Windows Media Player 11, open ports, micro$$$ spying and more

Discussion in 'other software & services' started by Jomsviking, Apr 16, 2007.

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  1. Jomsviking

    Jomsviking Registered Member

    Apr 16, 2007
    Hello to all Wilders members.

    This is my first post. I have been reading the forum for a while and, although most of the time I have no clue of what the hell you are all talking about, I have still managed to learn a lot from you. Congratulations on a great board.

    I have some questions about windows media player 11 (WMP11) and micro$$$ spying in general. Dumb questions, probably, but I don´t know much about computers.

    I recently upgraded from WMP10 to WMP11 [bad move, I know; I was playing a media file when a popup from WMP came out saying that an update was available; I let it update and there it was; I wish that WMP had given me prior information about the specific update before I had authorized it. But I read somewhere that micro$$$ had been pushing this update on windows users, so that should not be a surprise...].
    Upon installation/configuration, I unticked every checkbox in the security and privacy options (I did not choose the recommended settings, but the custom ones) that could lead in some way to micro$$$ spying (acquiring information about the played media and so on).

    When I rebooted the machine after some time, I got an icon on the system tray saying something like [my windows is not in english, so the translations may not be 100% on] "WMP has detected ***_***-pc [I use ** instead of the actual name]. Click here to configure the media sharing with this device".

    ###So this is question 1 : What is this ? I do not have a network. Only a single computer, and I connect directly to the internet (wired). I have multiple user accounts on this computer, though. Could it be detecting my own computer as a network ? Or maybe a card reader ??

    Anyway, I am not interest in media sharing, so I denied everything.
    Still, when looking at the exceptions for incoming in the windows firewall (I have a habit of doing that after a software installation), I saw that ports TCP 10243 and UDP 10280-10284 had been open for the WMP file sharing system.
    Checking the help file of WMP and the FAQ on micro$$$ site I saw that these ports [and some others through the svchost process] are naturally opened by the media sharing service, which is activated by default in WMP11.
    The help file said that these ports are sub-local level only. So this is question 2: I take it that this means they are not used to access to internet ?

    I wonder why these ports should be open if I had made sure I unticked the box about media sharing in the Options > Library section of WMP...
    I had to go in the media sharing settings and specificaly uncheck the ***-***-pc it had recognized after the reboot, even though the media sharing box was already unchecked. Then it worked. There were no longer any incoming exceptions for the ports mentioned above.

    There´s still the question about WMPNetwk.exe. I found through google that it is the process responsible for media sharing. But what the hell is it doing there in the TaskBar if I disabled media sharing ? Spying for micro$$$ ? :mad:
    Once again I googled it and saw that this process keeps coming back wheter you have media sharing on or off , and that the only way to shut it up is disabling it through Administrative Tools > Services.
    So, question 3: Has somebody done it ? Did it have any negative consequences ? Should one bother with it ?

    The readme file in the micro$$$ site says that one can rollback to WMP10. But I know that roll-backs are not risk-free procedures, especially on a buggy software like windows, so I´m afraid to roll back.

    With that said, WMP works with no problems, and so does my system.

    Three conclusions are immediate:
    1- Why does micro$$$ keep pushing all these extra, worthless, spying features on us ?
    2- VLC is my friend
    3- And so will Linux be, as soon as I learn a bit more about computers.

    I apologize for the long post.
    Many thanks in advance for any help regarding these issues.

    Last edited: Apr 16, 2007
  2. Ice_Czar

    Ice_Czar Registered Member

    May 21, 2002
    Boulder Colorado
    (it was a conclusion in the form of a question :p )

    they want to control the channel
  3. Jomsviking

    Jomsviking Registered Member

    Apr 16, 2007
    Thanks for the link, Ice Czar. Like your signature says, it´s really time to change.

    Not many answers...I guess that either the questions were too dumb or my post was too big and people did not have the patience to read it. So here´s another - shortened - attempt:

    I upgraded from Windows Media Player (WMP) 10 to WMP 11 and I have a few questions:

    1. I have no network, just a single computer (wired). After the installation and reboot, WMP 11 said that it had detected a PC and asked me to configure media sharing for this device. But why, since I have no network ? Does WMP 11 see an individual computer as a network ? Anyone experienced this in installation ? (PS: I am pretty sure that I have no malware)

    2. Media sharing opens incoming ports TCP 10243 and UDP 10280-4 (and some others). I disabled this, but I wonder: the help file says they are sub-local level only. Does this mean that they are not used for the internet in any way ?

    3. With media sharing disabled, the process WMPNetwk.exe still exists. You can kill it, but it will come back after a reboot. This process can not be responsible only for media sharing. Anyone knows what more does it do ? Spying for Microcrap ?
    Anyone disabled it through Administrative Tools > Services ? Ill effects ?

    Thanks in advance for any insight.

  4. TairikuOkami

    TairikuOkami Registered Member

    Oct 10, 2005
    I have cable network connection and as far sa I remember, WMP never asked me this.
    But I ussually set up WMP before first run, so it does not have a chance to ask me at all.
    I guess, that they are used, you can see here, that WMP connects to pages like napster or akamai (MS). You can block them in a real firewall, but some may be needed by streaming.
    I did it in XP and in Vista with no problem. You just will not be able to share media files. ;)
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