Dale Preston's Web Log
  
Sunday, March 18, 2007
 

Windows Media Player Metadata Backup for Audio

Notice 5-28-2007:

Version 1.1 of MetadataBackup is available for download. Click the download links below. Version 1.1 fixes the problem that some users have reported with null characters in the data.

Update, March 28, 2010: Tim De Baets, a user of my MP3 tools, has volunteered to lead future development for MetdataBackup at http://sourceforge.net/projects/metadatabackup/. He has already fixed a couple of bugs that have been around for a while but I just have not had time to fix. Thanks, Tim! Because of this, I am removing the download links from my site. Please go to the SourceForge site to download MetadataBackup.



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To use Preston Media Metadata Backup, you must have the Microsoft .Net framework, version 2.0 or version 3.0 installed on your computer. All Vista computers have .Net 3.0 and will run Preston Media Metadata Backup.

Introduction


Finally - here is something the Windows Media Player community has asked for for a long time. Not just from me but from, well, the Windows Media Player community. Metadata backup is a tool that will back up the data in your Windows Media Player library database.

How Windows Media Player stores your data


If you're not aware, Windows Media Player stores data about your music files, in two different places. First, it stores data in ID3 tags within the files themselves. You can get a few other tools I have developed for managing ID3 tags, such as my ID3 Tag Backup, ID3 Embed Pictures, and ID3 Raw Tag Viewer.

The other place where Windows Media Player stores information about your music files is in the Windows Media Player library database. There is a copy of the database for each user that logs into your PC and runs Windows Media Player. This database does not include the actual media but only metadata about the media - data like album name, artist name, when it was added to your library, etc.

To see what metadata values correspond to which ID3 tag frames, read Windows Media Format 11 SDK ID3 Tag Support on MSDN.

Rebuilding your Windows Media Player library database


The database is, by default, stored in a hidden folder buried deeply within your user profile. For instance, on my Windows 2003 Server PC, with Windows Media Player 10, my database is stored at "C:\Documents and Settings\Dale\Local Settings\Application Data\Microsoft\Media Player\CurrentDatabase_219.wmdb". On my Vista PC, with Windows Media Player 11, the database is stored at "C:\Users\Dale\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Media Player\CurrentDatabase_360.wmdb". Many of those folders are hidden or system folders and to see them, you have to enable the listing of both hidden and system files and folders in the Folder Options settings in Windows Explorer.

Remember these paths because they can be important for fixing database problems. To fix a corrupted database, you'll want to browse to the "Microsoft" folder level, such as for me, "C:\Users\Dale\AppData\Local\Microsoft\" - replace Dale with your own user account name, and rename the Media Player folder to something else - something like "Media Player_Old" or something. As I understand it, renaming the folder causes the player to build a new, empty, database faster than just deleting or renaming the database files. This is because the database data is cached within Windows Media Player and renaming the folder, apparently, causes the cache to be thrown out and the new database built. Just remember to do this with Windows Media Player not running!

Backing up your Windows Media Player library database


One way to backup the metadata in your library is to simply make a backup copy of the database file or the entire folder from time to time. This is a file system based backup. To restore the backup, simply reboot your PC and before opening Windows Media Player, replace the file or folder with your backup. Piece of cake. As long as the database backup you're restoring is of the same version of Windows Media Player and as long as that database is not corrupt - afterall, the reason for needing a backup in the first place is because the Windows Media Player database is just not very reliable at all.

What's wrong with the Windows Media Player library database


Let me editorialize for a minute here - after all, isn't that what blogs are for?

Microsoft produces a fantastic and powerful database system called SQL Server 2005. This is an enterprise capable database system that can cost as much as 25,000 dollars a copy up to hundreds of thousands of dollars a copy and can be installed on servers with anywhere from 1 to 64 processors. Microsoft, very much to my amazement, has produced a free version of SQL Server 2005 for desktop use that, for most desktop users, you would never notice the few limitations (such as only one processor - afterall, do you have 64 processors on your PC?).

SQL Server 2005 Express Edition supports fully logged database transactions, fantastic backup support, and famous reliability and performance. The database format for Windows Media Player has none of these features - including the reliability or performance. Microsoft recommends using SQL Server 2005 Express Edition for all desktop database needs just as they had, for many years before , suggested SQL Server 2005 Express Edition's predecessor, MSDE.

For some reason, the Windows Media Player product team does not follow Microsoft's own recommendations and they continue to use a proprietary database system that can only be accessed through their provided interfaces and that is notoriously slow and unreliable.

Why use Metadata Backup


Apparently, the Windows Media Player product team just doesn't think your data or the hundreds of hours you may have spent managing that data has any value and can be discarded without regard. That is one of the two primary reasons that I wrote Metadata Backup for Windows Media Player. Obviously, your database and mine have a lot of intrinsic value. We have spent hours tweaking them and getting them just right and if they get corrupted - which definitely happens - we absolutely want to get them rolling again.

The second primary reason I wrote Metadata Backup is that it can also support migrating data from one PC to another. If you just got your new Vista PC you can use Metadata Backup to backup the metadata from the library, including your stars ratings, custom columns in the library, and other data that is not normally stored in the ID3 tags and is, therefore, not reflective of the media - and thus represent the bulk of the work in managing many libraries, and then, after copying your media over to the new PC, use Metadata Backup to restore those custom values that are not copied with the file.

Backing up your metadata with Metadata Backup


Metadata Backup uses a different approach than simply backing up the database file. And this is necessary for moving libraries to a new PC or drive, for instance. Metadata Backup starts with the music files on your drive and gets just the data for those files. It does not retrieve data for images, videos, or deleted tracks that are stored in the database file as well. For using with your music library, this gives a much cleaner backup and restoration.

So, let's get on to how to use Metadata Backup to backup your library database.

1. Start by selecting the starting point in your music folders. If you are moving just a single artist, you may want to browse to the folder for that artist, such as (in my library): "D:\My Music\Alabama" or, to backup your entire library, again using my own as an example, I would browse to "D:\My Music".

2. Next, unless you're just backing up one album and you browsed to the album contents in step 1, you will want to check the box to include subfolders. That will cause Metadata Backup to get the data on all files in the selected folder (your music library - which probably won't contain any tracks) and every folder underneath - such as all the artists and albums.

3. Now browse to where you want to store the XML file containing the backed up data and provide the file name you wish to use or accept the default.

4. Click the Backup button. Depending on how large your library is, this could take a while. With my 10,000+ file library, it takes about 30 minutes on an old PC and just a few minutes on my dual-core Vista PC.

That's it. Your database is backed up. Now, you can protect or recover a lot more data when Windows Media Player corrupts your database library.

Restoring your backed up metadata using Metadata Backup


So, how do I restore?

A key fact with how Metadata Backup works fore restoring is that it is dependent on the file structure that existed when the database was backed up. Don't change any file names or any folder names or hierarchy for artists or albums. Metadata Backup uses the SourceURL attribute for locating the files to restore metadata for. If you want to make any of those other changes, make them after restoring your database or if you don't need to restore the database, make a new backup after making those changes.

Ok, on with the restoration steps.

1. Browse for the starting folder of your library. Typically, this will be the folder that contains all the artist folders or that contains the same artist or album folder that you backed up and are now restoring. The Include subfolders checkbox has no effect on restorations. The restoration restores everything in the XML file.

2. Browse to the database backup file that you previously created.

3. Click Restore.

Using Metadata Backup to restore your metadata when moving your library to a new drive or PC


And the last major use for Metadata Backup is to move your library to a new drive or PC.

