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Windows Media Player automatically switches from 1 headset to another

Posted on 2013-01-03
Medium Priority
Last Modified: 2013-02-04
I have to headsets connected to my Windows XP SP3 PC. 1 of them is connected with old-fashioned wires, the other one is a Bluetooth headset, which uses a Bluetooth device that is connected to a USB port.

Before I start WMP I always make sure that the Sound applet of Control Panel is set to playback via the Bluetooth headset. After that I change the setting in the applet to the other headset, but WMP remembers the headset it's supposed to use. I have already used this mechanism countless times.

This morning I was walking through my house with my Bluetooth headset listening to WMP, when suddenly the sound was gone. The battery definitely wasn't dead, since I had recharged it the night before. Then I went to my PC, and the sound was now being played through the "normal" headset.

I have never experienced this kind of auto-switch before, and I can think of no explanation for it.

Any help would be appreciated.
Question by:Guilou
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LVL 70

Expert Comment

ID: 38742437
Unfortunately that's the nature of windows  plug and play, and how your sound card behaves,
 since your using two separate devices connected through two different types of inputs at the same time?
One being your speakers input the other USB
Try checking in your sound card  audio control panel and set the default head set there.
this will over ride the windows default possibly.
 WMP must be setup to automatically sync with a device, I'm no longer on XP so from memory check the settings in WMP and how it uses devices.
The best alternative that is guaranteed to work is to get a speaker with a headset port
or use only one.
Windows 7 resolved this but since you have XP
I found a switch as a work around if you'd like to try it
A hotkey to switch between headphones and speakers. Soundswitch.
there is an older version for XP click on sound switch.

There is probably a registry hack to stop this but personally I wouldn't mess with these keys since what your doing is not normal and disabling WMP features  not a good idea since you may need them later, please try the work around before editing the registry.
Best Wishes

Author Comment

ID: 38744834

Thanks for your answer. There are 2 kinds of programs that play sound (in XP):
- those that keep using the output device in the Sound applet of Control Panel that was there at the moment the program started. As long as you don't close the program (and I leave my PC and a lot of programs running all the time, day and night) it doesn't matter what you do in the Sound applet after that. Windows Media Player is one of those programs. Since I just want to use it when I walk through the house, doing chores, I make sure the Sound applet is set to the Bluetooth device when I start WMP;
- those that dynamically adapt to the settings of the output device in the Sound applet. Firefox is a good example. If I have set the output in the Sound applet to the Bluetooth device, and I listen to a YouTube movie, it will be output from the Bluetooth device. If I then stop the movie, change the setting in the Sound applet to the normal headset, and I start another YouTube movie, Firefox will output it from the normal headset.

So usually I have no problems with all this switching around, and it all works like I expect it to. But in this case while playing music on the Bluetooth headset from WMP, the output from WMP just spontaneously switched to the normal headset. This has never happened before, and alas, I cannot reproduce it. I also couldn't find anything in the Event Logs that might explain this strange phenomenon.

But unfortunately, your answer doesn't solve my problem. However strange or perhaps even "illegal" my setup, what happened cannot be explained by that, I think.

By the way, I will have a look at the settings of WMP, to see if something there might explain it.

LVL 70

Accepted Solution

Merete earned 1000 total points
ID: 38814087
Hi Henk, I have missed your response so long ago since I have changed ISP some responses do not go through to my new email.
I hope I didn't say illegal .
you say>
WMP just spontaneously switched to the normal headset.
 Bluetooth is short range wireless communications possibly you lose the signal as you round the corner of the lounge and go into the kitchen where you electrical interferences fridges fluoro lights? and>>1 of them is connected with old-fashioned wires, the other one is a Bluetooth headset, << so it switches to the old?
It probably switches when the signal is lost?

 it sounds as if your windows xp WMP 10/11 is not setup for Bluetooth natively.
You say> using the output device in the Sound applet of Control Panel
In Windows Media Player 11 click Tools > Options > Devices > Speakers > Properties > Select the audio device. and your Bluetooth device as default.
Windows likes things as default when using their product.
You may also have to restart WMP for changes to take effect.

Also using xp maybe Microsoft has a hand in it somewhere, Bluetooth is a newer driver and xp is getting outdated including WMP 11? or WMP 10
Firefox gets updated Youtube is updated, if you think about all the things that are updating the main area that is not
 your bios, mainboard, your XP SP2/3 ,WMP11,
Bluetooth like USB is plug play.
How old is the drivers?
Bluetooth Adaptor (BCM2046) Driver for Windows XP SP2/SP3
Hope it helps.
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Author Comment

ID: 38820209
Hi Merete,

Thanks again for your advice.
I'm not very familiar with WMP, because I usually use other music players. So I didn't know I could set the default audio device, and I put it to the Bluetooth headset.

