Although it is true that we use less and less MP3 files in favor of streaming, these files continue to enjoy great popularity. Either because we have our own recordings, or because we once converted our CDs to MP3 to listen to them on the computer without depending on the Internet, surely we still save more than one file in this format on our computer. To play them, just open them in any player we have on our PC, but what if we have problems playing this format?
MP3 files can be damaged in many ways. For example, a problem may have occurred during the ripping process (going from CD to MP3), or it may be that when copying to an MP3 player, or to a USB memory, the original file has been corrupted. It may also happen that the download was canceled before it was finished, that the data was truncated, or that there is garbage in the file information. It could even happen that it is not actually an MP3, but any other file with this extension.
Most likely, when an audio file is corrupted there is no going back. The MP3 format does not have redundant information that allows us to recover the data. Changes made in this format are destructive, therefore the original information is most likely lost forever.
But the problem may not be with the file itself, but rather a problem with the player or with the computer itself. Next we are going to see the possible causes and solutions to these problems.
Check if an MP3 is ok or damaged
There are many reasons why an MP3 file can fail. But the most common is that, for some reason, some of your sound information has been corrupted. This can cause the song to start playing smoothly and suddenly stop playing, or even crash and the player closes.
In order to isolate the problem, and to know if the cause is really the file itself, we can use a program called « MP3 Validator «. What this program allows us to do is analyze the MP3 files that we upload to indicate if the file works correctly or if, for some reason, its integrity has been damaged.
All we have to do, once the program is downloaded, is run it and load all the songs that we want it to analyze. Thanks to its interface, we will be able to add several songs at the same time instead of having to analyze them all one by one, which will help us to easily check our entire music library. The program is compatible with MPEG 1 Layer III (the most used codec for mp3), but also with other versions and layers of MPEG. In addition, it supports the most common tag types, such as ID3v1, ID3v2, and APEv2.
If this program tells us that the MP3 file has a problem, then there is little we can do. We can try to open it with another program (like Audacity) to see if it can read the information (something unlikely) and allows us to encode it again. But most likely we will have to give up the file for lost.
However, if this program tells us that the file is correct, then the problem is with our computer.
What to do if Windows does not play an MP3 well
This format has been on the market long enough for all systems, and all programs, to be able to read it. However, the problems may be due to misconfiguration, or some other reason that may be causing the file not to be heard, for example.
Do you have enough volume?
If when opening an audio file in Windows it is not heard, and we have verified that it has no problems, it may be that we have incorrectly configured the volume on our computer. Therefore, the first thing we must do is make sure that we have the speakers turned on, and that they are selected in the Windows 10 audio panel. From this panel we can also check that the volume is not at 0, and that we do not have activated either. the « Mute mode» .
We can also open the Windows 10 volume mixer (by right-clicking on the speaker icon) to check if the program is muted here, and if it is really generating sound and it is not heard, or it is not generating sound.
We can make sure that the program is not muted by looking at the speaker icon that appears below it, and if it generates sound using the moving color bar.
Is it really not heard? Can be very low
Are we sure the music file cannot be heard? Maybe it is playing correctly but we have the volume of the program, or the file, very low and our speakers do not get to reproduce the sound.
We can try to turn up the volume of the speakers by hand to make sure that it sounds correctly. We must also look at the volume of the player we are using, since these usually have independent controls. Also, make sure that we do not have the player muted.
Finally, we can try to open the program with Audacity to check if the sound file is silent or has a sound spectrum.
If the spectrum is smooth, then the audio file is corrupted, and we won’t be able to do anything. However, if the problem is that it is very low, we can use this same program to amplify it and make it sound correctly. Of course, we must be careful with sound losses.
Try another player
If after trying the above, and checking that the file is correct, we continue to have problems, then it may be due to a failure in the music player we use, or in the codecs that we have installed on the PC. In that case, what we have to do is try another player, which has its own codecs, to isolate the problem.
VLC, for example, is a multimedia player that, just as it can play almost any video format, it can also play all kinds of sound files. In this way we can know if the problem is due to the player we are using, or not.
If by chance the program we use is VLC, we can download and install another MP3 player, such as AIMP.