This article was written about products for which Microsoft no longer offers support. Therefore, this article is offered "as is" and will no longer be updated.
When you play certain Moving Picture Experts Group (MPEG) layer 3 (.mp3) files in Windows Media Player for Windows XP, the total track time may be displayed incorrectly. Also, you may not be able to seek correctly on these files and the file properties for the file may also display an incorrect bit rate.
This behavior can occur if the .mp3 file was encoded at a Variable Bit Rate (VBR). Windows Media Player requires that the TLEN (or total length) field of the ID3v2 tag is set correctly to determine the appropriate length of a VBR .mp3 file. If this field is not set, the Windows Media Player samples the first few frames of the file and then estimates a length.
To work around this behavior, use an .mp3 encoder that supports the optional TLEN field of ID3v2 version 3 or later. If you do this, Windows Media Player can correctly determine the length of the .mp3 and enable accurate seek support.
This behavior is by design.
ID3v2 is a general tagging format for audio files that makes it possible to store meta data about the audio inside of the audio file itself.
For more information about the TLEN field of ID3v2 version 3 or later, view the following ID3v2 Web site: