After the rigamarole with mp3 player, I decided to try to burn some dvd's to clear and backup my harddrive. Even after restarting the computer and stopping every single program I could find, I still burned a coaster for every dvd-r that survived. It also took around 20 minutes a go, regardless of whether it worked or not. I have no clue why it does this but my guess is that it's a lack of ram issue. It can't help that my dvd writer is an ancient piece of shit either.
To address the ram issue, I decided to actually open up the computer and take a look at the innerds to see what sort of ram slots I had avaliable. You would not believe the size of the dust balls all around the computer. All the air intake holes in the back were covered up with crap and the inside had a truly remarkable coating. I looked around but couldn't find anything even close to a can of compressed air. At that point, I came up with the pisspoor idea of just taking a deep breath, closing my eyes and blowing as hard as I could repeatedly into the case. I think I might now be dying of a severe case of coal miner's lung. Not that I could see with my eyes tightly shut, but I imagine the mushroom cloud of dust must've reached the ceiling based on the extended coughing fit I went through after taking a breath. My nose ran constantly for half a hour afterwards. All in all, it was mission accomplished though. I got the info I needed and with some help from Randy was able to identify the type of ram I should buy. After dropping $110 on newegg, I have 2 gigs of ram coming my way and I'm hoping that it fixes some of the issues I've had. If nothing else, I'm hoping it allows me to burn dvd-r's without making endless numbers of coasters.