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media frm an external hard drive to wmp11's library...help!

by peaceandcheese-22034670535896007640082332988359 / December 3, 2007 2:00 PM PST

i have wmp11 on windows xp (sp2) on a pc with lots of music and movies on an external hard drive. it's rare that i can actually sync some music from wmp11's library to my mp3 player using wma format providing i actually ripped the music from a cd. other times, it's just a fluke that slipped in and i can sync the wma format to my player. the library is automatically monitoring my "e" folder which is labeled "ripped folder" (i didn't label this nor do i know how it only monitors the rip setting). the majority of my media is downloaded and not ripped from a cd and i read somewhere that wmp won't automatically place externally stored media into it's library and i would have to use the add media feature. i did this and added all my media yet when i try to sync it to my mp3 player or burn a compilation cd, i receive a red "x" error message stating that the files may have been moved, deleted or just not found. how can this be when i'm able to play the files on wmp11 and can actually see them? why won't it sync through wmp11? how do i get it to perform this function and to stop getting these messages?
OR
can anyone suggest a media player (preferably free) i can use that will play my files AND sync them to my mp3 player and burn/rip cd's? i'm becoming frustrated with wmp and rhapsody crashes constantly before it even gets to find media to load into it's library. there's gotta be a better way to do this.
any help with this issue will be greatly appreciated

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