Let's say that, in my case, I had originally backed up the metadata for my entire music library at "D:\My Music" and now I want to move my library to a new computer. The thing is, on the new PC, I want to organize my drives a little differently. So I want to put the library at "E:\Shared Data\Shared Music". That's just fine. Metadata Backup will handle that seamlessly just as long as I don't change the structure underneath those folders. For instance, when I copy the music over, I still have, under Shared Music now, just as it was under My Music before, folders named ".38 Special", "10cc", "Abba", "Aerosmith", "Alabama", and so on.

Then, before using Metadata Backup, I would add all the new music to the WMP media library by press ing F3 in Windows Media Player. You have to do this because Metadata Backup onlyu restores metadata for files that exist on the target file system. It starts by reading the data in the backup for a track, then verifies that the track exists on the filesystem, and then restores the metadata. So, with the files all added to the Windows Media Player library, we can restore the metadata.

When I browse for the music source folder to restore on the new PC, I browse to "E:\Shared Data\Shared Music". Next I browse to where I copied the metadata backup file on the new PC, and finally click Restore.

Metadata backup will restore all of the metadata that is not protected as read-only in the database. For a complete list of the attributes used for music files, including whether or not they are read-only and, therefore, can be backed up but not restored, go to http://msdn2.microsoft.com/en-us/library/aa385267.aspx.


To use Preston Media Metadata Backup, you must have the Microsoft .Net framework, version 2.0 or version 3.0 installed on your computer. All Vista computers have .Net 3.0 and will run Preston Media Metadata Backup.
Comments:
Can't seem to download the zip file, is it still available?
 
Please try the download again. There was a server problem with my Internet Service Provider. It took them a couple days to find the problem but the downloads are working again.
 
This post has been removed by a blog administrator.
 
Rather than just backing up a database, I wanted to build a single Windows Media Player 11 setup on a USB disk which can be run on both a laptop and a PC, one running XP Home, the other XP professional. The ripped files do not appear to be a problem, but there doesn't appear to be any way of getting XP to access the \Microsoft\Media Player\CurrentDatabase_nnn.wmdb from the USB rather than a Windows dictated location? My guess is that this is to do with DRM constraints on Microsoft's part, but is there any way of circumventing this?

Barrington
 
This post has been removed by the author.
 
Anonymous, for information on changing the location of the database, search the Windows Media Player newsgroups for the term LibraryDatabasePath. You will find a registry hack that you can use to set the path for the database. Just put a .reg file on your thumb drive to set the path before starting WMP.
 
This post has been removed by a blog administrator.
 
Rick, I suggest the MSDN newsgroups at msdn.microsoft.com/newsgroups for your question. The C# newsgroup is very active and you'll get an answer much sooner than I would be able to look at your code and help you.
 
Larry, I am removing your post because comments are added automatically and I have no way to edit out your email address as you requested. I will email you directions to send me an example of the file you're having trouble with but there is no way to know if we can reproduce the problem by using the file versus what we might see on your own PC.
 
Hi,
I have tried using your Media Player Metadata but when it is going through my music I get an error of:

'.', hexadecimal value 0x00, is an invalid character

What does this mean?
I am in XP and installed v3 .net framework. I also got this error from v2 .Net framework.
 
Hi,

In regard to my error above, you can ignore it. I tested it on another computer and worked fine. I think my system is just messed up and in need of a reinstall!
 
Hello, firstly thank you Mr Preston for this much needed program to backup the WMP database.

I also encountered the same error:

"'.', hexadecimal value 0x00, is an invalid character"

Ant suggestion as to what causes it or how to workaround it?

Regards

eric
 
Do you happen to know if Media Center on Vista uses a different library than WPM11? If so, can I purge it too? I have a weird situation where MC is showing different art than WMP.
 
I just solved the issue with Media Center having different art than WPM: delete the files in C:\Users\me\AppData\Local\Microsoft\ehome\Art Cache
 
Hi Dale, I am having a problem with the Metadata Backup. Unfortunately it is gibberish to me. Error message is .NET Unhandled Exception quote: '.',hexadecimal value 0x00, is an invalid charcater. I had a look at the track where it had hung and could not see any stray '.'
 
Unfortunately, I do not yet have a solution to the invalid character problem. I do not see that in my library but I suspect that it is a null separator between genres or other fields. I am working on a new release in which I will try to catch those nulls and encode them so that they can be written to the XML.

Thanks for your continued patience.

Dale
 
Thanks for your advice. I had a corrupted database and after two hours on the phone with Dell their conclusion was to reinstall Vista. I didn't really need your program, I just renamed the corrupted database file and WMP rebuilt the database, my data was still intact. I could not have done this without you telling me where to look for the database. Thank you.
 
Well, let me add my own name to the list of those who have just lost their library for no apparent reason. While I have created tools to help protect users from such losses, I have not - before now - experienced the loss myself. I just turned on Windows Media Player 11 and was informed that my library was corrupt and would be deleted and WMP shut down. The message said that when I restart WMP a new library would be created.

Good thing that I have the tools to backup my library - sort of. This was on my development machine anyway so it isn't the PC that I use normally for listening to music so there was no real pain in losing the data anyway. The point is that I have not had any system crashes or WMP crashes. Every time I shut down my system it works normally. Every time I shut down WMP it closes normally. So how did my library get corrupted? Because it is UNRELIABLE by design (even if not by intent).

Dale
 
hi dale. Thanks for your help with the library. stuff for WM 11 on the newsgroup site. These were your suggestions:

1. Make sure that the files are not read-only.
2. Check permissions to make sure you can read and write to the folder the
files are in and to the files themselves.
3. Check the box to add previously deleted files.
4. Try dragging the missing files to your media library and dropping them
on the library list.
5. If all else fails, try rebuilding your library by following the
instructions at
http://www.dalepreston.com/Blog/2007/03/windows-media-player-metadata-backup.html#rebuilding.

1 - 3 I'd already tried. Unfortunately I have no idea how you do 4 and i didn't really get the rebuilding stuff you wrote. It assumes a little too much knowledge on my part.

Thanks for your help though - I really appreciate it.

Namasikho
 
Dale,

Your tool would be incredibly useful to me! Thanks so much for spending the time with it!

I am having the same trouble as the others. ('.', hexadecimal value 0x00, is an invalid character.)

I hope you find the problem with it, it would mean SO much to me. Please let me know if I can be of any help, perhaps I can provide you with sample file(s) that cause this error or give you more details about my machine. Please let me know!

Again, I can't thank you enough for working on this tool. It would be a very great thing indeed if I could use it.

I really hope you'll fix this bug. Please let me know if I can help. Maybe I can offer a modest financial incentive, too.

Dan
 
Dan,

I appreciate the offer to help. Email me at dalepres and then the at symbol and then msn and then dot com.

I suspect the problem is related to some fields with multiple values separating those values with a null byte. XML does not like null bytes. As soon as I can, I'll just change the code to test for null bytes and encode them into the XML and I'll need someone who is having the problem to test that version.

Thanks,

Dale
 
Poking my head in here after a few days. I sent you some email, hope you'll get a chance to look at it soon. :)

Dan
 
I like your program Metadata Backup.
- To test it, I applied it to a small WMP 9 library with 4 WAV-songs.
- The 4 WAV songs are present in WMPMetadata.xml, so the backup function works ok.
- But when I restore this backup, after clearing 3 fields (Title, Artist, Album) in WMP 9, an error message occurs: (Exception from HRESULT: 0x80070005 (E_ACCESSDENIED)).
- When I look in the WMP again: 1 song was restored, the other 3 songs were not.
- Dale, do you have an explanation or a solution for this behaviour?

Greetings,

Dirk
 
Dale,

Hate to be annoying, but I hope you're still interested in this project -- it's truly a wonderful thing. Just a few seemingly small issues left. Inches from the finish line! :)

Dan
 
Thanks for the continued interest and patience, Dan.

