I recently booted into Windows for the first time in I don’t know how long (I wanted to play some Oblivion). As usual, it took me a couple of minutes to start up and get to my desktop. However, once I got there, my machine was almost unusable. Everything was dragging, even just browsing around in Windows Explorer was slow(er than usual). I opened up task manager to see what was going on. Something was eating up 100% of my CPU about every 4 seconds or so. The culprit ended up being the Windows Media Player 11 background service.
This is the process that deals with keeping your music library up to date and apparently searching your network for other instances of itself. I then remembered I had recently moved all of my music from my Windows partition over to my Ubuntu partition, because I rarely use Windows. So, basically after having removed all of my music, Windows Media Player had no idea what to do with itself. It just went berserk trying to find where all its music had gone, leaving my computer completely unusable. Needless to say I killed the process and disabled the service.
Interestingly enough this isn’t the first time this process has caused trouble. After I left a job recently, there were complaints about my old machine continuing to generate network traffic. This process turned out to be the guilty party.
Today’s lesson, don’t use Windows Media Player 11. It’s an okay media player, although like anything else Microsoft it is annoying, but the stupid background process isn’t worth the trouble. I have recently re-downloaded Winamp which works nicely. For me, it isn’t such a big deal because 90% of the time I use Ubuntu which has Rhythmbox (and a slew of other choices).