I've only experienced the spontaneous switch once, but I lose connection to the Bluetooth device all the time. For example, when I go to my attic. Then I hear a few bleeps, and then it is able to find it again. So I think a disruption in the connection is not the cause of the spontaneous switch. As I said, I can't reproduce it, and it only happened once.

I'm not sure whether I made myself clear enough about the kind of Bluetooth headset it is (I'm more a software person than a hardware person, and I don't really know *if* there are any other kinds.) I have a Bluetooth adapter, which is in seated in another device, which is connected to one of my USB ports.

I have 4 choices for my audio output:
- Realtek HD audio output;
- Logitech Wireless Headset;
- Bluetooth SCO Audio;
- Bluetooth AV Audio.

I choose between the first 2, and have no idea what the latter 2 mean. I'll try to find out, but until I understand this issue I'm a little scared of installing the driver you suggested.

I will report back in a few days, so you can wait until then before you put any more effort into it. But if you have any more idea's or suggestions, of course they are welcome.

Best wishes,
LVL 70

Expert Comment

ID: 38821141
Hi Henk, thanks, the headset was the name I was after,
I take it this device your using is some sort of wireless sender box?
I have one that sends the signal only about 20 meters.
but it is connected to my TV- AC in, so I can walk around the house listening to the TV on my wireless headset.
Is it kind of like that only yours> I have a Bluetooth adapter, >>which is in seated in another device, <<<>>which is connected to one of my USB ports. <<
First that has to area of the problem. this device.
Secondly you have two headsets plugged in at the same time?

I have a connect Land head set and plug that directly into my USB. Not wireless.
this is what I see in my playback devices.
When I plug them it disables my speakers, when I take it out my speakers return.
playback devicesAny details you can provide helps my overall picture of what your doing and how it is connected.
Check in communications if windows is set to mute
communications sounds
LVL 70

Expert Comment

ID: 38821233
I assumed WMP as per your original comment.
Before I start WMP I always make sure that the Sound applet of Control Panel is set to playback via the Bluetooth headset.
If it only happened once what did you wish to achieve the Bluetooth?
What is the device?

I did some sourcing to understand what you have and how your using it
- Realtek HD audio output; << ok mainboard audio
- Logitech Wireless Headset;<< is this the Bluetooth attached to a device? (a dongle)

- Bluetooth SCO Audio;<<A Bluetooth profile is a specification regarding an aspect of Bluetooth-based wireless communication between devices.
In order to use Bluetooth technology, a device must be compatible with the subset of Bluetooth profiles necessary to use the desired services.
A Bluetooth profile resides on top of the Bluetooth Core Specification and (optionally) additional protocols. While the profile may use certain features of the core specification, specific versions of profiles are rarely tied to specific versions of the core specification. For example, there are HFP (Hands-Free (HFP)) 1.5 implementations using both Bluetooth 2.0 and Bluetooth 1.2 core specifications.

- Bluetooth AV Audio.<< Bluetooth AV dongle??
 The Bluetooth AV Dongle version V2.0 has a range of 10 meters and has a standby time of up to 200 hours.
USB Bluetooth AV Adapter

Your missing one where is the wired?

Don't really know if there is an answer since it only happened once.
But we can troubleshoot Bluetooth.
So do the above fit with what you have and how your using it with the wired headphones.?
The part I need to see in my head is how you have a wired and wireless functioning together.

Take a look here.
Is this kinda relevant to you and how you want to use a device for a different purpose than it was intended

Author Comment

ID: 38837047
Hi Merete,

I will get back to your questions tomorrow or the day after. I had some physical problems, first with my arms (typing too much), and then with my eyes. Tomorrow I will first make a print of this thread, because it's so much information right now that I lost the overview a little. I'll try to provide you with as detailed information as possible, and I have some driverscan programs installed on the PC, so I'll see if they think there are newer versions for the Bluetooth stuff.