I just haven't been able to give this any time for the last few weeks. One week was my daughter-in-law's college graduation; the next week my daughter's wedding, and the last week a dead laptop.

So, I am reloaded and have a long weekend to boot. Hopefully we will make some progress this weekend.
 
For all of you that have been having problems with the null character, that problem has been resolved thanks to the help of Dan and Larry, a couple Metadata Backup users who worked with me.

Their effort just shows that Windows Media Player users really do think that their data has value.

You can read more about the problem and solution at http://dalepreston.com/Blog/2007/05/updated-metadatabackup.html or just download the latest version using the links on this page.

Dale
 
I emphatically second Dale's statement: "Their effort just shows that Windows Media Player users really do think that their data has value."

Were more people to seek out this project, more would realize its value.
 
Seeing that this exists is fabulous news. I have to be a jerk and ask for more, though . . .
MS recently released software to support the Zune. It's clearly a pointless fork from WMP 11's code, and uses .wmdb files in Local Settings. The differences are completely unremarkable except for one thing - it plays AAC files (i.e. DRM free iTunes Plus).

I really hoped that it would automatically import the existing WMP 11 metadata database, but it didn't. Then I really hoped that I could copy the file from the Media Player directory to the Zune directory, and that it would pick it up, but its not that easy. Then I was hoping I could replace the existing zune .wmdb files with Media Player's .wmdb files, and that doesn't work either.

Do you think you could figure out how to make the backup work as an export from Media Player and import into Zune? I'm hoping it's easy for you with your existing code base. For all I know they changed the format, too, but I hope not.
 
On May 22, 2007 I reported an error message (Exception from HRESULT: 0x80070005 (E_ACCESSDENIED)) for the combination
(WMP 9, MetaData Backup 1.0.0.0). This error didn't not occur any more after I migrated to (WMP 11, MetaData Backup 1.1.0.0).

Greetings,

Dirk
 
I was pretty excited to see this application when I moved to my new Vista PC. In particular I was hoping it would migrate all the track information I had added to my ripped .wav files. Since the info can't be stored in the .wav files I assumed it was stored in the wmdb database. But, after doing a backup on the old machine, and a restore on the new, none of the info for the .wav files seems to be moved. Am I missing something, or is this not possible?

Thanks
 
Try opening the XML file created by the backup using Microsoft's XML Notepad 2007 (Search at Microsoft.com for it) and see if the XML file has all of the information about your library.

Email me at dalepres then the at symbol and then msn dot com and let me know how it looks.
 
Dale, would it be possible to post the source code? I would like to enhance the tool to actually be able to sync computers, I usually use 3 computers, my laptop, my home machine and work machine. It would be nice to be able to sync the 3 machines with some sort of service that I would write to do so.
 
Hi Dale,

Thanks for your work. I downloaded Metadata Backup for my Vista system (where WMP corrupts its library every day or two :-( ).

Unfortunately, the Restore doesn't recreate my library, despite thinking and apparently working for quite a while. When I load up WMP, there's nothing there.

Am I doing something wrong?

Thanks,

Brion Emde
 
Metadata Backup only restores the metadata for existing items in your library. It doesn't backup or restore the library itself.

Use WMP to scan your media files and add them to the library. Then use Metadata Backup to restore any missing or custom metadata that you have added to your library.

Most of the metadata is stored in the file anyway and will be recovered when WMP adds the items to your library. It is the custom information or other metadata that is stored by WMP in the library rather than in the file that Metadata Backup will help you with.

If you don't want to go through the trouble of scanning your library over and over again, just use Windows Explorer or your favorite Windows file backup program to backup the WMDB files.

Dale
 
Thanks, Dale, I misunderstood the intent. It takes about 4 hours to rescan my library and I thought your program took care of that. Sorry for the misunderstanding.
 
Hi Dale,

Sorry my poor enghish.
I don't know why I can't download the MetadataBackup.zip and ID3TagBackup.zip. I think it is a temporary problem.
I also want to know if there is a tool that migrates WMP data to ID3, so I can manage my files in WMP, send data to ID3 tag, and send my files with my organization to my friends, so they can use in any player and any folder structure. In this case, the star rating is not relevant.
Thanks!!!
 
Hi Dale. I have a problem with the Windows Media Player 11 in Windows Vista. Maybe you can help me.

I have added some songs that they haven't got an album information associated, but when I search and select the right album, press on top of the album, it doesn't update the file with the album information. It's weird because I used to do that and it worked fine, now I can't.

I think maybe the Windows Media Player is corrupt.

Any suggestions are welcome.

Thank you very much

JC
 
Hi, Dale,

I was trying out your software on WMP11 under Vista Ultimate and I'm getting this error message when trying a backup.

Any thoughts?

See the end of this message for details on invoking
just-in-time (JIT) debugging instead of this dialog box.

************** Exception Text **************
System.IO.FileNotFoundException: Could not load file or assembly 'Interop.WMPLib, Version=1.0.0.0, Culture=neutral, PublicKeyToken=null' or one of its dependencies. The system cannot find the file specified.
File name: 'Interop.WMPLib, Version=1.0.0.0, Culture=neutral, PublicKeyToken=null'
at Preston.Media.MediaPlayer..ctor()
at Preston.Media.MetaDataBackupForm.btnBackup_Click(Object sender, EventArgs e)
at System.Windows.Forms.Control.OnClick(EventArgs e)
at System.Windows.Forms.Button.OnClick(EventArgs e)
at System.Windows.Forms.Button.OnMouseUp(MouseEventArgs mevent)
at System.Windows.Forms.Control.WmMouseUp(Message& m, MouseButtons button, Int32 clicks)
at System.Windows.Forms.Control.WndProc(Message& m)
at System.Windows.Forms.ButtonBase.WndProc(Message& m)
at System.Windows.Forms.Button.WndProc(Message& m)
at System.Windows.Forms.Control.ControlNativeWindow.OnMessage(Message& m)
at System.Windows.Forms.Control.ControlNativeWindow.WndProc(Message& m)
at System.Windows.Forms.NativeWindow.Callback(IntPtr hWnd, Int32 msg, IntPtr wparam, IntPtr lparam)

WRN: Assembly binding logging is turned OFF.
To enable assembly bind failure logging, set the registry value [HKLM\Software\Microsoft\Fusion!EnableLog] (DWORD) to 1.
Note: There is some performance penalty associated with assembly bind failure logging.
To turn this feature off, remove the registry value [HKLM\Software\Microsoft\Fusion!EnableLog].



************** Loaded Assemblies **************
mscorlib
Assembly Version: 2.0.0.0
Win32 Version: 2.0.50727.312 (rtmLHS.050727-3100)
CodeBase: file:///C:/Windows/Microsoft.NET/Framework/v2.0.50727/mscorlib.dll
----------------------------------------
MetaDataBackup
Assembly Version: 1.1.0.0
Win32 Version: 1.1.0.0
CodeBase: file:///C:/ProgramData/Microsoft/Windows/Start%20Menu/Programs/MetaDataBackup.exe
----------------------------------------
System.Windows.Forms
Assembly Version: 2.0.0.0
Win32 Version: 2.0.50727.312 (rtmLHS.050727-3100)
CodeBase: file:///C:/Windows/assembly/GAC_MSIL/System.Windows.Forms/2.0.0.0__b77a5c561934e089/System.Windows.Forms.dll
----------------------------------------
System
Assembly Version: 2.0.0.0
Win32 Version: 2.0.50727.312 (rtmLHS.050727-3100)
CodeBase: file:///C:/Windows/assembly/GAC_MSIL/System/2.0.0.0__b77a5c561934e089/System.dll
----------------------------------------
System.Drawing
Assembly Version: 2.0.0.0
Win32 Version: 2.0.50727.312 (rtmLHS.050727-3100)
CodeBase: file:///C:/Windows/assembly/GAC_MSIL/System.Drawing/2.0.0.0__b03f5f7f11d50a3a/System.Drawing.dll
----------------------------------------
System.Configuration
Assembly Version: 2.0.0.0
Win32 Version: 2.0.50727.312 (rtmLHS.050727-3100)
CodeBase: file:///C:/Windows/assembly/GAC_MSIL/System.Configuration/2.0.0.0__b03f5f7f11d50a3a/System.Configuration.dll
----------------------------------------
System.Xml
Assembly Version: 2.0.0.0
Win32 Version: 2.0.50727.312 (rtmLHS.050727-3100)
CodeBase: file:///C:/Windows/assembly/GAC_MSIL/System.Xml/2.0.0.0__b77a5c561934e089/System.Xml.dll
----------------------------------------

************** JIT Debugging **************
To enable just-in-time (JIT) debugging, the .config file for this
application or computer (machine.config) must have the
jitDebugging value set in the system.windows.forms section.
The application must also be compiled with debugging
enabled.
 
