Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Identified: Windows Media Player "An audio device was disconnected or reconfigured" during playback

In my case, this is a conflict between BeyondTV and Windows Media Player.

  • WMP is playing a video file.  DivX, WMV, it doesn't seem to matter.
  • BeyondTV begins to "Showsqueeze" a file to DivX format.
  • WMP throws "An audio device was disconnected or reconfigured" error.

Once identified, the error is perfectly reproducible.  Simply set BeyondTV to auto-squeeze without any time limits, start recording any show, then stop it anytime.  Manual or automatic recording, doesn't matter. 

A few seconds after stopping, Beyond will queue up the Showsqueeze and start the DivX conversion, at which exact moment WMP will stop doing what it is doing and puke the above error.

I am guessing that BeyondTV and WMP both "want" the DivX codec at the same time.  But I don't know for sure.  All I know is it seems to be unique to me.

The error does NOT happen if Beyond compresses shows to WMV format.  Just DivX seems to set it off.  (Of course, nobody wants a pile of WMV format videos, so I am not compressing everything to wmv.)

The error DOES happen if Media Player is playing a WMV file, and BeyondTV tries to Showsqueeze to DivX.  So, maybe not the DivX codec per se after all. 

I tried installing the XviD codec, in the hope that Media Player would use it and leave the DivX to Beyond.  No dice.

Reporting the error to Snapstream is futile - they have stopped active development of BeyondTV, leaving people like me out in the cold.  To be fair, I have not purchased Beyond, still being within the trial period.

As there are hardly any alternatives to BeyondTV, I am not sure what to do.  I refuse to even try MythTV, as Myth is Linux-only.  I have already spent far too much time on this, and (re)learning how to rebuild it all on linux of all things is just not going to happen.  My days of friggin' around with dual-boot systems are long behind me.

I imagine I will try to Showsqueeze only on non-viewing hours - Beyond supports this - leaving viewing hours for Media Player to play.  It's a guaranteed crash for WMP if it is still playing, but the error is not fatal - just annoying.  I can probably handle it with a few Automate scripts.

I could also try another player besides WMP.  If I could figure out how to reorganize my library for Plex without totally screwing up my mental organization models, I could give Plex another try.

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