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Windows 7’s Windows Media Player app is about to get worse

As Windows 7 hurtles towards its end of life date (January 14 2020), it looks like Microsoft is beginning to strip features from the ageing operating system, and it has now removed a key feature from Windows 7’s Windows Media Player.

According to a support document that Microsoft quietly updated a few days ago, “you may be unable to view information (metadata) such as the title, genre, and artist for songs, and the director, actors, cover art, and TV guide for movies in Windows Media Center and Windows Media Player.”

This move also affects the Windows Media Center app found in Windows 7, Windows 8 and Windows 8.1.

So, it looks like when you import music or videos into Windows Media Player in Windows 7, titles, artist names and other information won’t be downloaded. This is a major blow to the usefulness of the app, in our view.


Microsoft looked at customer feedback and usage data regarding the feature and decided to discontinue it, so it probably means not many people were using it.

If you were, it might mean it’s time to finally upgrade from Windows 7 – as you’ll probably want to anyway before January 14 next year – or start using an alternative such as VLC Media Player.

While the removal of this feature is disappointing, Microsoft has promised that metadata that’s already been downloaded will still be available – it just won’t download metadata for new media you add.

Microsoft has also explained that this change won’t affect any of the app’s media playing functionality, such as playback, media stream and other major features.

Still, it’s a reminder that it’s probably worth thinking about upgrading to Windows 10.

Via Windows Latest

Matt Hanson

Senior Computing editor

Matt (Twitter) is TechRadar's Senior Computing editor. Having written for a number of publications such as PC Plus, PC Format, T3 and Linux Format, there's no aspect of technology that Matt isn't passionate about, especially computing and PC gaming. If you're encountering a problem or need some advice with your PC or Mac, drop him a line on Twitter.