Audio Files don’t play on Windows N Editions of XP/Vista/7/8/8.1/10

Windows N Editions of XP/Vista/7/8/10 that are sold in Europe without multimedia components for legal reasons. This prevents MP3 playback, along with WMA playback and tagging (in both cases the files will become grey on attempts to play them).

In order to resolve this:

1) If you require the use of WMA and many other codecs, then install Windows Media components as indicated in the articles below (pay close attention as the instructions differ by OS and by versions within an OS):

Windows 8/8.1/10: https://support.microsoft.com/en-gb/help/3145500/media-feature-pack-list-for-windows-n-editions

Windows 7: http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=16546

Windows XP: https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/windows-media-player-details.aspx

2) If WMA files still fail to play, you may need to install the Windows Media Format Runtime:

Windows XP/2003/Vista: http://www.moviekuw.com/sw/WMFDist11-WindowsXP-X86-ENU.exe

3) If you don’t use WMA, the simplest approach is to install an MP3 codec however, this approach will not work for files with unicode in the path/filename.

Applies to: ,

Was this article helpful?