Thanks for all your efforts until now,
LVL 70

Expert Comment

ID: 38838366
Hi Henk, I really understand
 I am experiencing the same, very sore right shoulder from arm over reaching
out on to desktop, hense the nerve in my neck  is pinching somewhere
has given me a severe headache in turn gives me sore eyes.
Ice jel for headache
I have now changed computer chair from high back big recliner type to office type, sore shoulder has already improved tension in neck is gone and headache nearly gone, eyes good.
I don't spend a lot of time on PC but some days I do.
We must be careful.
When you can!!
please provide the details you want me look at the more you give  the less I write back to find out what you need.
I will remember to keep it brief till your pain improves.
How to Sit at a Computer
Regards Merete

Author Comment

ID: 38848794
Hi Merete,

Since this was just a 1-time occurence (and cannot be reproduced), I don't think we should spend a lot more time on this. But I will once again try to fully describe the situation.

There are 2 headsets connected to my XP Professional SP3 PC:
- 1 is a simple wired one, connected to a Realtek High Definition Audio device, I suppose the sound chip on the motherboard.
- the other one is this one: http://www.logitech.com/en-us/support/4226?crid=407&osid=1&bit=32

At the moment I usually use WMP (Windows Media Player) to listen to music when walking through the house. WMP uses the settings at the moment it is started, so I use mmsys.cpl (Sound applet) to set audio playback to the Logitech wireless headset *before* I start WMP. Since I alway keep my PC running (and WMP too), I can then, if necessary set audio playback to the Realtek device, so at the PC I can use my wired headset. WMP will (normally) keep using the wireless headset.

The 2 other choices I have in mmsys.cpl, Bluetooth AV Audio and Bluetooth SCO Audio, are from IVT Corporation (bluesoleil driver), and definitely have nothing to do with the Logitech headset. They possibly were installed with my Samsung Galaxy cell phone, or some other bluetooth device.

In Device Manager I can find the Logitech in the category 'Sound, video and game controllers' as a 'USB Audio Device', and in the category 'Universal Serial Bus controllers' as a 'USB Composite Device'.

I think the problem may be more related to USB than to audio or Bluetooth, because lately I'm having all kinds of strange problems with the USB ports at the front of my PC. E.g.: it complains that I plugged a device in a USB 1.1 port, while everything connected is definitely 2.0. Some USB flash drives are not recognized when I plug them in a USB hub connected to the front. Etc., etc.

By the way, the PC was custom-made in about march 2007. I ran Driver Detective to see what it has to say about the USB ports and hubs. It says there are 9 out of date drivers in the USB category:
- 4 regarding composite device(s)?
- 4 regarding USB mass storage device(s), so these are not relevant in this case.
- 1 regarding a VIA USB Enhanced Host Controller.

The driver that is offered for the Host Controller is version 2.58 (from 2003!!), and the installed version on my system 2.60. So I'm not going to install that.

The drivers for the USB composite devices is an Intel Chipset Software Installation Utility (also from 2003), and since I have an AMD processor, I'm also not inclined to install this one.

The driver for the USB audio device (Logitech) is up-to-date according to DD, and the Realtek driver is not up-to-date. I could try that (first make a restore point, just in case).

You may have a look at it, but I wouldn't spend too much time on it anymore (I certainly won't, because I have loads of other problems, too, on my 6 active PC's. Some of them will appear here in the near future). But thanks for all the effort, certainly considering you also have physical problems.

LVL 70

Expert Comment

ID: 38849746
Hello Henk, I had the same thoughts
I think I have exhausted all ideas.
one thing though, you mention here>I think the problem may be more related to USB than to audio or Bluetooth, because lately I'm having all kinds of strange problems with the USB ports at the front of my PC. E.g.: it complains that I plugged a device in a USB 1.1 port, while everything connected is definitely 2.0. Some USB flash drives are not recognized when I plug them in a USB hub connected to the front. Etc., etc.<<  funny you should say that
I got the same recently with my front USB ports
I plug in my external USB drives  5 of them at various times, at the front
a few weeks ago I got a message that one of my uSB ports is 1.1 and is slower use a faster USB2 port would you like windows to fix it or show me the fastest?? Cant remember so I said ok??
And now one of my USB ports for some unknown reason is not as fast as the others?
I too built my own system, it's about 4  years old. Is it age?
Personally I believe it is Microsoft updates interfering with USB in the registry.
Last year there was a frantic panic about the USB safety with hackers this year it is Java.
Put that with Microsoft windows Media player seems a connection where security is concerned
This warning was recent
Homeland Security: Disable UPnP as tens of millions at risk
Microsoft tightens Windows 7 security for USB drives
So all in all I feel it's the updates messing with our computers.
I hope you found some of my suggestions provided you with some ideas.
Regards Merete

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