Windows Media Player and Visual Studio .NET…. anyone else notice any interaction?

Ok, this may seem really odd, but I swear it happened to me… 🙂

Yesterday I decided that I would hook up my headphones and listen to some music at work. I do this all the time at home, but not often in the office. I fired up media player on my laptop and started playing a variety of ripped WMA files. Then I opened up VS.NET 2003 and a fairly large project. I immediately got a bunch of errors about references and such, which was odd, since this project was working fine the last time I loaded it. I removed and re-added some references and managed to get rid of all the errors and then I tried to Build… the Build just hanged after awhile and wouldn’t complete. VS was still completely responsive, so I just canceled the build and tried again… over and over again the build would just stop at the same point. I restarted VS, same problem… then I finally realized that I had seen this before, and it was because I was playing music. I closed WMP, tried to build…. worked perfectly. I switched to listening to music on my Rio Nitrus…

So before I bug someone on VS about this, has anyone else seen this sort of thing? I’m not sure if it is really to do with WMP, or if it just a high-CPU load background process… I have some fairly high-bitrate music and my laptop is not the fastest machine around (1 GHZ, with 1GB of RAM). This doesn’t happen at all at home, but that is a 3.2 GHZ hyper threaded machine, so the difference in configuration could account for the different behaviour.

Author: Duncan Mackenzie

I'm the Developer Lead for the Channel 9 team, formerly worked on MSDN as a developer, content strategist and author.

3 thoughts on “Windows Media Player and Visual Studio .NET…. anyone else notice any interaction?”

  1. I have this problem all the time with one of my solutions (fairly large). It is very frustrating. For the messed up references, doing a “Rebuild Solution” sometimes fixes it. “Build Solution” never does. When the build hangs though, I always have to close and restart Visual Studio. Hopefully this won’t happen with VS2005.

  2. With 1GB of RAM there’s no way VS should be hanging on a build just because media player is playing.

    This is interesting because we’ve had some really weird caching and build/reference problems with our builds, and almost all of our devs run media player. The people who don’t run media player don’t seem to get the same issue.

    Hmm time for a media player ban 🙂

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