Unrecoverable Playback Error with Foobar

How to Fix the Unrecoverable Playback Error with Foobar?

Some Windows users are seeing the ‘Unrecoverable payback error‘ whenever they attempt to play Mp3 files using the Foobar2000 application. In some cases, the error message is accompanied by the error code 0x88780078.

Unrecoverable Playback Error

In case you’re using Xonar DX Control Center with Foobar, start this troubleshooting guide by disabling GX DSP mode. If that doesn’t work, run the WMP Settings troubleshooter and see if it managed to fix the issue automatically. Additionally, you should try reinstalling Windows Media player via the Windows features screen and see if that fixes it.

However, this error can also be caused by two services (Windows Audio and Windows Audio Endpoint Builder) that might be stuck in a limbo state. If this scenario is applicable, you should be able to fix the issue by restarting them individually.

Under some circumstances, the fault can be caused by your playback device. In this case, you should attempt to change the default audio format and see if that fixes the issue.

Disabling GX DSP Mode in Foobar2000

As it turns out, this problem is most commonly being caused by a setting inside the Xonar DX Control Center. A lot of users encountering this issue have managed to fix the issue by deactivating the GX DSP Mode via the GX button.

If this scenario is applicable, start this troubleshooting guide by clicking on the GX button and then restart the Foobar2000 application and see if that resolves the issue for you.

Disabling GX mode

In case this didn’t fix the issue for you or this scenario was not applicable, move to the next potential fix.

Running the Windows Media Player Settings Troubleshooter

If the problem is being caused by an inconsistency facilitated by Windows Media Player, your operating system might be able to fix the issue automatically. Several affected users have confirmed that they managed to fix the Unrecoverable Playback Errors by running the Windows Media Player Settings troubleshooter.

Note: This is an older troubleshooter that’s typically reported to be effective on Windows 8.1 and older.

This utility will scan the settings and dependencies of WMP and automatically deploy a repair strategy if a familiar scenario is identified.

Here’s a quick guide that will show you how to run the Windows Media Player Settings troubleshooter and automatically apply the recommended repair strategy in case a familiar issue is discovered:

  1. Press Windows key + R to open up a Run dialog box. Next, type ‘control’ inside the text box to open up the classic Control Panel interface.
    Accessing the Classic Control Panel interface
  2. Inside the Classic Control Panel interface, use the search function (top-right corner) to search for ‘troubleshooting’ and press Enter to retrieve the results, then click on Troubleshooting.
    Accessing the classic troubleshooting menu
  3. Once you’re inside the Troubleshooting window, click on View All to see the full list of available troubleshooters.
    Viewing all available troubleshooters
  4. Once you get the full list of classic troubleshooters, click on Windows Media Player Settings from the list of available options.
    Accessing the Windows Media Player settings
  5. Once you’re at the initial screen of the Windows Media Player Settings troubleshooter, start by clicking on Advanced and check the box associated with Apply repairs automatically.
    Applying repairs automatically

    Note: If you see the Run as administrator hyperlink, click on it in order to open the troubleshooter with admin access.

  6. Click on Next to advance to start the scan and wait for the operation to complete.
  7. If the troubleshooter recommends you a fix, click on Apply this fix.
    Applying the fix for Windows Media Player Settings

    Note: Depending on the fix that gets recommended, you might need to follow some manual steps in order to complete the process.

  8. Restart your computer and see if the issue is resolved at the next system startup.

If the Unrecoverable Playback Errors is still appearing when you attempt to play MP3 or MP4 files with Foobar2000, move down to the next potential fix below.

Restarting the Windows Audio Endpoint Builder

Under some circumstances, you might see this error due to a service (Windows Autio Endpoint Builder) that’s stuck in a limbo state. If this scenario is applicable, you should be able to fix the problem by restarting the service, forcing it to re-initiate.

This operation was confirmed to be effective for a lot of Windows 8.1 users.

Here’s a quick guide showing you how to restart the Windows Audio endpoint builder:

  1. Press Windows key + R to open up a Run dialog box. Next, type ‘service.msc’ and press Enter to open up the Services screen. If you’re prompted by the UAC (User Account Control), click Yes to grant administrative privileges.
    Type “services.msc” into the Run dialog and press Enter
  2. Inside the Service screen, move to the right section, scroll down through the list of services and locate the Windows Audio Endpoint Builder.
  3. Once you see it, right-click on it and choose Restart from the context menu to restart this service.
    Restarting the Windows Audio Endpoint Builder service
  4. Open the Foobar application once again and see if you’re still encountering the same error.

