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A music-sharing site popular with small and independent artists is suspending operations because of incompatibilities with Microsoft's latest version of Windows Media Player.

Weedshare, home to 10,000 musicians and 100,000 tracks, will go offline next week after four years because Windows Media Player 11 does not play music files that have been updated to enable operators to charge consumers.

Weedshare's owner, Shared Media Licensing, inserts its own information into the music's tracking data, so that downloaded tracks can be played three times before charging.

However, Microsoft's security improvements in Microsoft to WMP 11 read files as having been illegally tampered with and refuses to play them.

John Beezer, Shared Media president, told The Register his company called time on WMP after spending six weeks trying to fix the problem. Shared Media rectified a similar issue in Windows Vista using a documented Active X fix.

"We are moving away from Microsoft because of the cost and frustration," Beezer said.

Shared Media will resurrect its service during the next six months with an offering less reliant on Microsoft. A service is planned for MP3, Flash, Open Mobile Alliance DRM version 2.0 and Microsoft's newly announced PlayReady format. "We are repurposing the system," Beezer said.

Microsoft was unavailable to comment at the time of writing. ®

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