Why is Music Greyed Out / Fails to Play?

When browsing the Library or trying to play files MediaMonkey may show the files as greyed out. This indicates that MediaMonkey can’t access the file or play the file.

MediaMonkey generates audio as follows:

  1. MediaMonkey locates the file.
  2. Audio file is decoded by input plug-in.
  3. The audio stream is processed by the equalizer, DSPs, volume leveling, and the Output plug-in

This article discusses issues that may occur at steps 1 or 2; problems locating/decoding tracks that cause MediaMonkey to skip through the tracks and grey them out. If no sound is being output, but tracks aren’t being greyed out, it means that there may be an output-related problem (step 3), covered in the article “No Sound is playing / Sound is corrupted”.

If attempts to play tracks result in the tracks being greyed out and skipping, it can be because:

  1. No audio formats can be played because the version of Windows used is Windows Windows N version, which doesn’t include multimedia components. This can be corrected by installing the missing codecs.
  2. It can occur because of audio plugin incompatibilities, DRM (digital rights management) or because required codecs are missing. See:
    WMA Tracks fail to Play
    MP3 Tracks Fail to Play
    M4A Playback
    CDs fail to play
  3. The tracks are not accessible to MediaMonkey. Such tracks also appear in the Collections (like Music > Files to Edit > Dead Links node (for connected drives). It can occur if:
    1. Files have been moved outside of MediaMonkey and Folder Monitoring isn’t configured to update the library appropriately.
      • If you have MediaMonkey Gold, select all the greyed out tracks and use File > Locate moved/missing tracks. This will find matching tracks based on filesize AND timestamp, or track metadata.
      • If you don’t have MediaMonkey Gold, delete the old entries, and scan the location to which the tracks have been moved.
      • Configure Folder Monitoring to prevent this from recurring.
    2. Files are stored on a removable drive that is not connected or on a network location that is inaccessible. Resolve by connecting the drive or the network location.
    3. Files are stored to a networked drive/mapped drive to which MediaMonkey doesn’t have permissions. e.g. if the drive is mapped with one set of credentials, but MediaMonkey is running under a different set of credentials. Resolve by giving MediaMonkey permission to access the location.
    4. A network path is mapped to a drive letter (e.g. J:). In some cases Windows changes the driveID which is what MediaMonkey uses to find the drive (instead of drive letter). The solution is to access your files using the UNC Path instead of a mapped drive:
      \\ip _address\path (always works)
      \\computer_name\path (often works)
      In MediaMonkey 5 you can use right click on the drive in the Collection’s > Location node and use Media Properties from the Context Menu to point the drive to the correct drive.
    5. The drive has been changed and the new drive has a driveID that differs from the old drive. To correct this, first back up your database and then try one of the following:
      • In MediaMonkey 5 you can use right click on the drive in the Collection’s > Location node and use Media Properties from the Context Menu to point the drive to the correct drive.
      • If you have MediaMonkey Gold, select all the greyed out tracks and use File > Locate moved/missing tracks. This will find matching tracks based on filesize AND timestamp, or track metadata.
      • In MediaMonkey 4 use the third party Update Location of Files in Database Addon.
  4. Files are located on drive A or B and MediaMonkey isn’t able to access them. To fix this remove the drive letter from IgnoreDriveLetters=AB in MediaMonkey.ini (this only affects those who’ve installed any version of MediaMonkey prior to MediaMonkey 4.1).

Applies to: ,

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