What to do: The file’s length cannot be detected by Windows Media Player


Despite the addition of Groove Music, many Windows 10 users will have many reasons to continue using Windows Media Player. Of all the media players from Microsoft, Windows Media Player is probably the best.

Okay, here’s the short version of the problem. Apparently, some users are having problems when trying to burn CDs and DVDs. Every time you try to burn, you get an error message indicating that Windows Media Player cannot determine the file length. We don’t know what this is or what the underlying cause is, but we do know that there is a way to solve this problem once and for all, or until it happens again in the future.

What is Windows Media Player?


Windows Media Player (WMP) is a media player and library developed by Microsoft. It is used to play audio and video files and display pictures on computers running the Microsoft Windows operating system, as well as on handheld computers and Windows Mobile-based devices. Versions of Windows Media Player for the classic Mac OS, Mac OS X, and Solaris operating systems were also released, but the development of these versions has since been discontinued.

In addition to being a media player, Windows Media Player allows users to extract and copy music from CDs, burn burnable discs in audio CD format or as playlist discs such as MP3 CDs, synchronize content with a digital audio player (MP3 player) or other mobile devices, and allows users to buy or rent music from a number of online music stores.

Windows Media Player replaced a previous application called Media Player and added functionality beyond just video or audio playback. Windows Media Player 11 is available for Windows XP and is included in Windows Vista and Windows Server 2008.

The default file formats are Windows Media Video (WMV), Windows Media Audio (WMA) and Advanced Systems Format (ASF), and a proprietary XML-based playlist format called Windows Playlist (WPL). The player is also capable of using a digital rights management service in the form of Windows Media DRM.

Windows Media Player 12 is the latest version of Windows Media Player. It was released on Windows 7 on Oct. 22, 2009, and was not available for earlier versions of Windows, and has not been updated for Windows 8, Windows 8.1, or Windows 10 since then. The latter instead use Groove Music (for audio) and Microsoft Movies & TV (for video) as the default apps for playing most media; as of May 2020, Windows Media Player is still included as a Windows component. Windows RT does not work with Windows Media Player.

What to do if Windows Media Player can’t detect file length in Windows 10

Even with the new Groove Music in Windows 10, many users still prefer the old Windows Media Player. This is not surprising because Windows Media Player is still one of the best players on the market. However, this does not mean that it is flawless, as it can run into some problems from time to time.

One problem you may encounter when using Windows Media Player is that you try to burn a DVD or CD, but it doesn’t work because of an error message indicating that Windows Media Player can’t determine the file length.

At the time of writing, the real cause of this error is not yet clear. However, this post offers a few solutions to help you solve the problem. You can try deleting all unsupported files from the record list or try running Windows Media Player to diagnose. You can also try dragging the music or changing the burning speed.

See the options below for more information.

Fix Windows Media Player can’t determine the file length

Fix Windows Media Player can't determine the file length

Drag the track

1. In Windows Media Player, right-click the track that is causing the error.

2. Click the “Open File Directory” button. The track directory will open.

drag the track

3. Drag the folder name into Windows Media Player.

4. Windows Media Player should now recognize the length of the track. Continue burning the track. Check to see if the error has been corrected.

Troubleshooting for WMP

The Windows operating system has a built-in diagnostic tool for troubleshooting any problems with Windows Media Player. Run the troubleshooter to troubleshoot and resolve problems with Media Player. Here’s how to do it.

1.Press Windows + R to open Run.
2. Type Control and click OK to open the Control Panel.
3. Click Troubleshooting.
4. Click Hardware and Sound.
5. Scroll down and click Windows Media Player DVD.

Troubleshooting for WMP
6. Click “Next” to continue. The troubleshooter will look for problems with the DVD player as well as the WM player and apply a solution.

Shut down the troubleshooter and restart your PC. After restarting, run Windows Media Player and try dragging the title again and see if the situation has improved.

Change the music folder

If a directory or folder of files is corrupted, Windows Media Player may not recognize the files in that folder. If the length of the media file appears in File Explorer but not in Media Player, try moving the tracks to a new folder.

  1. Select all the tracks you want to burn and copy them.
  2. Create a new folder outside your home directory and move the copied files to the new folder.
  3. Launch Windows Media Player and drag the tracks from the new folder to the player.
  4. Windows Media Player should recognize the length of the tracks. Select the tracks and click the Burn button.

Using third-party CD burning software

This is not a solution to the Windows Media Player recording error.
However, if you use the recording feature frequently, you should use a third-party CD burning software.

There is free recording software for Windows 10 that you can use instead of Windows Media Player. Third-party CD burning tools have more functionality and offer more customization options than Windows Media Player.

Frequently Asked Questions

To find WMP, click the Start button and type: media player, and select it from the results above. You can also right-click the Start button to open the hidden menu at DeepL and select "Run" or use the Windows+R shortcut. Then type: wmplayer.exe and press Enter.

  1. Determine if the codec you use to play the file is installed on your computer.
  2. Install the codec.

  1. Click the Library tab at the top of Windows Media Player.
  2. Click the music icon in the address bar at the top of the application window, and then click Music.
  3. Double-click the Library category in the left navigation menu and select the Album subsection.

In fact, even Microsoft's native media player for the Windows operating system, Windows Media Player, is capable of converting MP4 files to MP3 files. Save as Gray out: In File Explorer, navigate to the file location, right-click on the file and select "Rename".