19 Responses to Yet More Problems With The Media Library in WHS 2011

  1. Pingback: The Media Library in Windows Home Server 2011–Revisited | Geoff Coupe's Blog

  2. Wilkes says:

    Geoff, I recently was bit by this folder.jpg and metadata issue on my WHS 2011 server. I run Squeezebox server on my WHS box to serve up my audio and found that all my folder.jpg files had been changed to not only 200×200, but had also been changed to hidden along with adding the 3 hidden AlbumArt*.jpg files in each of my album directories. Along with the unwelcome changes to my cover art I found several of my mp3’s had the “date modified” updated, but I haven’t really been able to identify that anything was actually changed in my tags??

    As a stop gap I removed my music folder from being set as a shared folder in the media library and posted the issue in the Slimdevices forum. I got a response that says you can stop WHS from mangling your music stuff by disabling the “Media Streaming Metadata Synchronizer” on the WHS server. To do this you will need to RDP to your WHS server and go to Administrative tools -> Task Scheduler. In the Task Scheduler library go to the Microsoft – Windows – Windows Server folder and disable the “Media Streaming Metadata Synchronizer” task. You should then be able to safely add your music folder back to being a shared media folder.


    • Geoff Coupe says:

      Wilkes, thanks for your comments, and for that workaround. Since the original post, I had seen that workaround being posted over in the Microsoft Connect forum for WHS in the bug report for this metadata mangling. I think that the workaround is safe, but I note that Microsoft have not yet responded to the direct question of whether it is safe to use…

  3. Al Feersum says:

    Meh. I maintain my meta data client side using WMP… and even after [i]turning off[/i] the Metadata Syncronizer task, the tags don’t seem to want to stay as I’ve set them, often requiring editing about 4 times before [i]something[/i] finally gets the message that what I’ve supplied is the truth.

    I was hoping that UR1 would ‘fix’ some of the unwanted ‘features’ of WHS, but it seems that it does…. well… nothing really: http://support.microsoft.com/kb/2554634

  4. Pingback: Practical Bliss | Geoff Coupe's Blog

  5. Peter says:

    Has anyone seen an issue with WHS2011 changing other (non-music) jpegs? Whilst sorting out a load of pictures I’d moved onto the server, I noticed that the modification date for lots of them had changed to that day, and that file sizes had reduced. Subsequently I’ve compared EXIF data on one where I had an old copy, and although the resolution is identical, FileSource and SceneType have changed from “DSC – Digital still camera” and “A directly photographed image” respectively to simply “Other”.

    I must stress I’ve not proved it’s WHS2011, and have not turned up any similar issues online, but it’s very odd and I’m not sure what other application (e.g. on my main machine) could have tampered with them. If anyone’s seen something similar – or could recommend a way to investigate further it would be much appreciated!

    • Geoff Coupe says:


      I’ve not seen this happening on my WHS 2011 system – even when the Media Update service was running. That’s not to say that it didn’t happen with you. However, I did have (and still have) some issues with Windows Live Photo Gallery modifying image files behind my back on my Desktop PC.. Do a search for WLPG on my blog to see my posts on the issues.

  6. Mike says:

    Any updates to the media library errors? I am about to uninstall WHS 2011 and trash it. I have been unable to successfully use remote log in to access the photos library although it works on the music library. is there and add-in that will replace media library? Thanks

    • Geoff Coupe says:

      Mike, no updates that I am aware of, I’m afraid. I’m also not aware of a replacement Add-in that covers the functions of the Media Library. Frankly, for giving access to friends and family to my photos, I use Flickr and Skydrive – both can have access control, and Skydrive can be more flexible with access control than Flickr. However, Flickr can also be used for videos (as can YouTube, of course).

  7. Simon Bradley says:

    Hi Geoff,

    I’ve just been reading your WHS2011-related posts. Thank you for the time and effort you’ve put into these!

    I’m particularly concerned about the possibility of WHS doing things with my data behind the scenes, and I’m not quite sure how to be certain that WHS isn’t going to mess with my files, once I copy them onto my (new) server.

    At present, I have several hard drives inside my Win7 PC (music and photos being the main ones of concern here), and my server is acting as backup to these. But I’m considering changing the structure such that my server is my main (working) repository, with an external (possibly rotating) backup. (I’ve just read your posts about WHS’s server backup problems: 2TB limit! I have way more than that to back up. But that’s a different story.)

