Playback Options

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Player > Playback Options > Playback Options

Tools > Options > Playback

Media Center saves two playback settings: a default setting (select the Default tab) and an alternate setting (select the Alternate tab) which is accessible by holding down the ALT key while double clicking on a file or clicking on the Player buttons.

Audio Output

Output Mode & Output Mode Settings Select the output device the program uses for playback. Use the default "Wave Out" and Windows will automatically choose the right playback device. However, if you have multiple sound cards or hi-fi soundcards with multiple outputs, you may want to select other settings. The available modes are:
  • Wave Out. This is the default setting. Select the device and buffering under Settings.
  • Direct Sound. Use this to route the sound. Settings: Select the device, channels and buffering under Settings. If you are using multi-zone playback, select the soundcard for the zone you are currently setting up, then repeat for the other zones.
  • Disk Writer. Use Disk Writer to record sound to your computer. Under Settings, select the path of the recorded file, and whether the output will be one long file, or individual tracks.
  • ASIO: Use this if you have an ASIO device. Under settings, select the desired output, and buffering level.
DSP & Output Format Opens the DSP Studio box, where you can set equalizer, effects, replay gain and output format settings for your output. See DSP Studio (Equalizer, Replay Gain & DSP)
Do not play silence If this option is selected, the program skips long portions of silence during playback. This is quite useful for hidden tracks or tracks with a lot of leading or trailing silence. This option may not be a good choice for classical music or other genres that contain long, intentional pauses in the middle of songs.

Audio Settings

Switch Tracks This setting describes how the program sounds when it changes tracks.
  • Standard. The traditional method of changing tracks. One track comes to a complete stop, there is a brief pause, and the next track begins.
  • Cross-fade (smooth) or Cross-fade (aggressive). This blends the end of one track with the beginning of the next track. It makes track changes smooth - much like the transitions used in clubs and on radio stations. A smooth fade slowly fades one song out as the next fades in. An aggressive fade starts the new song at full volume and slowly fades the old song out.
  • Gapless. Track changes are perfectly seamless. There is no pause between the end of one track and the beginning of the next. Useful on classical and other recordings where track boundaries don't always occur during silence.
Seeking This setting affects how Media Center sounds when it changes position within a track.
  • Standard. The old material will stop completely, there will be a brief pause, and then the new material will begin.
  • Gapless. The end of the old material and the beginning of the new material are played with no gap.
  • Smooth. This blends the old and new material together (cross-fade). The duration of the blend affects how noticeable it will be.
Stop This determines what happens when you select the stop button on the Player Window. You can have Media Center stop the file immediately or you can have the song fadeout.
Alternate Mode Settings Media Center saves two playback settings: a default and an alternate setting. Select this and set the options for the alternate setting. To use the alternate audio settings, hold down the ALT key while double clicking on a file or clicking on the Player buttons.

Note: Some of these options will only affect the playback of an Audio CD if you have "Use Digital Playback" selected under Tools > Options > CD. Some CD drives do not recognize digital playback. If you have a problem playing Audio CDs, try disabling this option.

Changes to many of the playback settings will not take effect until playback comes to a complete stop and is then restarted.

Display Settings

  • General: Windowed mode ‘Always on Top’ keeps the focus on Media Center at all times even when other programs are running.
  • Control Bars. Set the behavior of the bars that appear when in windowed mode (always show, auto-hide, and auto-hide (resize display)).
  • Full Screen. Select the Monitor (if there are multiples) and set the resolution for each one.

Image Playback Settings

This opens the Image Playback Configuration menu, where you can select from the following options:

  • Stretch or scale images to fit the display.
  • Set the time interval between images.
  • Set the slideshow to start automatically and set the duration of images.
  • Configure the caption that appears over an image when it is displayed
  • Select from a variety of transitions.
  • View effects, including black & white and sepia.
  • Disable transitions on manual image changes.


Enable or Disable Windows Media Player as the video playback engine. If you playback licensed WMV content, you should enable this.


You must have DVD decoding software installed on your system. Most DVD drives come with it. The video and audio decoder properties buttons display a dialog box that is custom for whatever DVD decoding software is installed on the system. Two of the most popular DVD players that come with decoder software are "Power DVD" and "WinDVD".

  • Video and Audio Decoder Properties: The settings displayed will depend on the decoding software installed. Settings may include: color balance, de-interlacing settings, sound output and sound card selection if multiple cards are detected.
  • DVD Audio/Video Decoding Filters Selection. By default the system chooses the filters automatically. But you can manually set Video and/or Audio filters by checking “Let me choose filters manually” and then selecting from the drop-down list of available filters. This is for advanced users.


  • TV Tuner Settings. See TV Configuration.
  • Reset TV Settings. Select to restore the settings to defaults.