Windows Media Player command switch

December 15, 2016 at 12:48:46
Specs: several
On a new laptop, with Windows 10 newly installed ...

The Start Menu shortcut to Windows Media Player has a
switch in the command line (In the Properties dialog for the
shortcut, on the Shortcut tab, in the box labeled Target):

"%ProgramFiles(x86)%\Windows Media Player\wmplayer.exe" /prefetch:1

Can anyone tell me what that prefetch switch does?

-- Jeff, in Minneapolis


See More: Windows Media Player command switch

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#1
December 15, 2016 at 13:27:45
It's been there for years (was there in XP days if I remember correectly). It has to do with calling up prefetch (to speed up WMP program loading) but there are some different ideas about the exact reason for this. This looks like the best explanation:
http://superuser.com/questions/2821...

Some folk assume that if they put the same switch after other programs shortcuts it will also speed up their loading. Apparently that is not the case - that idea has been refuted many times.

I've never found it made much difference but as it's supposed to be there it is best left in place. It certainly does no harm.

Always pop back and let us know the outcome - thanks


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#2
December 15, 2016 at 13:52:33
The easiest way to "fix" WMP is not to use it at all.

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#3
December 16, 2016 at 02:01:41
If I correctly understand the explanation in the post on Derek's
link, the /prefetch:1 switch causes a new prefetch arrangement
to be set up and saved for future use. The post didn't say so,
but my guess is that this might be useful when the set of dll
modules used by the program changes more frequently than
prefetch is designed to expect by default.

I currently have both superfetch and prefetch disabled.

This is something I thought of Googling a couple of times in
the last day or so, but ... what are the main perceived evils of
Windows Media Player? When I had it on my Windows 7
desktop, I was impressed by the many available descriptive
fields, but never made use of them. Not even once. I turned
off every way that WMP could connect to the Internet.

-- Jeff, in Minneapolis


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Related Solutions

#4
December 16, 2016 at 05:11:03
WMP works fine but it can only deal with a limited number of file formats (although more now than it used to). Many folk use VLC player instead because it can handle about every video or audio file type there is, as well as playing CDs/DVDs. VLC is my preferred choice.

Always pop back and let us know the outcome - thanks


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#5
December 16, 2016 at 06:04:04
I used VLC on my Windows 7 computer, too. Have they finally
got rid of that awful traffic cone? I never saw a way to replace it.

-- Jeff, in Minneapolis


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#6
December 16, 2016 at 09:57:12
That ugly cone is still there but with luck it will show a thumbnail of the videos with the cone just a small thing in the corner. If not then this little freebie can sort out most of the thumbnails for you:
http://www.majorgeeks.com/files/det...

Always pop back and let us know the outcome - thanks


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#7
December 16, 2016 at 11:42:14
It isn't clear to me what that program ("Icaros") does.

The post calls it "a collection of lightweight, high quality,
Windows Shell Extensions". I interpret that to mean a
separate shell extension is installed in Windows for each
filetype (coincidentally identified by filename "extension")
selected within the program. I recognize about half of the
filetypes listed as either audio or video formats. I don't
recall seeing the other half before. Why one might want
to replace the image of a video with a "thumbnail" isn't
apparent to me.

I don't see any indication in the two screenshots that a
different thumbnail can be associated with each different
filetype. Nor do I see any way to select an image to use.
I surmise that the image of the spherical planet-like bodies
in space is used, and the portion of that image used is
determined by the "offset" adjustment visible in the first
screenshot.

These thumbnails appear to be used in a media player
named "FFmpeg", which I never heard of before. As far as
I can see, no other media player is mentioned. If Icaros
works with any media player, the post doesn't say so.

I'm wildly guessing that Icaros will replace the icon for
any filetype with a selected image or portion of an image,
so that if a media player displays the filetype icon of a
file which has no embedded or associated cover art, it
will display the selected image instead. And this same
image will show up beside the filename in Windows
Explorer.

So, since you are suggesting this as a way to replace the
ugly traffic cone in VLC, I surmise that VLC can be set to
display the filetype icon when cover art isn't found. I don't
recall seeing that option. But it is well over a year now
since I last had my hands on my Windows 7 computer.

What I do recall is that way back in Windows 98 SE, WMP
would squish down to a thin rectangle when there was no
video signal, just audio. For me, that was perfect. I might
want some details about the audio during playback, but
unless I was doing some kind of testing or making some
kind of adjustments, rather than just listening, I would
never want that information animated in any way. That
is, I wouldn't want the name of the selection and the name
of the artist constantly scrolling by or replacing each other
at intervals. With a full-size monitor and a media player
window that isn't completely squished down to nothing,
there is plenty of room to display a title, date, composer,
and whatever without distracting text animations. Which
I complained about in WMP several years ago.

Come to think of it, I used VLC in Ubuntu, but I don't
recall just now if I also installed it in Windows. Hmmm.

-- Jeff, in Minneapolis

message edited by Jeff Root


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#8
December 16, 2016 at 14:09:55
All I use it for is to replace blank icons (such as VLCs cone) with thumbnail pictures. The thumbnails are one of the first frames of the video concerned and the program does this for you. It has a default set of file types but you can manually add others.

I found it worked well and have had it on this computer since Win 8.1.

Always pop back and let us know the outcome - thanks

message edited by Derek


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#9
December 16, 2016 at 15:05:49
Further to #8. These uploads of my video icons might help:

VLC Cones:
http://www88.zippyshare.com/v/nlMyI...

Thumbnails:
http://www88.zippyshare.com/v/iDlJl...

At one time most of my videos were showing cones and a few still are (reason unknown). Since using Icaros most immediately started showing thumbnails but a few file types had to be manually selected.

Always pop back and let us know the outcome - thanks

message edited by Derek


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#10
December 16, 2016 at 15:36:56
Maybe neither of us quite understood what the other was
talking about.

I recall the traffic cone being the icon for only a few filetypes.
Those which didn't work in WMP, obviously. I had practically
forgotten about that. Those few icons didn't much bother me.

What did bother me was the traffic cone in the middle of the
big, otherwise empty black screen when an audio file was being
played. The cone wasn't there when a video was being played
because that's where the video was!

I didn't find any way to replace that image with another, or
better, squish the window down to eliminate the useless box.

It seems to me that in Win 7 or Win 10 it should be easy to
replace the icon for any program or filetype with any other
without having to use a program. I did that for the text
editing program I used in Win 98 SE.

-- Jeff, in Minneapolis


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#11
December 16, 2016 at 15:50:34
Your post #9: Ok, I see now what was meant by the term
"thumbnails". Not what I was complaining about when I
first mentioned the traffic cone. When I have audio playing,
I usually like to leave the player on the screen, and I like to
see the playing time and/or progress bar. Aside from those,
I don't want to see any animations or that ugly cone.

-- Jeff, in Minneapolis


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#12
December 16, 2016 at 15:57:24
OK. When I play audio in VLC I just get a blank screen showing the file name. If I am using the right click option on a folder containing audio files then I get the list of file names showing so I can either let it run through them or select whichever I wish. No big Cone - VLC has changed a lot (for the better) over the years..

As for video icons/thumbnails then there are ways you can change to a different icon for a program (requires a little fiddle) but I preferred the idea of getting a thumbnail which was directly related to the specific video, as per those I showed in my 2nd link. I didn't like seeing the same boring old cone on all videos.

Always pop back and let us know the outcome - thanks

message edited by Derek


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