OK, that didn't take long...
I re-installed WMP9 and the issue was still there, music was choppy, stacatto (sp).
Music played fine in WMP9, but I went ahead and disabled the EQ and the visulations. Closed that, ran FP again and have the slider working now and the music seems to play fine.
Big sigh of relief... can't tell you how tramatic it is when your favorite program freaks out on you.
Kinda wish I could have visulations, and this was not a problem 2 days ago, but I'll take what I can get.