Installation & Removal

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System Requirements

Hardware Requirements (minimum)
600 MHz Pentium
40 MB Free hard drive space
Sound card
Video card
Microsoft Internet Explorer I.E. 5.0 or above
Internet connection (recommended).

Optional extras:
TV Tuner card (for TV playback, recording etc.)
Soundcard with multiple outputs (for multi-zone playback)
CD Writer (Optional) installed and functional for creating CDs
Printer (optional) for printing jewel cases and CD labels

Software Requirements
Windows 98/ME/2000/XP/Vista
Microsoft Windows Media Player
RealPlayer, QuickTime and Microsoft DirectX are required to play certain proprietary files through Media Center.

Upgrade Installation

The database/library format may change between versions and it is not backward compatible. Make a backup of your library before installation if you are not sure you will always use the newer version. Media Center also makes automatic backups.

Media Center 11 and Media Center 12 are independent. They can both exist on the same machine, side by side. You can remove either if both are installed. This is not true for any other versions of Media Center nor Media Jukebox.

Installation Steps

  1. Download the Media Center Installation Wizard program from the J. River Media Center website.
  2. Exit Media Center, and it is best to exit other Windows Applications.
  3. Vista Only Allow the installer to run with administrative privileges when asked.
  4. Execute the wizard (double click it).
  5. Wait for the wizard to prepare the install.
  6. If the wizard detects a running copy of Media Center, close it, or click Yes to have the installer close it.
  7. Read the license agreement, and if you agree, click Accept.
  8. Choose the installation type and install options (Express, Custom and Auto Install)
  9. Wait for the wizard to install Windows Media codecs if needed.
  10. Custom and not Upgrade Only Choose the installation directory.
  11. Custom Only Choose the skins (standard and mini).
  12. Custom Only Choose the file associations and Audio CD assocation.
  13. Custom Only Choose the shortcuts to be installed.
  14. Custom Only Choose to run the program now or not.
  15. Sometimes you may be asked to restart Windows to complete the install.
  16. Vista Only Optionally, set program properties to Run as Administrator.

Installation Type and Options

  • Express installs the program in c:\Program Files\ J River\Media Center and associates the Supported File Types with the program (this can always be changed at a later time by going to Tools > Options > File Associations). Media Center becomes the default player for these file types.
  • Custom installs the program in a directory of your choice. You select the default file types to be associated with the program, and you choose to enable or disable the default association with Audio CDs. You can choose where shortcuts are installed.
  • Auto Install will cause future installs to wait for 30 seconds and then use the settings from the previous install. Useful for frequent updaters and beta testers.

Windows Media Codecs

Media Center v12 installs the latest Windows Media codecs as part of its installation.

If your system does not already have these codecs installed, they will be downloaded and installed automatically by the Media Center installer.

Installation of the Windows Media components can be safely skipped or cancelled, but Windows Media related tasks including DRM file playback and handheld device management may not work as expected.

If your PC is not connected to the Internet, you can manually download the packages here:

Windows Media 9.0 for Win98SE, ME

Windows Media 9.0 for Win2000

Windows Media 9.5 for XP

Windows Media 11.0 for XP

Install these before installing Media Center.


  1. Start->Programs->Media Center 12->Uninstall Media Center 12
  2. Choose removal options
    1. Remove Registry Entries (removes custom settings, plug-ins and Media Editor settings).
    2. Remove Library Files (will remove the library files but not the content files). Don't select if you are upgrading to a newer version.

Installation Problems