Great stuff!!
Thanks.
 
Can it backup and restore the album cover image?
 
In its current form, it will not backup images. I have another version of the application I use at home that backs up ID3 tags, which would include embedded images but I have not had time to prepare it for public consumption.

In general, true backup means copying to another external source such as tape or a portable hard drive and then occasionally rotating that portable drive off site such as a family member's house. That's really how you should backup your images.

In fact, if you don't do a file system backup, the metadata backup created by my app won't do you any good either should the file not be there when you need it.

I recommend using Cobian 7 backup from http://www.cobian.se. I don't personally like Cobian 8. I use Cobian to copy files to a portable drive and then I swap the drive around with one I keep away from the house. That way if the house burns down, I still have a backup.
 
Lynn,

Your problem is most likely caused by not extracting all the files from the zip folder into a common location. If you double-click the executable in Windows Explorer in the compressed folder, you'd get the same results.

Extract all the files to a common folder so that the WMPLIB.DLL file is available to the executable program.

Dale
 
Hi Dale,

just wanted to say THANK YOU for this brilliant piece of software. It is the first time I manage to migrate my Window Media Player meta data in such an easy way, including my dear play count! This all without creating anoying duplicates. It took me less than 30 minutes to transfer everything from one PC to another.

Good job!
 
Here is another big "thank you!", Dale. I got a couple of white space errors on the way trying, but every time I got that I qlicked continue (it doesent make the prog go on, but you do get to scroll the list for processed files) so when removing those few files that caused the program to stop, everything worked like a charm. Thanks again, youre the best! Best regards from Pelle in Sweden.
 
It looks like this is exactly what I would like to do - I have been searching all over for information on how to do this programmatically from c# - but no success:-(

Any chance you can point me to a place where to continue my search (afterall you succeeded bigtime here)?

When I run the MetadataBackup it displays all my media in the listbox - but the XML file is left with only two lines (xml header and a line explaining from where the backup was initiated)
 
Will this work if I'm moving from an XP computer with WMP10 to a vista computer with WMP11. I'm taking the same hard drive out of my old computer and putting in my new one, but it loses all my information, but if I plug it back into my old computer its all there still.
I tried copying the WMPDB but 10 and 11 have differentones so it my library just went blank.
Any input or help would be great, I've looked for a long time for a solution and this seems like its the closet thing. Thanks a lot.
 
It worked for me in my tests from WMP 10 on XP to WMP 11 on Vista.

But then, simply adding the files using the tools in WMP 11 will probably work as well. Just watch out for any custom album art.
 
Hi Dale, I want to say "THANK YOU!!!" I had a problem deleting files from WMP's libary that i had removed before. i tried to deleting them in WMP but i'd didnt worked out. i followed your instructions to find the metafile,(in the map local settings/microsoft/mediaplayer) i deleted it and Voila my WMP libary was clean again :D

Best of it all, because of this problem i finded your website and get aware of backup metadata :D

BIG THANK YOU again for all the hard work!
Delano, the Netherlands
 
When I tried to run metadata on my old XP computer it goes through 1500 of my songs and then gives me an error message. in quotes a 'sqaure', hexadecimal value 0x12 is an invalid charcter.
I installed the .net framework and tried all the different versions of it, cause i thought that might be the problem. Do you have nay ideas? Thanks and heres the details of the error

Unhandled exception has occurred in your application.

The writer is closed or in error state.


DETAILS:

See the end of this message for details on invoking
just-in-time (JIT) debugging instead of this dialog box.

************** Exception Text **************
System.InvalidOperationException: The Writer is closed or in error state.
at System.Xml.XmlWellFormedWriter.AdvanceState(Token token)
at System.Xml.XmlWellFormedWriter.WriteEndElement()
at Preston.Media.MetaDataBackupForm.backgroundWorker1_RunWorkerCompleted(Object sender, RunWorkerCompletedEventArgs e)
at System.ComponentModel.BackgroundWorker.OnRunWorkerCompleted(RunWorkerCompletedEventArgs e)
at System.ComponentModel.BackgroundWorker.AsyncOperationCompleted(Object arg)


************** Loaded Assemblies **************
mscorlib
Assembly Version: 2.0.0.0
Win32 Version: 2.0.50727.1433 (REDBITS.050727-1400)
CodeBase: file:///C:/WINDOWS/Microsoft.NET/Framework/v2.0.50727/mscorlib.dll
----------------------------------------
MetaDataBackup
Assembly Version: 1.1.0.0
Win32 Version: 1.1.0.0
CodeBase: file:///C:/Documents%20and%20Settings/Tyler/Desktop/MetaDataBackup.exe
----------------------------------------
System.Windows.Forms
Assembly Version: 2.0.0.0
Win32 Version: 2.0.50727.1433 (REDBITS.050727-1400)
CodeBase: file:///C:/WINDOWS/assembly/GAC_MSIL/System.Windows.Forms/2.0.0.0__b77a5c561934e089/System.Windows.Forms.dll
----------------------------------------
System
Assembly Version: 2.0.0.0
Win32 Version: 2.0.50727.1433 (REDBITS.050727-1400)
CodeBase: file:///C:/WINDOWS/assembly/GAC_MSIL/System/2.0.0.0__b77a5c561934e089/System.dll
----------------------------------------
System.Drawing
Assembly Version: 2.0.0.0
Win32 Version: 2.0.50727.1433 (REDBITS.050727-1400)
CodeBase: file:///C:/WINDOWS/assembly/GAC_MSIL/System.Drawing/2.0.0.0__b03f5f7f11d50a3a/System.Drawing.dll
----------------------------------------
System.Configuration
Assembly Version: 2.0.0.0
Win32 Version: 2.0.50727.1433 (REDBITS.050727-1400)
CodeBase: file:///C:/WINDOWS/assembly/GAC_MSIL/System.Configuration/2.0.0.0__b03f5f7f11d50a3a/System.Configuration.dll
----------------------------------------
System.Xml
Assembly Version: 2.0.0.0
Win32 Version: 2.0.50727.1433 (REDBITS.050727-1400)
CodeBase: file:///C:/WINDOWS/assembly/GAC_MSIL/System.Xml/2.0.0.0__b77a5c561934e089/System.Xml.dll
----------------------------------------
Interop.WMPLib
Assembly Version: 1.0.0.0
Win32 Version: 1.0.0.0
CodeBase: file:///C:/Documents%20and%20Settings/Tyler/Desktop/Interop.WMPLib.DLL
----------------------------------------

************** JIT Debugging **************
To enable just-in-time (JIT) debugging, the .config file for this
application or computer (machine.config) must have the
jitDebugging value set in the system.windows.forms section.
The application must also be compiled with debugging
enabled.

