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Source: Microsoft Support
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You are playing back audio in an application while that application or another application is using a lot of system resources. An example would be if you are doing calculations in Excel while playing back audio in Windows Media Player.
The audio application experiences choppy audio.
Digital media processing is time-sensitive. Playback requires specific work to be performed in a timely manner. Otherwise you may experience choppy audio when a deadline for time-sensitive processing is missed. One of the common reasons for choppy audio is if the audio application is starved for CPU time.
Close down applications that are consuming a large amount of CPU to allow the audio application to be able to process the audio.
Task Manager or Performance Monitor can help you determine what specific applications are using significant amounts of CPU. See KB 323527 for more information on Task Manager.
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