Error Message "Unable to Find Playable File" in Windows Media Player for Windows XP

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IMPORTANT: This article contains information about modifying the registry. Before you modify the registry, make sure to back it up and make sure that you understand how to restore the registry if a problem occurs. For information about how to back up, restore, and edit the registry, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
256986 Description of the Microsoft Windows Registry


When you try to play audio files in the My Music folder by clicking the Play All option, you may receive the following error message:

Unable to find playable file


The installation or removal routines that are included with some programs improperly remove the registry key that is used for playing some audio files.


WARNING: If you use Registry Editor incorrectly, you may cause serious problems that may require you to reinstall your operating system. Microsoft cannot guarantee that you can solve problems that result from using Registry Editor incorrectly. Use Registry Editor at your own risk.

To resolve this issue, you must add a RG_SZ string for each music file type (extension) that is not working. You must find the following registry key and then add the appropriate audio file name extension:

HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\music type extension
Music type extensions:

Add a string value of PerceivedType="audio" for that music type extension.

To do this, follow these steps:

  1. Click Start, and then click Run.
  2. Type regedit, and then click OK.
  3. Locate and then click the value that contains the extension of the file type that is not working under the following registry key:
  4. With the extension selected, point to New on the Edit menu, and then click String Value.
  5. Type PerceivedType as the value name, and then press ENTER.
  6. Double-click the PerceivedType string value, type audio as the value data, and then click OK.
  7. Repeat these steps for each file type (extension) that is not working.
  8. Quit Registry Editor.
  9. Restart the computer.

Article ID: 322642 - Last Review: Jan 31, 2007 - Revision: 1