For example:

configuration
system.windows.forms jitDebugging="true" /
/configuration

When JIT debugging is enabled, any unhandled exception
will be sent to the JIT debugger registered on the computer
rather than be handled by this dialog box.
 
I don't know if this comes under matadata backup, but I want to "export" the DETAILS of my Windows Mediaplayer 11 Library to an access database so I can add a lot more fields than are available in the media player. Will your backup file allow this?

Is there any other way I can do this?

Ian
 
Hi Dale,
thanks a lot for your detailed information about WMP.
According to what Ian wrote last time, I'm also interested in working much more with the WMP library and an extern database.
My problem is:
I have a lot of records with (classical) media information in my Access mdb, and I'm a bit familiar with VB programming.
Until now the following procedure seems to work:
Write my media information manually with a tagging programm in (compressed) media files - update the WMP library - getting most of the results in WMP (or Vista mediacenter).
I can't believe that this is state-of-the-art in data transfer today.

What I would like to get:
1. my own media information in VMP
2. no need of compressed mediafiles or any proprietary file- or tagformats
3. get an "easy to do" ability to deal with the multiple discussed instable database from WMP

What's your idea, do you see a chance to deal with a task like this?

Kind regards
Rudi (from southern Germany)
 
Dale,
many thanks. I spent many hours recording my old vinyl onto disk. It's now burnt to CD as well as sitting on disk and it gets listened to again.

Skipping the long and sad tale, the metadata had become read only somewhere along the line (new pc, then add a Vista partition). After spending a great deal of time wrestling with file permissions I came upon your program and I have been able to rebuild my wmdb file. About 100 entries have needed some post rescue assistance but compared with some 1,000s that's nothing.
Thanks again,
John Holden
England
 
Thanks for saving me nights of headaches try to move my music library and restore settings.
 
When I point it to the root of a remote share I get
"Directory x could not be located." If I go down one folder on that share it works fine on that subtree. Any ideas?
 
Hello Dale,
Thanks for your work and all this precious information. I was wondering if you could - if it's technically feasible and not too much time-consuming - add an alternate version of your program that would dump ALL information contained in the wmdb in a user-friendly format, or at least all information about extracted CD's. Let me explain why I would need this. I spent dozens of hours extracting my CD's (about a thousand), in high-quality mp3 format. The hard part of this work was to correct all inaccurate informations gathered by Media Player on distant databases (eg misspelled track names, confusions between CD-versions, dates, etc) and to manually add all missing information. Now that I can afford a larger hard-drive, I would like to extract again all my CD's in a loss-less format. However, when I try to re-extract a CD, all modifications I made on track titles, CD name, genre, etc. immediately before the first extraction are not taken in account. Media Player is able to know that all tracks are already in the Library, but the attributes automatically assigned to the CD are the same as when I inserted it for the first time, even when Media Player is not connected to internet. Of course, this means that (1) all informations gathered the first time the CD was inserted are still in the wmdb, and (2) the modifications I made were not reflected on the CD entry in the wmdb.
 
My music library is on a disk that came from a now dead system, so I could not run your backup program on the old system.

Is WMP supposed to pick up the metadata tags in the MP3 or WMA files when it scans for new content? Mine does NOT. It's surprising, because WMP on my Windows Mobile 6 smart phone does this.

If I double click on a file name in explorer, WMP plays the song and displays the album, artist and title data correctly (on the Now Playing tab).

But when I import the files by using F3, or dragging them from file explorer, all the tag data is lost.

I thought your backup program would read the tag data from the music files, but it does not. Do you have a program that can read the tag data in the files, and place it in an XML file to be Restored via your backup program?
 
Dale,
I have lots of music and I have it all added to my windows media player. I like to keep a good count of music and find it by artist. I currently have 152658 songs listed but I have more than that it does not list. Does windows media hit a max number it tracks or is my database corrupt.

Thanks
 
Dale, not sure if you're still checking postings. This is a great piece of software you have developed. Especially for those of us who rip their cds in WAV format. Quick question for you. While your software allows you to transfer your ripped cd library from computer to computer and re-organize it in windows media, I haven't found that your software will also "reattach" the coverart to each of the albums. This means for those of us with wav libraries, we must manually reattach all of the coverart in WMP (WMP doesn't automatically download the coverart on its own for wav files). Do you happen to know of a solution for this?

Many thanks, Blake
 
Thanks for the tool but it seems to do nothing!

I am trying to backup one user's database and restore to another user so that the "Date Added" info is the same for both users.

I have ensured that the "backup or restore" folder is the same for both back and restore and both users have libraries built from that location.

However, the "date added" is not the same between users!

Any ideas why?

Thanks!
 
Dale,

I'm been using MetaDataBackup for backup my WMP library metadata information.
I found it very useful, a remarkable utility for anyone who spend too much time organizing the media library data with WMP.

During the testes I made to move my entirely library to an external drive, I found an issue related to the multi-value fields like 'Contributing Artist'.

Windows Media Player uses ';' to separate the several values in the same field.
I also update some of the fields with complementary information using the ; as separator.

When I use MetaDataBackup to backup the library only the first value is stored in the XML output file.
The restoring process works well but it ignores the values beyond the first ';'.

Do you have a solution or a recommendation for this?

Thanks in advance and many many thanks for your great job.

Regards,

Carlos Magno
 
I have downloaded metadatabackup twice and after unzipping it and running the exe file all I get is the old MS box that this program has encountered a problem and needs to close. I downloaded and installed .net3 and tried again, but still no go.
 
I guess I should have added that I am running XPSP2 with 2GB ram on a 3.2ghz intel processor. I am not a blogger so I have no user account to use. Just call me Casadiego
 
Does your WMP Metadata Backup support WMP11?
 
This utility is absolutely essential and is something I have been wanting for a very long time. Thank you, very, very much! I can't tell you how much I appreciate this!

However, there is a bug I found that was previously commented on. WMP uses a semicolon to separate individuals in the composer and contributing artist fields (and possibly other fields as well).

For example, the song "Layla" in my WMP library correctly lists the composer as "Eric Clapton; Jim Gordon", but after backing up and restoring the metadata using the utility, the composer is listed as "Eric Clapton" (Jim Gordon is dropped off). The existence of multiple individuals in the composer field is actually quite common, so there is potential for a not insignificant amount of data loss here.

Since the goal of this project is to retain the metadata that many of us have spent many hours meticulously gathering, it is more than a little disheartening to find this bug.

I do hope you take the time to fix this as I absolutely love this utility and want to make use of it on a regular basis. However, this data loss is unacceptable to me so it is with much regret that I "rolled back" to my bloated and buggy WMP library prior to optimizing it with your utility.

Best of luck and keep up the great work! I'll anxiously await word of an update (keeping fingers crossed here!)
 
Hi Dale, I hope you get to read this. Thanks for the app, it restored my "Play Count" figures brilliantly (before this and after buying a new computer, I actually spent a year re-listening to all tracks in my library!).

However, your app did not restore "Date Last Played" information at all. I like to listen to tracks I haven't heard in a while and have an auto-playlist set at >6 months. Is it possible to restore the Date Last Played metadata too?

Thanks.
tinstar
 
I'm using a NAS unit to store my media files on. I've used (comp1) computer to clean up and edit the info on these files and run apply media changes from WMP11. When I go to another computer (comp2) to build my library it doesn't bring the edited data with it.
I've run metadata backup, but I'm not sure if it's actually backed up the info. Metadata backup is on a computer (comp2)than the one I used to edit the info. What am I doing wrong? If I use metadata backup on comp1 will this actually do anything different?
 
Hi Dale,

Many thanks for creating a took that will enable me to migrate my WMP data to my new PC.
I've just tried to backup my WMP database & I'm also receiving the unhandled exception problem that has been reported a number of times on this page.

(IMHO) I don't think it is a problem with tags in the music files? I'm not a programmer so I could be wrong, but this is what I did to get around the problem:

1. run the metadata backup tool & when you get the error, click continue (rather than quit) & check out the file progress list. The last file in the list is the last file that was successfully backed up.
2. find the FOLDER containing the NEXT file in windows explorer & move that folder outside of 'My Music' so that it won't get picked up in the next run of metadata backup. Note that if the file listed is the last file in a folder (alphanumerically listed), then it is the next folder that should be moved out of My Music.
3. repeatedly run metadata backup identifying the next folder that causes the error until you get a clean run.
4. at least now you have a backup of your WMP database, albeit a partial backup.
5. I then decided to run a test backup on the new folder (outside of My Music) that I had moved all the folders that were causing the unhandled exception problem. This ran cleanly with NO ERRORS !
6. Just for the hell of it I copied this folder containing all the folders that caused the problem into My Music & ran metadata backup again – ANOTHER CLEAN RUN !

So essentially all I did to resolve the problem was to move the folders that contained the files that were producing the errors to a new sub folder in My Music & the backup worked. If there was a problem with the ID3 tags in these files then the backup wouldn’t have worked.

Hopefully, this information might point you in the right direction to provide a fix for this problem?

Kind Regards,

Ken
 
The problem in the application appears to be related to comment frames in ID3 tags with no data. Though I have seen this in ID3 tags created by iTunes from users of my applications, I have never seen it in my own MP3 files, even though every one of them was ripped by iTunes.

I think that I know what the fix is; I just have to have the time to implement it.

Dale
 
Dale
A question.
Is it possible to edit track titles in the XML file and then restore the backup. I am trying to bring the WMP Library track titles in line with the titles in the Music directory so that I can synch some tracks to my Walkman and the library will not synch them across if the track title in the Library is not the same as on the hard disk. I have tried deleting the library database but it rebuilds to use the track title added whrn the track was ripped from a CD
 
Dale,

I came across your blog researching ways to have dual WMP libraries, one .wav and the other .wma. I have found tools to convert from .wav to .wma and keep the same directory structure as my original library. If I use your utility to backup the metadata from the .wav library can I restore it to the .wma library? I understand I will have to change the data in the backup to reflect the new library name and the new filetype. Once I restore to the .wma library, will I have what I expect?

Thanks
 
Colin: WMP will recreate the library using the information contained in the ID3 tag. Use my ID3 tag remover at http://www.dalepreston.com/Blog/2007/01/removing-id3-tags.html before rebuilding the library.

I think that if you edit the XML and restore it and then instruct WMP to update the files under Tools->Apply Media Changes that eventually what was in the XML file will overwrite the ID3 tag anyway.

Greg: See the above. WAV files do not contain any track information in them. Delete the ID3 tags from your MP3 files and edit the XML and then import the XML. My article doesn't cover how to switch between two libraries. To do that, you'd have to do some registry changes and possibly a reboot between each switch - unless you're simply referring to having two sets of files in the same library.
 
Dale,

I was planning to use WMA on the second library. I found out the ID3Backup only works on MP3. The Idea behind the two libraries was to have one for the House (WAV) and one for on the go (Now MP3). Might be nice to also support WMA files.
 
Greg,

See my metadata backup program.

ID3 tags are generally not usable on WMA files, thus no support for WMA in my ID3 tools. Metadata Backup reads the WMP database to get the XML backup.
 
Can anyone advise me what the Unhandled exception error number 80040154 means? The metadata backup is failing to backup. Was working perfectly till today...PC was infected with Malware, cleaned it today also...Any correlation?
 
Hi All,
I tied downloading this using firefox and got a crash. Anyone been experiencing similar issues.

by the way, thanks for creating this software. I am in desperate of something like this,
thanks,
Terry
 
WMP 11 has created many duplicate files and then added them to the library, often in very odd ways. Each new file has a number affixed to the file name. For example, ...Music\Various Artists\Bad Company (2)

Today, for no apparent reason, WMP11 started duplicating every file on the hard drive and adding it to the library in a folder for 101 Strings Orchestra, a folder which did not exist before. The main problem is that WMP11 seems to be creating files and not just library entries, so the entire collection is a mess. I'm not sure what setting I need to change here. Any thoughts would be appreciated. ~DeVere
 
Hi Dale, this sounds like a great tool and thank you for developing it. Just wondering, will this tool save the "Date Last Played" and "Number of Plays" also?
 
It will backup the last played and play count but it's not really required for that. That data is already stored in your media so you can recover it even if you lose your library. Of course if you lose the media and want to re-rip your files, or for moving your database, that's when my program really can help.

Dale
 
Hi Dale, what I was most concerned with is being able to save my "last played" and "number of plays" if transferring to a new computer. Can you tell me how to do that? Thank you for replying? _ Rick
 
I have test your MetaData Backup Tool. It works. It restores the PlayCount for my media files, but not the last played date. this attribute is readonly=true. but you write in this blog, that this information is saved within the media files itself ( i have MP3 Files). So how caqn i restore this information on the new computer?

for now i have two Databases: First a copied one from my old Computer, with all the information in it, also PlayCount and LastPlayedDate, but with broken auto playlists.

and another one, rebuild on the new computer with your tool. this one has no old playlist, i could greate new one, the media files have after the restore the right playcount, but i miss the LastPlayedDate.

So are there any way to restore the old LastPlayed Date with yout tool, or is there a way to delete the old Playlist entry ?
 
Sebastian,

I just have not messed with the Media Player stuff for a while. I have a todo list a mile long for folks such as fixing my ID3 library for a bug that doesn't handle certain COMM frames. I just have not had time to do any of it.

As a result, I am sorry to say, I also don't have time to investigate the problem you're having with the backup utility. You can download my ID3 Raw Tag Viewer to see if the last play date is stored in the ID3 tag.

If it isn't copied over by my program, that would be a limitation of the WMP library I don't remember having noticed before.

If your new hard drive is configured just like the old one with the same drive letter and folder structure, and your WMP version is the same, you might try copying the library database from your old PC to the new PC manually. The worst that could happen is that you end up with a hosed database and you rebuild from the backup you made or by letting WMP search.

Hope this helps.
 
Help...I had around 9,000 tracks in my WMP 11 library, almost all of them recorded from cassette tapes and not available elsewhere or in any other format. I tagged 'em all manually, added album art etc & failed to realise I'd lose all this on reinstalling windows XP...

When I add music to WMP now it ignores my existing file structure and creates one big 'unknown artist/album' CD icon. When I use the search box I can locate tracks by title & the screen brings up the album art for the first track found, whichever track I click on to play, so the info's in there somewhere.

I have a backup of my old system on a removable HD and I've tried using your application to backup the old data & restore to the new system but no joy - several frustrating days googling later here I am....I hope you can help, the alternative seems to be starting again from scratch...thanks in advance
 
gbh,

Try my ID3 Raw Tag Viewer at http://www.dalepreston.com/Blog/2007/02/id3-raw-tag-viewer.html. You can check to see if your backup files actually have ID3 tags.

I assume your files, and your backups, are MP3.
 
Thanks for the prompt reply...the files are all encoded to FLAC, so the mp3 tag program won't help..any other options you know of?
 
An idea for a developer in the area of Media Player metadata: Since Media Player lacks any way to perform mass updates on filtered metadata, wouldn't it be wonderful if there was a utility to export the metadata to, say, Excel where it could be mass edited, then import the results back into Media Player? Anyone know of such a utility?
 