    However, if there’s any chance of WHS changing tags in my music files (mainly FLAC, but also WMA and MP3) or altering EXIF/metadata in my photos (RAW and JPEG), then I just can’t risk it.

    When does this happen? Is it only if you put files into the default shares (Music, Pictures, etc.)? (Btw, I hate the default shares; I’d much rather start with a clean slate and be able to define the shares the way I prefer.) Is there a way to guarantee that your data will not be altered by WHS?

    Thanks in advance for any advice you can offer (and sorry if I’ve missed an obvious answer in one of your posts)!


    • Geoff Coupe says:

      Simon, thanks for your comments and questions. I’ll try and answer the questions as best I can.

      First, as far as I am aware, WHS 2011 will only try and update your music metadata. It runs a task every 24hours that does this. There is no equivalent task that focuses on photo/image metadata. That seems to be the case from my own experience: I’ve seen music metadata being overwritten, but I have never seen image metadata being overwritten by WHS 2011.

      Second, I have seen some folks say that if you don’t use the default music share, then this updating task won’t affect your music metadata. However, I’ve not looked at that workaround.

      The workaround that I’ve used is the one recommended by Microsoft themselves. It’s covered in the third item of this TechNet note:


      Microsoft have also said that they are working on a patch for this issue, but have not said when it will be available. In the meantime, I suggest that you disable the media updating task as documented in the Technet note.

      As far as I’m aware, image metadata is not in danger from being updated by rogue tasks in WHS 2011…

      • Simon Bradley says:

        Thanks, Geoff!

        I need to find time read thoroughly through all your WHS-related articles. I scanned most of them yesterday, but I’m sure there’s a lot of useful information in the details. 🙂

        I’m going to sync WHS with the primary copy of my files (after making the recommended change), then monitor the situation for at least a week or two before trusting WHS as my “primary” data store. I just hope there’s no way for that task to be auto-re-enabled!


  8. Wilkes says:

    Geoff, Just FYI. If you use WHS Settings (from the Dashboard) -> Media -> Media Library / Customize button and mark a non-default folder containing music (like MP3’s) as Yes to be a Shared folder in the media library WHS will gladly mess with your tags if you haven’t shut this “feature” off using the info provided by you and others in this thread.

  9. Pingback: WHS 2011 and Metadata | Geoff Coupe's Blog

  10. James Wilson says:

    Dear Mr. Coupe,

    I am an Englishman living in Germany.

    I have installed several WHS 2011 installations and have had randomly on several install the issue of libraries not updating (the only solution I had before was to just keep reinstalling and reinstalling until it seemed to be okay which is no solution I agree). A few days ago I was installing with a friend and business partner WHS 2011 server with him and low and behold the libraries updating monster raised its’ ugly head,

    After some head scratching we seem to have found the solution; no work arounds, no registry hacking or anything else that may be considered particularly unsavoury for that matter from the point of view of a home user, not necessarily technical savvy which is afterall the intended audience.

    As you seem to be one of the main champions in hunting a resolution to this issue I would like to invite you to test the solution and if indeed it is a successful as we believe, we would like for you to be the channel to deliver this solution to our fellow troubled WHS 2011 users. we are not vain enough to feel the need to start a new blog/thread/website whatever (although if successful, a mention would be nice) and you already have the audience (my friend and I are great believers in the collective) and think you can get the solution and message out more effectively.

    If you would be kind enough to find 30 minutes one day/evening I would be delighted to talk you through what we have found. Please drop me an email and we can exchange contact info (skype/phone whatever) with a proposed time for us to connect.

    Kind regards and tot ziens!

    James Wilson (Author) & Dominik Kowal (Fellow discoverer)

    • Geoff Coupe says:

      Hello James,

      My suggestion would be to contact Terry Walsh, owner of the WeGotServed site (http://www.wegotserved.com/). That site is probably the main community and news site for all things to do with WHS, and I’m sure he would be interested in what you have come up with. My little blog is just for my personal ramblings. You’d be much better off delivering your solution via a channel such as WeGotServed which is set up to do this sort of thing.

      I wish you (and Dominik) every success.

      Regards, Geoff Coupe

      • James Wilson says:

        Hello Geoff,

        Thank you for your reply, I have forwarded this to Mr Walsh as per your suggestion.

        Best regards


  11. Pingback: Xbox Music App – Metadata Madness | Geoff Coupe's Blog

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.