1Windows Media Center eHome LogoSpeeding up WMP12 & 7MC media library database

One of the problems with my HTPC that I have only just started looking at is how to use it to play and manage my large collection of audio CD’s which I have painstakingly ripped to FLAC’s. The Xiph codecs (see previous articles here and here) make it possible to play FLACs in 64bit media center, but the media library was incredibly slow.

Digging around I discovered that the database is stored in C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Media Player and in Windows 7 is now called CurrentDatabase_372.wmdb

User “RM” has posted a very helpful guide on the GreenButton forums about how to move an equivalent database on previous versions of windows but it took me a while to get this working. My problem turned out to be the RAM-Disk I had chosen to use.

I eventually switched to the free version of DataRam RamDisk which works well on Windows 7 x64 and supports drives up to 4Gig. My thanks to user OpenBook on [H]ardForum for the recommendation.

Having set up a RAMdisk successfully I was able to move the library by simply using a registry tweak recommended by user surge, again on the GreenButton Forums.

So, the procedure I used is as follows…

  1. Close any running instances of Media Center and Media Player
  2. Download, install and set up DataRam RamDisk. Make sure it is set to save on shutdown and reload on startup.
  3. Right click on ‘computer’ and select manage.
  4. Expand services and applications, then services.
  5. Scroll down to “Windows Media Player Network Sharing Service”, right click, and stop it.
  6. Fire up regedit and browse to HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\MediaPlayer\Preferences.
  7. Create a new String (REG_SZ) called LibraryDatabasePath.
  8. Set the value of the new String to the path to your RAMdrive (in my case N:).
  9. Close regedit.
  10. If you already have a library and don’t wish to rebuild then copy the contents of C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Media Player to your RAMdrive.
  11. Restart the “Windows Media Player Network Sharing Service” and close the computer management window.
  12. Restart Media Player or Media Center.
  13. Voila!

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One Comment

gravatar cullen242atl

Thank you for this post. Moving the WMP12 DB to a RAMdisk definitely helps WMP12 performance with UPnP devices both at home on the WLAN, or on the road on the Vz 4G-LTE mobile network. I have a large library (570GB on 3Gb SATA), but the DB is still around 300 MB, which easily fits on the RAMdisk. Now the first UPnP read operation is down to a reliable 40 seconds, with subsequent search queries returning full results in under 7 seconds.

I’m using BubbleUPnP as controller/renderer on Moto Droid RAZR. As a benchmark, I can stream video reliably for files with data rate up to 2500kbps, with clear tower signal, over the 4G-LTE network.