You can do what you asked about with Metadata Backup. You can edit XML files in Excel - it's just not very pretty. Or search Microsoft.com for XML Notepad 2007.

Just understand that any time you start editing outside of WMP, you risk corrupting things. ID3 tag editors have validity checks that they make as you edit and show you error messages as necessary. Editing in bulk with Excel or XML Notepad or any other tool cannot do the validation required.

Another tool I like for editing XML is Notepad++. You can Google it; just be sure to include the plus signs.

And lastly, make sure you backup your media files before trying this. That way, if things go wrong, you restore your backup and rebuild your database from scratch. In fact, backup the output of Metadata Backup before editing as well. That way you can rebuild your library from scratch and then use the backup metadata to restore missing data.

Just remember, you are doing this at your own risk. Backup, backup, backup.
 
oh how i wish that this had worked

i love my smart playlists, but most of them are based upon the 'date added' metadata.

i attempted to transfer my metadata from my primary pc to my laptop, but it didn't seem to make any difference.

it's a shame, i normally like to reformat my hd every few months or so...but i dont' want to loose my info.

i'm not sure what i'm doing wrong.
 
I'm a new Vista user and the first time I used Windows Media Player discovered when I started
to rip CD's, Media Player didn't create an image of the CD on my hard drive while adding the
data to the library. Because of that I couldn't edit the albums and songs. Which meant I
can't replace the information in the library. I make sure that all my songs are MP3 and I'm
getting tracks that look like "Track01.cda". How can I change tags so they look like
"01 Waltz From Sleeping Beauty.mp3". When I ran Windows Media Player 11 on Windows XP I
performed this function by using a program "Tag Tuner". I still can use that program but I
believe I can't change the file name from a "CDA" to a "MP3". Do you know HOW to perform
this function?
 
Your question is better directed on the Windows Media Player newsgroups or Windows forums. If this doesn't answer your question, please don't pursue that question here; try it on the Windows forums or WMP newsgroups.

It sounds like you're copying your CDs to your PC using Windows Explorer instead of ripping with Windows Media Player. Open Windows Media Player and press F1 to open help. Search help for Rip music from a CD (A link to that topic is likely to be on the opening page of help - otherwise search for it).

Read and follow the instructions.

Just remember. Help is your friend. Most Microsoft programs offer pretty good help by simply pressing F1.
 
I just tested this app moving from WMP 11 on XP 32 bit to WMP 12 on windows 7 RC, 64 bit. It worked pretty well, and I wasn't expecting it to, because WMP 12 rejects a CurrentDatabase_360.wmdb copied into the Media Player appdata directory or renamed to CurrentDatabase_372.wmdb.

I had to do an extra step though for it to work. The first time, it looked like everything worked for a moment, but I quit out of WMP 12 very shortly after running the restore program. When I started it again, it had no records, and began re-discovering my music. I repeated the restore, and this time I waited and it gave a notification that it was updating the library in the bottom right (I forgot to write down the exact phrase). Anyway, I waited until it was done before I quit WMP this time, and also I was playing some music. When I re-started WMP 12, the play counts were still there.

Thanks!

As expected, though, it is a pity that the "Last Played" and "Date Added" can't be restored. So much for my auto-playlist.
 
this didn't work for me. it effectively ruined all of my metadata that I had been acquiring for six months. i'm sure it works for some, and i'm sure there's a way, but i tried it three times and it never worked. i wish there were a solution.
 
I know this is a little late Matt, but if you do check back, please provide more information than "it didn't work". That's pretty hard to troubleshoot from.

What didn't work? What messages did you see? What result were you expecting that you didn't get? Did it do something you did not expect? You get the idea. Details.
 
Hello Dale, thanks for making this tool available. I'm having a problem as follows. Following a hardware failure I upgraded to Win 7 and WMP 12 and of course discovered that although my library had been rebuilt all my playcounts had gone (25,000 tracks - all listened to at least once, some 20 or 30 times :( ). I've used your tool on a couple of folders (sort of trial run) but it seems to use the wmp12 database automatically (372 version)rather than the old wmp11 (360) one. I've tried all the usual stuff (moving and renaming 372 version, disabling media sharing, copying 360 into 372 folder, renaming 360 as 372) but whenever I run the tool wmp12 seems to have created a new empty 372 database, so the metadata tool doesn't grab anything, as it seems to read the new 372 file.
I suppose in essence I'm asking is there a way to tell the metadata tool to use a particular wmdb file to grab data from - it seems to use the 372 one whatever I try?
I've got a 360 database sitting here and I can't get the playcounts out of it!

Thanks for any advice.

Kind Regards
 
I saw the link you placed to this article on the Microsoft support forums. The problem I have(as the other posters do) is that I'm trying to make my WMP 11 currentdatabase work in WMP 12.

I've tried using your tool but unsure how exactly it will retrieve my old library for use in the new WMP. I don't get why it scans my music library to create an XML file, and not currentdatabase? Could you give me the exact steps for my library to work over in WMP 12? Thanks.
 
hey dale. matt again. it has indeed been a while but let me see if i can recall the problem. as far as i can remember, my attempted backup managed to eliminate all metadata whatsoever, including track titles. i think it took a good few restarts and pokes and prods to get wmp to recognize that i had any music on my computer period. now my memory is a bit vague on teh subject, i intend to give it another shot this week. i just reformatted with my transition to windows 7 and have nothing to lose.

and if i haven't mentioned it, i really do appreciate your efforts. i was tremendously dissapointed when this didn't work, as it seemed to be just what the doctor ordered. i have no idea why microsoft has such a huge blindspot in regards to this sort of backup.

wish me luck.
 
First of all, thanks for the program. I recently used it to transfer metadata from my old XP laptop with WMP 11 to a new windows 7 laptop with WMP 12. This worked seamlessly except for one thing. I got the play count to transfer, but not the "Date Last Played" information. Is this something that I did wrong, or does that data not transfer between computers/programs. Others on this page have mentioned it, but I haven't seen a definitive answer. I would just really like to know if I'm missing something, or if I should not expect to have this data tranfer. Please advise. Thanks again!
 
Ged, it will export the version that is installed and runnable. The easiest way is to run the export before upgrading to windows 7, or if you still have a backup of your previous windows installation that you can boot from, you could export it there and copy to the drive with the windows 7 installation.
 
Thanks for the feedback Jack - unfortunately I don't have an old installation of Windows in order to access my old .wmdb file. I do have windows xp on a laptop, which currently has no media library associated with it. I'll try and point the laptop media player (v11) to my music collection on my main pc and fiddle with the paths etc and hope that copying the 360 wmdb file to the laptop will enable the export tool to extract the data.
Can't say I'm too optimistic, though!
 
UPDATE - Further to my two posts above. I copied the existing 360 wmdb file to my old xp laptop (which runs wmp11), and then pointed the laptop to my music library on my main (new) Windows 7 pc. I mapped a network drive on the laptop to match the folder holding my music (H:\Music), which I opened for sharing wirelessly. I copied the 360 wdmb into the correct location on the laptop (renaming the existing one)and opened media player and told it to monitor the location of the music (H:\music) on the new Win7 pc - this was an error. Media player started adding to the 360 wmdb I'd just transferred over, so I quit out and started again with the copied 360 wmdb. I realised I didn't even have to open wmp11 - I just ran Metadata Backup on the laptop directly and it worked! I transferred the metadata.xml file back to the main machine and used the restore option - got all my play counts back! Excellent!! Thanks to Dale for the tool and Jack for the comment in response to my earlier post.
 
Hi first of all i would like to say to Dale thanks for the excellent programs you have made over the year for metadata backup. Really thanks.