If you are, move down to the next fix below.

Restarting the Windows Audio Service

Some users that were also encountering this problem have reported that for them. the error appears whenever the Windows Audio service is shot. In this case, the fix is simple and conventional – all you need to do is restart it in order to fix the problem.

The easiest way to do this is via an elevated CMD window. Here’s a quick guide that will show you how to do this:

  1. Press Windows key + R to open up a Run dialog box. Next, type ‘cmd’ and press Ctrl + Shift + Enter to open up an elevated Command Prompt window. At the UAC (User Account Control) prompt, click Yes to grant administrative privileges.
    Running Command Prompt
  2. Inside the elevated CMD window, type the following command and press Enter in order to stop the Windows Audio service:
    net stop audiosrv
  3. Once the command has been successfully processed, wait for a couple of seconds before typing this command and pressing Enter to start the same service once again:
    net start audiosrv
  4. Open the Foobar application and see if the issue is now resolved.

In case the problem is persisting, move to the next potential fix.

Reinstalling Windows Media Player

As it turns out, the Foobar2000 application relies on the built-in Media Player integration for certain playback functions. Because of this, you should expect to encounter various Unrecoverable Playback Errors in the event that the main Media Player functionality is glitched.

In this case, you should be able to fix the issue by reinstalling the Windows Media Player ensuring that every relevant component is reinitiated. Several affected users have confirmed that this operation finally allowed them to use the Foobar2000 application normally.

Here is the step by step instructions that will help you reinstall the Windows Media Player component:

  1. Press Windows key + R to open up a Run dialog box. Next, type ‘optionalfeatures.exe’ inside the text box and press Enter to open up the Windows Features screen.
    Opening the Windows Features screen

    Note: If you’re prompted by the UAC (User Account Control) screen, click Yes to grant administrative privileges.

  2. Once you’re inside the Windows Features screen, scroll down through the list Windows features and locate Media Features. When you see this entry, double-click on it, then uncheck the box associated with Windows Media Player and click on Ok to save the changes.
  3. Wait until the operation is complete, then restart your computer and wait for the next startup to complete.
  4. At the next startup, follow the same instructions above, but this time enable the Windows Media Player component instead of disabling it.
  5. Open Foobar2000 and repeat the action that was previously causing the Unrecoverable Playback Error to see if the issue is now resolved.

In case the same problem is still occurring, move down to the next potential fix below.

Changing Default audio format to 16 bit, 44100 Hz (CD Quality)

As it’s been confirmed by several affected users, the Unrecoverable Playback Error will also appear in a scenario where the audio device you’re using is forced to use an audio format that is not able to handle.

If this scenario is applicable, you should be able to fix the issue by accessing your audio settings and forcing the default playback device to use the 16 bit, 44100 Hz (CD Quality) format.

Here’s a quick step by step guide that will allow you to change the default format to the recommended value.

Note: The instructions below are universal and can be followed on Windows 7, Windows 8.1 and Windows 10.

  1. Press Windows key + R to open up a Run dialog box. Next, type ‘control mmsys.cpl sounds’ inside the text box and press Enter to open up Sound menu.
    Opening the Sound menu via Run box

    Note: If you’re prompted by the UAC (User Account Control), click Yes to grant admin access.

  2. Once you’re inside the Sound menu, click on the Playback tab, then right-click on the active sound device (the one you’re actively encountering issues with).
  3. From the newly appeared context menu, click on Properties.
  4. From the Properties screen, click on the Advanced tab and go to the Default format section. Once inside, adjust the Default format to 16 bit, 44100 Hz (CD Quality) format.
  5. Click Apply to save the changes, then attempt to play the media that was previously failing in Foobar to see if the issue is now resolved.
Changing the default audio format
Kevin Arrows
Kevin is a dynamic and self-motivated information technology professional, with a Thorough knowledge of all facets pertaining to network infrastructure design, implementation and administration. Superior record of delivering simultaneous large-scale mission critical projects on time and under budget.

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Unrecoverable Playback Error with Foobar

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