My Windows Media Player content sometimes pauses, has poor quality, or won't play at all.
Most likely the player is experiencing network congestion. This means there is not enough available bandwidth to stream the file you've selected. Try again when the network is less congested, or select content or files offered from lower bandwidth sites.
Content served by Windows Media Technologies is created for specific bandwidth ranges. If the content is created for a 28.8 Kbps or 56 Kbps connection but Internet traffic is heavy, the NetShow Services server will start to drop the frame rate (frames per second) to compensate for increase of network congestion, causing the video to be jerky and uneven. Try again when the connection is better, or be sure to select content that's targeted for the bandwidth you have available.
*Won't play at all
One possibility is that the server may be down or experiencing temporary technical difficulties. Or, the content may have been moved, or the URL to the content is wrong. In some cases, network congestion could certainly cause a player "timeout". Keep trying, or try again later when the network is less congested.