The backup program has always worked for me, no problem's what's so-ever. Since I installed Win7 32bit, I get a error message (below), Dale do you or Does anyone know how to sort this problem, I am so worried now about my music, not having metadata backed up. please help, post or email on michael.murphy@scofro.com

DETAILS:
See the end of this message for details on invoking
just-in-time (JIT) debugging instead of this dialog box.

************** Exception Text **************
System.InvalidOperationException: The Writer is closed or in error state.
at System.Xml.XmlWellFormedWriter.AdvanceState(Token token)
at System.Xml.XmlWellFormedWriter.WriteEndElement()
at Preston.Media.MetaDataBackupForm.backgroundWorker1_RunWorkerCompleted(Object sender, RunWorkerCompletedEventArgs e)
at System.ComponentModel.BackgroundWorker.OnRunWorkerCompleted(RunWorkerCompletedEventArgs e)
at System.ComponentModel.BackgroundWorker.AsyncOperationCompleted(Object arg)


************** Loaded Assemblies **************
mscorlib
Assembly Version: 2.0.0.0
Win32 Version: 2.0.50727.4927 (NetFXspW7.050727-4900)
CodeBase: file:///C:/Windows/Microsoft.NET/Framework/v2.0.50727/mscorlib.dll
----------------------------------------
MetaDataBackup
Assembly Version: 1.1.0.0
Win32 Version: 1.1.0.0
CodeBase: file:///E:/Set-up%20Programs/Tools/Metadata%20Files/MetaDataBackup.exe
----------------------------------------
System.Windows.Forms
Assembly Version: 2.0.0.0
Win32 Version: 2.0.50727.4927 (NetFXspW7.050727-4900)
CodeBase: file:///C:/Windows/assembly/GAC_MSIL/System.Windows.Forms/2.0.0.0__b77a5c561934e089/System.Windows.Forms.dll
----------------------------------------
System
Assembly Version: 2.0.0.0
Win32 Version: 2.0.50727.4927 (NetFXspW7.050727-4900)
CodeBase: file:///C:/Windows/assembly/GAC_MSIL/System/2.0.0.0__b77a5c561934e089/System.dll
----------------------------------------
System.Drawing
Assembly Version: 2.0.0.0
Win32 Version: 2.0.50727.4927 (NetFXspW7.050727-4900)
CodeBase: file:///C:/Windows/assembly/GAC_MSIL/System.Drawing/2.0.0.0__b03f5f7f11d50a3a/System.Drawing.dll
----------------------------------------
System.Configuration
Assembly Version: 2.0.0.0
Win32 Version: 2.0.50727.4927 (NetFXspW7.050727-4900)
CodeBase: file:///C:/Windows/assembly/GAC_MSIL/System.Configuration/2.0.0.0__b03f5f7f11d50a3a/System.Configuration.dll
----------------------------------------
System.Xml
Assembly Version: 2.0.0.0
Win32 Version: 2.0.50727.4927 (NetFXspW7.050727-4900)
CodeBase: file:///C:/Windows/assembly/GAC_MSIL/System.Xml/2.0.0.0__b77a5c561934e089/System.Xml.dll
----------------------------------------
Interop.WMPLib
Assembly Version: 1.0.0.0
Win32 Version: 1.0.0.0
CodeBase: file:///E:/Set-up%20Programs/Tools/Metadata%20Files/Interop.WMPLib.DLL
----------------------------------------

************** JIT Debugging **************
To enable just-in-time (JIT) debugging, the .config file for this
application or computer (machine.config) must have the
jitDebugging value set in the system.windows.forms section.
The application must also be compiled with debugging
enabled.

For example:





When JIT debugging is enabled, any unhandled exception
will be sent to the JIT debugger registered on the computer
rather than be handled by this dialog box.
 
That error is a bug that only shows up in very fast multi-core PCs. It may be more prevalent in W7 PCs because of the improvements in W7 threading. But it is my bug. I basically know what it is; I just haven't had time to fix it.

As a work around, especially considering where the bug is occuring - past the end of the process, if you choose the Continue option in the error message box you are likely to find that the backup was completed.

The question I cannot tell is whether or not the XML output was successfully closed. Try opening the output XML file in Internet Explorer. That will tell you quickly if the XML is properly formed. If not, please zip the file and email it to me so I can see exactly where it failed.

Regards,

Dale
 
thanks dale for info, much appreciate your quick response;

yes i have quad core,
When i continue after the error it
just hangs and nothing ever continues.

what is your email address so i can send you the file?

again

much appreciate

thanks

michael
 
Hi Dale In posted below, Can you tell me your email address so i can email you the file with the error.

thanks

murphy-michael3@sky.com
 
Ran into the same "surrogate" and "hexadecimal" errors as others above, but a workaround to get 99.999% of all the data backed up was to look in the Results window and find the last file listed, then using Explorer, go to the next file in the folder (this being the one that is the problem) and move the file (temporarily) into another folder outside of the parent folder (e.g. MyMusic) that you are backing up. Then, re-run the Metadata Backup again. Repeat as necessary, but I only had to do it for one file. 6,871 files backed up and 1 not. I can live with that! Thanks again Dale for a great program.
 
Do the Dates (Date last played, Date added) transfer from an xp computer to a win 7 computer????? I gotta know!
 
I have three Windows 7 x64 computers in my house. I store all of my music files on my office computer. Can I use your metadata program to backup the WMP12 database on my office computer, which I have edited my data in WMP and restore it on my other two computers that share the same music files? If not, is there a way to do what I am asking? I would hate to have to edit the database on both of my other computers, as it took me a couple of hours to get it just like I wanted on my office computer.

Thanks,
Dan
 
That sounds like precisely the scenario for which Metadata Backup was written.

Instead of downloading it here, though, go to http://sourceforge.net/projects/metadatabackup/ and get the updated and bug-fixed version that Tim De Baets has posted there. He quickly fixed some bugs I just had not had time to look at.
 
Dale,
I couldn't find the actual download of the program on that site. Do you have a direct download link for it?

Thanks again,
Dan
 
Version 1.2 of Metadata Backup has been released, with the following changes:

* Fixed: "directory could not be located" error when a root folder (such as C:\) is selected.
* Fixed: "invalid character" errors during backup.
* Fixed: System.InvalidOperationException error during backup.
* Metadata Backup now skips subfolders that can't be accessed (like System Volume Information), instead of failing the whole backup operation.
* The Restore and Cancel buttons now require confirmation first.
* Created an installer for Metadata Backup.
* Various small changes.

Download
 
it's matt again. been a few months. once again, attempted to restore my metadata to no avail. this time i took one single folder. backed up the metadata. created a virtual machine running windows 7. transferred the folder to the new computer. loaded up wmp. added the folder to the library. restarted. used the tool to restore the metadata for that particular folder. nothing seems to have happened. the 'date added' field is still being listed as the current date, and not the date i need.

is there a different place i can go for help now that you're not heading the project anymore?
 
Matt again. i just cracked open the backup .xml and discovered something a bit disconcerting. apparently, for each of the files i'm trying to backup, acquisitiontime is set to read only, ala:



it mentions in your help file that your program only updates those fields which are not set to read only. so i guess i know what my problem is. is there any way to fix this? a good percentage of the attributes are read only. is there no hope to get my 'date added' field back for my files? and on a personal note, what's new? your blog post is rarely updated.
 
> Do the Dates (Date last played, Date added) transfer from an xp computer to a win 7 computer????? I gotta know!

Metadata Backup will save these attributes to the XML file, but won't be able to restore them, as the attributes are both read-only.

BTW, to anyone who wants to post a comment/bug report here, please post it in the forum at http://sourceforge.net/projects/metadatabackup/forums/forum/1105147 instead. This is more convenient for me, more orderly (separate topics), and it delivers Dale from having to approve the comment first.
 
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