If you are a Windows user, you most probably use Windows Media Player (WMP), which is quite simply a media application and media library application development from Microsoft. With Windows Media Player, you can play audios, view videos, movies and images. WMP, like any other application in its category is built with a database, where crucial information is stored. Unfortunately, those databases can become corrupted albeit Microsoft has made it smarter to recover automatically. Still, the database can also become corrupted in such a way that Windows Media Player itself cannot fix the issue. Therefore, we aim to show you how you can fix this problem with a few easy steps. If the problem cannot be fixed, we will also introduce an alternative software that you can use for all your media consumption needs.
Part 1: What does media library is corrupted mean?
Windows Media Player (WMP), which is a media application and media library application development from Microsoft, which makes it the default or system application in its category. The “Media library is corrupted” is an error which occurs when either the Windows Media Player library database itself, or the information stored in it gets corrupted. It also occurs when any file or information contained in the database is non-readable by Windows Media Player.
In more severe cases, some users have reported that this error keeps appearing every 10 minutes, and then it goes away by itself every other day. Under normal circumstances, the database should be able to recover automatically by-itself from the database corruption. Simply rebooting the computer has also been reported to solve the problem. However, using the troubleshooter does not fix this problem for some users. The data corruption in some cases is of a nature that the recovery process needed is manual, and therefore we will now show you how to do it manually. Before you attempt to do it yourself, we will discuss a little bit about the Windows System Restore which is a very important for you to know before you attempt to repair your Windows system features.
Windows System Restore
According to Microsoft, System Restore is a Windows tool designed to protect and repair the computer software. System Restore takes what is referred to as a "snapshot" of the some system files and the Windows registry and saves them as Restore Points. When an install failure or data corruption occurs, System Restore can return a system to working condition without you having to reinstall the operating system again. It repairs the Windows environment by reverting back to the files and settings that were saved in the restore point.
System Restore will not affect personal data contained on the computer. The utility creates Restore Points on a daily basis by default. It continually monitors system activity and creates a restore point when particular activities occur. Types of activities that trigger automatic creation of restore points include: installing software, installing new hardware drivers, updating hardware drives and in this case changing critical system settings that may change the way a computer operates. It can also be created manually.
Therefore, it is important for you to create a System Restore Point before you proceed with “how to fix media library is corrupted”.
Solution 1: Disable and re-enable WMP in Windows Features
If you have encountered this error, and failed to fix a corrupted Windows Media Player library database, you might have been tempted to research on how to reinstall Windows Media Player. Unfortunately, Windows Media Player cannot be uninstalled because it is a system application that is one of the backbones of the Windows operating system. What you can do for system applications like WMP is to disable and re-enable them in Windows Features. This method could fix the problem for you, and to do that follow the easy steps below.
Step 1: Click on the ‘Start’ button > search box > type ‘Control Panel’ > click on it.
Step 2: When you open Control Panel, select ‘View by Category’ just below the search box.
Step 3: When the next tab opens, click on ‘Turn Windows features on or off’ which should be under ‘Programs and Features’.
Step 4: When the window appears, click on the (+) symbol next to ‘Media Features’ to expand, then uncheck ‘Windows Media Player’ followed by clicking ‘Yes’.
Step 5: After that, you will be prompted to restart your computer. Restart it, then re-enable the feature by following the steps above again.
Solution 2: Rebuild the Database or delete the Database cache files
If disabling and enabling Windows Media Player did not solve the corrupted library problem for you, then rebuilding or deleting the database cache files might work for you. This is because the cache files themselves might be corrupted, thereby causing the error. Therefore look at the steps below on how to do so.
Step 1: Press Windows Key+R, and type “%LOCALAPPDATA%\Microsoft” and hit Enter. The Microsoft system folder will open.
Step 2: Look for ‘Media Player’ folder. Right click on it, press Shift and click on ‘Delete’. This will permanently delete ‘Media Player’ folder.
Step 3: Restart your computer. As Windows will be booted, Windows Media Player will rebuild the Windows Media Player database.
Note: If you are receiving the “Current database cannot be deleted because it’s open in Windows Media Network Sharing Service” message, then you will not be able to delete the folder. Follow these steps to delete the folder:
Step 1: Press Windows key+R, and type ‘services.msc' and click on ‘OK’. Services utility will open.
Step 2: Scroll down to find ‘Windows Media Player Network Sharing Service’ and right click on it. Click on ‘Stop’. This will stop ‘Windows Media Player Network Sharing Service‘ on your computer, and close ‘Services’.
Step 3: Follow the steps above again to do delete the cache.
If deleting the database cache files does not solve the problem for you, it could be a sign of a major problem with your copy of the Windows operating system. In that case, resetting or re-installing Windows could be the only way out for you although we think its a tedious process.
Solution 4: Use WMP alternatives instead
The best, and sometimes the only possible way to fix a corrupted Windows Media Player database is through reinstalling Windows altogether, especially on older Windows versions like Windows 7. However, we all know that re-installing Windows is a tedious process, and if you do not have time then you probably have to look for Windows Media Player alternatives. Then Leawo Blu-ray Player is believed to be the best alternative, and one that we would highly recommend. Most importantly, this software will support more video and audio formats in comparison to Windows Media Player (over 180 to be precise), which include AVI, MPEG, WMV, ASF, FLV, MKV, MKA, QuickTime, MP4, M4A, AAC, NUT, Ogg, OGM, etc. It is built with technologies that allow hardware and software acceleration, as a result allowing you to play videos smoothly, and delivering lossless video playback with resolutions of 720P, 1080P, 1080i and 4K (2160P).
Step 1: Import your videos, movies and/ or music. From the main interface, open your videos, movies, DVDs, Blu-ray videos or music from your computer by clicking the “Open File” button. When done, you should see your videos, movies or music on the playlists.
Step 2: For videos and movies, set the subtitles. Right-click the screen while playing back the video, then choose Subtitles tab and a pop-up window for setting the subtitles will appear. It has the “Enable subtitles”, “Subtitle offset”, “Subtitle selecting” and “Browse for subtitle”, options. Choose an option that suites your needs and adjust it accordingly.