Audio Files don't play on Windows N Editions of XP/Vista/7/8/8.1/10
Updated by Russell Samuels on Feb 15, 2018

Windows N Editions of XP/Vista/7/8/10 that are sold in Europe without multimedia components for legal reasons. This prevents MP3 playback, along with WMA playback and tagging (in both cases the files will become grey on attempts to play them).

In order to resolve this:

1) If you don't use WMA, the simplest approach is to install an MP3 codec as described here:

2) If you require the use of WMA and many other codecs, then install Windows Media components from:
Windows XP:
Windows 7:
Windows 8/

3) If WMA files still fail to play, you may need to install the Windows Media Format Runtime:

Windows XP/2003/Vista:

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