MSN Music: Find Album Info – Lose License!

March 3rd, 2007 by Kat Kingsley-Hughes

MSN music Paste Art HereThis morning sitting in my PJs listening to some tunes, when I noticed a track in [TAG]Windows Media Player 11[/TAG] wasn’t showing a picture of the album cover.  So I idly clicked ‘Update Album Info’ thinking that it would go off and find the Art.  Was I wrong!

In fact what it did was change the details of the track entirely.  It’s the same file but the Album Name/Artist Name/Track Name are all completely different.   What the?

What’s more the original album information no longer seems to be in the Windows Media Guide database (from so I can’t select the correct album, even though I originally downloaded the tracks from [TAG]MSN Music[/TAG] – they seem to be two separate databases. 

So I will need to type in the name details manually – but what were they? I can’t remember. No problem, thinks I, playing a track will remind me what it was and I can go search for the details on the web.

MSN Music - you don't have the rights to play this file

The problem comes when Windows Media Player tells me that I don’t have the rights to play this file now.  So I plug in my password and it goes off in search of a license key …

MSN Music - The media player cannot find a valid license to play this song

And here’s the kicker, despite having the right logon on and password for the site, I now don’t have a valid license for this song.  Well of course I don’t have a license for this song – I’d never heard of it until a few minutes ago!  It isn’t my song! My song hasn’t got the name it’s supposed to have!!!

So allow Windows Media Player to update you info at your peril – you may lose your license key in the process!

I’ve warned you, if no one else has!! 

I am surprised by this – I wouldn’t have thought even manually editing the extended track info (ID tag) would affect the license.(More testing needed!) So perhaps the more automatic ‘Update Album Info’ works deeper than that… I will do some more research to try and find out.  It’s hard to test because it’s hard to find tracks that don’t appear in the Media Guide Database (or appear incorrectly) and also I don’t want to completely trash my music library! But if it does turn out that this can happen across the board, I’m much more concerned about the possible effects on my non-MSN Music downloads because they are much harder to recover/download again.

So in the meantime I won’t be allowing Windows Media Player to update album info because I have a few CDs with no burn rights that can’t be recovered because the download Company has gone bust. 

DRM stinks – and once again I wish I’d bought the album from Amazon rather than downloading music. 

Buying music online is like getting a tattoo – you don’t just regret it once, you keep on regretting it – forever!


At this point the only solution I have is to download that album again.  Which, true to form, is refusing to download right now. 
MSN Music - there was a problem with the download - would you like to retry or cancel the download

I’ll try again later but I don’t hold out much hope.  I’ve got a few tracks that permanently suffer problems downloading and once it has happened, despite a lot of searching and emails back and forth, I haven’t found a method to get it to successfully download that track.  The only solution I’ve found is to download the file on a different PC, burn it to a CD and then rip it, which is sailing close to piracy particularly with the [TAG]DRM[/TAG] rights conferred on some tracks (always check the rights before you buy!)

Anyway I’ll keep searching on this one too.  (If anyone has any ideas let me know!)



This entry was posted on Saturday, March 3rd, 2007 at 1:23 pm and is filed under Software. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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