MediaTab adds media information to Windows Explorer's Properties window

Martin Brinkmann
Feb 18, 2014
Updated • Sep 5, 2014
Music and Video

Depending on how you play or view media files on your system, you may never run into any issues playing or viewing them, or experience issues occasionally were files cannot be loaded because of a missing codec or other issues.

That's for instance the case if you use Windows Media Player to play multimedia files on the operating system. The issue here is that Windows Media Player can only play certain types of media files and requires codecs for any other file type that it does not support out of the box.

So what can you do if you run into such a situation? You can switch players to VLC Media Player or SMPlayer for example, but that is probably not something that you may want to do.

Another option is to install a codec pack and hope for the best. The problem here is that these packs install a number of codecs, which is overkill considering that you only need one or two (audio and video) to play the file.

windows media player playback error

A third option is to use a program like Video Inspector or Codec Toolbox to find out which codec is missing to play the multimedia file.

The free program MediaTab falls into the third group of applications. What sets it apart is that it does not need to be executed manually whenever you run into playback issues. Instead, it adds itself to Windows Explorer's Properties window that you can access with a right-click and the selection of Properties from the context menu, or by holding down the Alt-key and double-clicking on the file. Or, if you prefer to use the keyboard, Alt-Enter and then Ctrl-Tab.

mediatab information

All information are listed on the MediaTab tab which it adds to the window. As far as information go that it displays, they are very extensive and may intimidate on first glance.

There is no need for that though as you only need to look at some values to find out why something does not play on your system. That's not the only use case for MediaTab though.

You can find out lots of information about it, from the video bitrate to audio compression or stream size. It is possible to export the information to a text or HTML file, or copy them to the clipboard in various formats instead.

MediaTab limits the information that it displays somewhat at first. You need to click on the advanced link in the program window to display all information instead.

Closing Words

MediaTab is a useful program for Windows that provides you with everything there is to know about media files on your system.

The program is compatible with all recent 32-bit and 64-bit versions of the Microsoft Windows operating system.


Tutorials & Tips

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  1. Anonymous said on August 1, 2010 at 12:43 pm

    Why not make use of the mplayer.conf?

  2. Mike J said on August 1, 2010 at 2:58 pm

    Huh, I have never even seen this “font cache” pane; videos play at once for me, using VLC & XP SP3.

    1. Martin said on August 1, 2010 at 3:39 pm

      Mike, in theory this should have only been displayed once to you, at the very first video that you played with VLC. The time this window is displayed depends largely on the number of fonts in your font directory.

      1. Mike J said on August 2, 2010 at 2:30 pm

        huh, I lucked out for a change?? Amazing!!
        Apparently VLC keeps this info through version updates, but I didn’t see this message after a fresh OS install about 8 weeks ago, & a new VLC.

  3. myo said on August 1, 2010 at 5:52 pm

    yes, yes, i have the same problem. sometimes, VLC crashes when it is playing .mov file.

  4. Kishore said on August 13, 2010 at 2:55 pm

    Buidling font Cache pop-up


    Open VLC player.

    On Menu Bar:


    (at bottom – left side)
    Show settings — ALL

    Open: Video
    Click: Subtitles/OSD (This is now highlited, not opened)
    Text rendering module – change this to “Dummy font renderer function”


    Re-open – done.
    Progam will no longer look outside self for fonts

    Source –

    1. Martin said on August 13, 2010 at 3:10 pm

      Great tip, thanks a lot Kishore.

  5. javier said on August 14, 2010 at 1:50 pm

    @Kishore, I’ll try your tips, but does this mean it will no longer show subtitles either?
    I do use subtitles, but the fontcache dialog box pops up (almost) everytime I play a file.

    Could this be related to the fonts I have installed? Or if I add/remove fonts to my system?

    I’ll try to do a fresh install also, if your tips does no work. I’ll post back here later…


  6. Kishore said on August 15, 2010 at 12:38 pm

    @ Javier, The trick i posted will show up subtitles too. If not,

  7. Kishore said on August 15, 2010 at 12:39 pm

    @ Javier, The trick i posted will show up subtitles too. If not,Dont worry, VLC is currently sorting out this issue and the next version will be out soon.

    No probs @ Martin !! Its my pleasure

  8. Ted said on October 22, 2010 at 3:57 am

    Try running LC with administrator privileges. That seemed to fix it for me

  9. Evan said on December 8, 2013 at 1:48 am

    I am using SMplayer 0.8.6 (64-bit) (Portable Edition) on Windows 7 x64. Even with the -nofontconfig parameter in place SMplayer still scans the fonts. Also, I have enabled normal subtitles and it is still scanning fonts before playing a video. Also, it does this every time the player opens a video after a system restart (only the fist video played).

  10. Mike Williams said on September 6, 2023 at 1:26 pm

    Does that mean that only instrumental versions of songs will be available for non-paying users?

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