'Find Album Info' Not Working In Windows Media Player? Try This

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Windows Media Plaer logoIf 'Find Album Info' isn't working in Windows Media player, or you're getting a script error or a 'page not found' error message, this tip can help.

The last few months the Windows computers around here haven't been able to find album info in Windows Media Player. It's happened with more than one version of Windows (Windows 7 and 8.1). I went through various tips and suggestions until I finally found the culprit.
For some reason, the IP address for the service Microsoft uses to retrieve album information gets changed in the Windows HOSTS file.
Here's how to fix it:

  • Navigate to C:\Windows\System32\drivers\etc\
  • Open the hosts file using Notepad (clicking on the hosts file should bring up a list of programs to open the file, or right click on the hosts file and choose 'Open with' and choose Notepad)
  • Check if the following line is in the hosts file:
    2.18.213.82 redir.metaservices.microsoft.com
  • If the numbers next to redir.metaservices.microsoft.com are 0.0.0.0., change them to 2.18.213.82
  • Save the file
  • Copy the file back to the original folder (C:\Windows\System32\drivers\etc\).
  • Delete the .txt extension on the hosts file

It's worth noting that this error returned after some weeks and the IP address had to be changed to the correct address again.
Update: It seems the HOSTS file was being changed by Spybot Anti-Beacon. I've uninstalled the program.
If you're having other issues with Windows Media Player, here are sites I found helpful in my searches:

(via Microsoft Forums)

You can find more Tech Treats here.

 

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My host file does not have the redir.metaservices.microsoft.com line, can I just add it somewhere? Here's what the file looks like.

# Copyright (c) 1993-2009 Microsoft Corp.
#
# This is a sample HOSTS file used by Microsoft TCP/IP for Windows.
#
# This file contains the mappings of IP addresses to host names. Each
# entry should be kept on an individual line. The IP address should
# be placed in the first column followed by the corresponding host name.
# The IP address and the host name should be separated by at least one
# space.
#
# Additionally, comments (such as these) may be inserted on individual
# lines or following the machine name denoted by a '#' symbol.
#
# For example:
#
# 102.54.94.97 rhino.acme.com # source server
# 38.25.63.10 x.acme.com # x client host

# localhost name resolution is handled within DNS itself.
# 127.0.0.1 localhost
# ::1 localhost

Tried the above instructions for adding the 2.18.213.82 redir.metaservices.microsoft.com to the hosts file, without difficulty following the instructions until i got to the following:

Copy the file back to the original folder (C:\Windows\System32\drivers\etc\).
Delete the .txt extension on the hosts file

Was not apparent to me how to do this in Windows 7, e.g. how to copy the file back into the original folder, other than right-clicking "copy" over 2.18.213.82 redir.metaservices.microsoft.com. When I did, couldn't find anyplace to copy to, and and didn't see any .txt extensions on any files anywhere. Could you be more specific on how to copy the file back to the original folder? Was I in the original folder when I was in the "Hosts" file where I typed 2.18.213.82 redir.metaservices.microsoft.com? And where would I find the .txt extention? Does it get put on the file when I "saved" it (no option given where to "save" when I hit "save", nothing popped up anywhere that I could see), and does it end up somewhere else other than in the "hosts" file? Thanks.

Sorry I wasn't clearer.

In Windows Explorer, navigate to the C:\Windows\System32\drivers\etc\ folder.
Click on the HOSTS file (may or may not be capitalized).

When you're asked what program you want to open the file with, choose Notepad.

Once the HOSTS file has been opened in Notepad and you've made any changes, the file has to be saved.
Go to the File menu at the top of the window and select Save As...
Notepad will ask to save it as hosts and as a .txt file - click Save
(Notepad automatically saves all files as .txt files)

Notepad will want to save the file to the original location:
C:\Windows\System32\drivers\etc\

If you try to save the file to the original location (C:\Windows\System32\drivers\etc\), you'll get a message saying the file can't be saved to that location, and probably asking if you want to save it to Documents instead.
(I'm not running Windows 7 so the specifics may be a bit different but they will be in approximately the same place with similar wording)
Since the file can't be saved in the original location, save the file as hosts.txt in a location where you can find it again like Desktop, Documents, Downloads, etc.

If you saved it to the Desktop, go to the to Desktop, right click on the file and select Copy.

