Microsoft has silently published this support document stating that Windows 7’s Windows Media Player will no longer support Metadata for tracks and movies. Microsoft had recently announced that it will be ending all OS support for Windows 7 from January 14, 2020. Now, disabling this feature from the operating system seems to be another tactic to push users to upgrade to Windows 10 as apparently the same feature works fine on Windows 10.
How does this affect end users?
The people who still use Windows 7, 36.90% of all PC users according to Net Market Share, won’t be able to see information such as the title, genre, and artist for songs, and the director, actors, cover art, and TV guide for movies in Windows Media Center and Windows Media Player. This affects Windows Media Player and Windows Media Center on all versions of Windows 7 and partially affects Windows 8/8.1.
However, the players will still show already downloaded Metadata for tracks and movies. New Metadata will not be downloaded for any files downloaded after January 26, 2019. This change will not affect any mainstream functionality of the Media Player such as media playback or streaming.
Why did Microsoft suddenly make this change?
The reason for disabling this feature was stated as “After looking at customer feedback and usage data, Microsoft decided to discontinue this service.” This basically means that not many users used this feature and Microsoft did not find it important to keep Windows 7 intact while it’s still supported for another full year. Windows 10 recently overtook Windows 7 in terms of market share and Microsoft took this opportunity to make even the most loyal Windows 7 users to upgrade.