leave the computer for an hour or two, come back, and find no media will play correctly -- but sometimes I don't see it for a few days. When it does occur, I can restart and the everything is back to normal. Your questions:

1.    Do you get any error message when you playback music files?


No... although in Windows 8 I'm not really playing music files, per se. I suppose I could just double-click an mp3 to test it, except the problem is not afflicting me as I write this.


2.    Which media player are you using?


Everything I try: The Netflix app will play videos extremely slowly, with no sound; same for videos on YouTube accessed through a browser, and (local) recorded TV played back through Media Center (which I gather is just Media Player in disguise). Music apps like Slacker will show the song's progress bar and up-clock ticking very slowly, but there's no sound.


3.    Is the issue occurring only when you playback a particular format files?


No. It appears to be universal, affecting media playback of all kinds.


4.    Is the sound issue specific to Media Player on the computer?


No. See above.


5.    Have you made any recent hardware or software changes to the computer?


None. The problem appeared very soon after updating from 8 to 8.1 with the official roll-out in October. I upgraded my Intel integrated graphics driver to a newer version (June release, I think?), but the problem continues to crop up. I have tried other ideas to make it go away -- making sure every app is shut down, for example -- but the only fix I have found is a reboot.

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I am having a very similar issue except all of my playback is choppy (WMP, Slingbox, YouTube or Subsonic) for video files no issue with audio files and I keep losing the sound some time as frequently as every time my video changes from my playlist in WMP. I have tested my resources my network and my internet connection which all seem to be working good. To fix my audio problem I can usually right click on the speaker icon open playback devices and change my default device to my monitors speakers and when it starts playing there I change default back to my Sound Blaster 5.1 audio card and it will start working again. I was having this issue with the audio on another PC during the 8.1 preview and had thought that it had been fixed with the official release (both of the PC it happened on are multiple monitor computers connected to hdtv's so I don't know if that is a factor just that they have that in common) I am about to run my recovery disk and go back to Windows 8 and try to upgrade again because this PC is my bedroom's HPTC and it is pretty worthless as a HTPC if it doesn't play video.
Derek Smith

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I installed the latest drivers for my Sound Blaster Pro and so far after the restart I don't have any playback issues or audio issues. I know that it seems strange but so far it is working if you are using any 3rd party audio devices check and see if they have MS signed drives and then try to download drivers from the manufacturer instead.
Derek Smith

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same problem on Dell tablet with windows 8.1

No sound and slow video when streaming videos. Affects IE and chrome equally

Please advise solution to try

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UPDATE (from the original poster):

I have discovered the origin of the problem -- which continues to this day -- and how to fix it, though not on a permanent basis. The issue is that when certain Metro media apps are closed (examples: Slacker, Netflix, many more) their processes keep running. Whenever I ran into this slow-playback/no-sound issue, I would check Task Manager and find--sure enough--one of these processes was still hanging out.

Killing the process always fixes the problem. This was great to discover, but still really annoying to deal with consistently; imagine half the time, starting up music or video or Media Center, then having to stop playback, open Task Manager, and kill a process or two. It gets old. Plus many users might not be savvy enough to figure this out for themselves, and find it a source of great frustration. My wife still doesn't know how to resolve the problem other than having me sit down at the keyboard and kill the processes.

Seems to me that MS could fix this pretty easily by making sure that when a user closes an app, the process stops, too -- or (if keeping processes alive is part of what the "app" format is all about) getting into the nuts and bolts of why these running processes seem to interfere with media playback by other apps (or on the web -- YouTube will behave the same way).

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yes i am having the exact same problem. this didn't happen until after windows 8.1 update. I DONT KNOW WHAT MS DID BUT YOU GUYS NEED TO FIX THIS !!  I am using an ASUS F551M  with WMP 12 on Windows 8.1 OS and Internet Explorer 11. Like I said all was good until the update happened.  I have already took out the codecs and replaced it with slightly updated version. Was slightly better but the problem still remains.  

My music is everything to me and I am Furious with Microsoft WMP 12.    FIX IT   please this is so INCONVENIENT and annoying.                           RALPH E. RAMIREZ

ps return to     *** Email address is removed for privacy ***

eddie622

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ps2   update on the information needed to the specific problem I am having which is pretty much exactly like the first getlemans prlblem.  with this super slow sounding audio playback right after the windows 8.1 update.  it happens on all mp3 files which is the only music I have in my library. it doesn't happen with just wmp 12 plays it happens when I use vlc or when I use my Ares download. I already know people think its ares. I have a new version with 2 or 3 anti virus anti malware anti everything on it. plus the Ares version I am using is also Pro version and its paid for not the free version.  ok and the problem is notthat it runs at a consistent slow running pace. it varies from regular speed or slightly slower to way slower running speed. so there is no set speed.  also I ran wmp troubleshooter before I even wrote my first email to you guys.

eddie622

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ps 3    as I was saying already ran wmp troubleshooter and it came up with nothing.  this is so freaking strange and we are going on one month with this problem or slightly longer.

eddie622

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Reply In reply to deleted message
I seem to be suffering from the same problem although not as a result of an upgrade.  My new machine was supplied with 8.1 installed. First boot of the day - no streaming playback (either music or video). Reboot the machine. Voiila it works. This is tedious in the extreme.

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