If you've saved it to another location, use Windows Explorer to open the folder where the saved file is located.
Highlight the file. From the File menu at the top, select File then Copy. You can also right click the file and choose Copy.

Navigate to the C:\Windows\System32\drivers\etc\ folder using Windows Explorer.
From the File menu at the top, select Paste. You can also right click inside the window where the files are listed and choose Paste.
You may need to provide permission to save the file to that folder.
Once the file is pasted, it should appear as hosts.txt in the window.

Right click on host.txt file. Select Rename. Delete the file extension, the part that says .txt.
Hit Enter.
You'll probably get a message saying that changing the file extension may make it unusable, and asking if you want to change it. Click Yes.
If you get another message asking if you want to allow the program to make changes to the file, select Yes.

The file name should now say hosts with no extension such as .txt listed.
Exit Windows Explorer by going to the File menu and select Close, or close the folder using the X in the upper right corner of the window. That's it.




 

When I open my hosts file, I see "This is a sample HOSTS file used by Microsoft TCP/IP for Window" and no lines not #ed out. Is there another file I should be looking for?

That's a usual entry for the HOSTS file. What has been happening is that the entry that Windows Media Player uses to get album information disappears.

You can manually add the line to the HOSTS file using the directions above, or you can reset the HOSTS file using the directions at this Microsoft article - it has directions for Windows 7 and earlier, Windows 8.1, and Windows 10. It may restore the entry, I haven't tested it yet, it's a recent find and I haven't had time.

I wiped everything out of my HOSTS file about 6 weeks ago on Windows 8.1 because the problem recurred and I wanted to see what would happen with no entries in the HOSTS file and Windows Media Player.

Windows Media Player hasn't had any trouble finding album data even on older music ever since. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

I'm waiting to see if the issue repeats. I don't usually use Windows Media Player (I use VLC) but I check to see if it's retrieving album information pretty regularly.

The problem for me on this is that the address shown on the find album info box isn't the one you mentioned that I've always seen in the past, instead it has this one: musicmatch-ssl.xboxlive.com, now I honestly have no clue how this gotten changed. HELP!!!!! If it helps it's Windows 10 Dell

Following the directions above, go into the HOSTS file, delete the line musicmatch-ssl.xboxlive.com and add this line:
2.18.213.82 redir.metaservices.microsoft.com

Save and replace the HOSTS file as outlined above. That should do it.

I would create a copy of the HOSTS file (maybe rename it HOSTSold) and save it somewhere just in case you need to restore it.

My guess is that a program changed the directory for finding album information.

NOPE!! Didn't work!!

This line is in the HOSTS file?
2.18.213.82 redir.metaservices.microsoft.com

I added it, it actually didn't have this or that other address listed. It wasn't doing this until like a week or something ago when windows did an update. I don't know what they did, but they did a good'en!! LOL

I have similar odd issues with Windows 10. Since the last update I can't open .jpg's. I can't tell you how many hours I've spent at the admin command prompt doing stuff, associating programs with file types, changing the open with, changing file permissions, uninstalling, reinstalling, all in vain. Sigh. From the amount of people posting about it various places, I'm not the only one, and it's been an issue for a long time.

My host file does not have the "redir.metaservices.microsoft.com" with either group of numbers next to it. I use Windows 7. My WMP does have problems finding album information.
Thanks for the tips.

You're more than welcome. :)

It's that thing that you replaced with...maybe VLC? ;)

rhiannon, what's the Windows Media Player ?
Is on my PC? How do I find it ? Nudge nudge;) ;) .. :)

MS is no longer supporting Media Player...it's not in Win 8 or Win10. If you have Win7 or Win 8.1 you should have it. Go to your Start and do a Search and that should find it. Check on the MS Windows site for info, esp before it's deleted by MS. Hope this helps.

Thanks. :)
I have Windows 8.1 and Windows Media Player. I usually use VLC but sometimes I use WMP, and people here use it, so I ran into the problem.
 

Yup, I use my media player quite a bit. Am now starting to look for a viable substitute. My main question will be do I have to dnload all of my music into the new one or will there be an easier way. For a tech-challenged GGma I'm improving every day...I actually understand some of the comments now. Have a great day rhiannon.

Thank you so much for the kind words. :)

Are you looking into other software to play your music, or another option?

You have a great day/night too (depending on what part of the planet you're on). :)

Sorry it took so long to answer...have just started looking at other software. Don't know anything about other options, so am open to suggestions...