Download Windows 7, but backup your MP3s!

10 28 08w7desktop

Microsoft is releasing the first public beta of Windows 7 at noon pacific time on January 9th on the Windows 7 page (it turns out that Microsoft has delayed the release of the public beta, due to overwhelming demand), but before you jump right in be sure to back up those MP3s. According to Microsoft’s Technet site:

To protect your MP3 files
1. Before you install this Beta release, back up all MP3 files that might be accessed by the computer, including those on removable media or network shares.
2. Install the Beta release of Windows 7; download and install the Update to Windows 7 Beta (KB961367) located on this page.

Apparently, the first beta of Windows 7 will delete the first few seconds of any MP3 file that are added to Windows Media Player either manually or AUTOMATICALLY or if the metadata is edited in windows explorer, even on the network. This is due the indexing software Microsoft runs on your machine. There’s currently a hotfix for this problem so I’ll cross my fingers and hope that they have it included before the public beta goes live.

Here’s a better description of the problem from Microsoft’s Technet site:

When MP3 files are added (either manually or automatically) to either the Windows Media Player or the Windows Media Center library, or if the file metadata is edited with Windows Explorer, several seconds of audio data may be permanently removed from the start of the file. This issue occurs when files contain thumbnails or other metadata of significant size before importing or editing them. To avoid this, take the following steps:

To protect your MP3 files

1. Before you install this Beta release, back up all MP3 files that might be accessed by the computer, including those on removable media or network shares.

2. Install the Beta release of Windows 7; then install this update (KB961367).

If you do not want to install the update, you can avoid this issue by setting all MP3 files that might be accessed by the computer to read-only before starting either Windows Media Player or Windows Media Center or before editing MP3 metadata with Windows Explorer. To do this, in Windows Explorer, find the files, right-click them, click the General tab, and then select the Read-only check box.  Once you have installed the update, you can safely reset the read/write status of your MP3 files to your preference.

Check out our Windows 7 Article to get a preview of some of the new features.