How To Stop Windows Media Sharing From Modifying Music Files

I was annoyed that if you enable HomeGroup Sharing in Windows 7 and share your music, that the media sharing service will automatically update your music and change artist names and such. I didn’t want artists such as “The Chemical Brothers” renamed to  “Chemical Brothers, The”. That’s what the artist sort tag is for. So I did a bit of searching and it appears that you can use group policy to change it globally.

Local Group Policy Editor

Open the Local Group Policy Editor and navigate to User Configuration > Administrative Templates > Windows Components > Windows Media Player and enable Prevent Music File Media Information Retrieval. You can run gpupdate /force to enable the change immediately. 

Prevent Music File Metadata Retrieval

This should prevent the sharing service from updating files, I’ll have to wait a day or two to be sure because the last time, the changes were made overnight while my computer was running.

Now, unfortunately, you need to be running Windows Professional in order to have access to the Group Policy Editor, I don’t know if there’s a way to deal with this without GPE. Perhaps some searching will yield more information.