Home » Fix for 30 second gaps between subscription music tracks

Fix for 30 second gaps between subscription music tracks

December 17th, 2005 by Jim

If you own a portable audio player that supports subscription music services (Janus DRM), such as Yahoo! Music Unlimited and Napster To Go, you may have noticed the wait time before DRM protected tracks begin to play will increase over time. With the current players available, most users report 1 to 5 seconds before playback will begin, 3 seconds on average, but once this bug triggers the wait time increases to 30 seconds or more! 😯

Most users speculated the problem was with the subscription music services, but the problem was actually caused by using multiple programs to transfer music to the portal player. For example, exclusively synchronizing with the subscription music provider’s software would be okay, but synchronizing with additional applications, such as a competing music service or the Windows Media Player, would “break” the player until it was formatted.

A hotfix from Microsoft

Microsoft KB Article ID 902344, Revision 2.1, October 7, 2005, “FIX: Some portable devices may take 30 seconds or longer to start playing back a piece of content when you play subscription content that is protected by Windows Media DRM that uses chained licenses”

This problem occurs because the computer incorrectly sends duplicate root licenses to the portable device. This causes the playback startup performance to decrease because the portable device is forced to enumerate duplicate root licenses.

Follow the link to the KB article to download the hotfix, or go to http://windowsupdate.microsoft.com (with Internet Explorer) and select it from the list of optional software updates. If your player is already experiencing the “30 second bug,” you will have to reformat it to fix it.

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Revision History

2005.12.17 Initial revision.


I do not offer a warranty or guarantee for anything described in this article. All of my tips are based on personal and professional experience, but you are solely responsible for your own actions. Please backup your data first, and exercise extreme caution when using this information!

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