DefragTools #149 - Media eXperience Analyzer part 1

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In this episode of Defrag Tools, Chad Beeder is joined by Jorge Novillo and Jose Baldner to introduce us to Media eXperience Analyzer (MXA).

Media eXperience Analyzer (formerly WindowsXRay) is a tool used to visualize ETW traces, with a particular emphasis on media scenarios such as audio/video capture and playback.

[00:00] Introductions
[01:20] What is MXA? What's it good for?
[05:34] Installing and setting up MXA (Download link). You also should install Windows Performance Toolkit which is included in the Assessment and Deployment Kit.
[07:28] Demo #1: Collecting a trace to analyze in MXA - full of audio and video playback glitches
[11:02] Before loading a trace, make sure the symbol path is correct (use the included setsymbolpath.cmd if necessary)
[11:37] Loading the trace into MXA and getting a feel for the UI and various datasets available to view
[14:46] Let's start with the Audio Glitches and Video Glitches datasets to identify where the problem is
[16:15] The CPU Scheduler dataset is very useful; shows which threads were running, and when
[20:11] Help->Shortcuts tells you all the keyboard/navigation shortcuts
[20:40] Context Switch Call Stack dataviewer shows you when a thread started running, what it was waiting on
[21:58] Callstacks dataset compiles all the events that had call stacks captured with them
[23:44] Stack Tree data viewer shows the summary breakdown of all call stacks over a selected time
[24:45] Using the Video Glitches and DMA Operations datasets to see what the GPU was doing during the glitches
[26:37] Demo #2: An audio glitch that occurred when the screen got powered on
[27:14] Start with the Audio Glitches and CPU Scheduler datasets
[30:52] Use the Callstacks dataset to identify the culprit: display driver was spending too long executing a DPC
[34:33] Email us at



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The Discussion

  • User profile image

    thanks. I discovered the tool last year in the RSS feed, but I was lost in the UI.


    I'll play with the tool a bit the next days

  • User profile image

    This looks like an amazing tool.  I'm excited to use it.  Thanks for another great show!

  • User profile image

    for those of us that would like to try the tool... could you please make the "demo" driver tool (evntctrl.exe) available for download... thanks

  • User profile image

    I wonder if this was the Intel driver for surface pros that had the very annoying "graphics driver has stopped responding" errors.

  • User profile image

    Good to see this but lets say you have some sort of glitch that occurs only 1 time a week and you are using the computer in a daily live PA or studio workflow. To help professional users there it should be made so that if the audio glitches, Windows notices this and you don't have to try google how to solve it but rather add some button to Action Center allows the user to collect the trace if it's bothering them... this trace collection should be setup to be very light weight so that everything happens in memory with regard to the collection and there's a circular buffer that throws the data away until a glitch occurs again - collect what happened between the last non-glitch audio playback  and after the audio resumed and store that in memory. ... so it just records the info relevant to every the glitch in a way that does not cause disk or network io.


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