Troubleshooting Background Tools

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further information: Troubleshooting Guide

Media Center handles a few activities in the background. These are typically tuned to have a minimal performance during use, but in some cases (particularly with older hardware), the background processes can have a noticeable impact on foreground behavior in MC.

Applies To:

  • Hanging
  • General performance sluggishness
  • High CPU utilization when MC otherwise seems idle

You can check to see what MC is currently doing in the background via the Reporter function under Services & Plugins > Reporter. In particular, if you are experiencing performance issues or hangs, check the following items:

Thumbnails

Is Media Center building Thumbnails in the background?

MC must build optimized thumbnails of all media files before their artwork can be displayed in your Media Views. This can be done as part of Auto-Import, or automatically in the background during use. This process, if running, can have a (occasionally severe) performance impact.

The Reporter function will list if Thumbnails are currently being built (though this can switch on and off as you browse Media Views within Media Center as required). It will also list the total number of Thumbnails you have built currently for your Library and the percentage done. If a low percentage of your Thumbnails are built, and you are having performance issues (especially ones that manifest as you navigate through Media Views, or during playback) then you can force MC to build the entire set via:

  • Tools > Options > Tree & View > Thumbnails > Build missing thumbnails

This process can take some time and make Media Center less responsive as it works. It is best to do this overnight or when MC is otherwise not in use.

Auto-Import

Is Auto-Import running in the background?

In some cases, corrupt or otherwise troublesome files can cause performance problems periodically in Media Center. If you are experiencing general performance problems, it is worth deactivating Auto-Import in the background to see if the problems go away. If so, indicate that this eliminates the problem when you report the issue on Interact.

File Tagging and Moving

Any large tagging operation and moving source files around will often cause heavy disk activity on the volumes where your media is stored. This is especially likely if you use the Rename, Move, and Copy Files tool in Media Center to move a large set of files from one disk or volume to another (as this can take a very long time with a large set of files.

If you notice that Media Center lists a tagging operation in progress in the Status Area, please wait until this operation has completed and test to see if responsiveness improves.

Other Action Window Tools

Other tools which run in the Action Window can be resource heavy and impact performance of MC while they are in progress. This includes:

  • Audio analysis
  • Handheld syncing
  • File conversion
  • Image and Camera importing
  • Disc burning

Please wait for these operations to complete if performance is impacted, and run them when Media Center otherwise will not be used. In some cases, you may improve the performance of Media Center while the operation is in progress by reducing the number of concurrent tasks that are attempted.