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Windows Media Player

Windows Media Player

  • Free
  • In English
  • Version: 12

Media player for Windows

Windows Media Player is a multimedia application that allows users to play music and videos. For many years, it has been the standard media player built-in with versions of the Windows operating system. It provided a lot of useful features in playing your music and video files that it had succeeded—in many ways—as a competitor to iTunes for Windows. It is easy to use, with a lot of useful options to make it more convenient for you

Classic features

Windows Media Player (WMP) has been bundled with Windows since 1991. It boasts a wide array of features without the mind-boggling setup. It has a tree-style file directory, making it easy for you to find the music you want. Moreover, if you have a song or a video file in mind, you can simply search for it in the search box to skip the browsing. 

The app also has a handy Create a Playlist function that lets you create your music or video playlist, so that you can binge-watch or go on a sound trip without needing to click on so many files. Additionally, this function employs the drag-and-drop functionality, taking any confusion out of the process of making your playlist. You can also rate your music using the five-star rating system. With this, you can organize your files by rating. 

Among the classic functionality that users can still enjoy in the app is its CD burner. Creating the perfect mix CD is easy. You only need to drag and drop songs into a Burn List in the right panel and click the Start Burn button to create your mix. Ripping is reasonably fast, and the program even lets you choose your preferred bit rate and audio file type. 

Major changes

To keep up with the growing number of third-party media players, Microsoft has done a few major changes to the classic Windows Media Player. For one, the product’s interface has been completely overhauled. Gone is the monotonous blue UI that dogged the three previous versions. Instead, the app sports a more professional-looking black fascia that is cleaner to look at. 

The toolbar still contains the familiar buttons—Now Playing, Library, Rip, Burn, and Sync buttons—though the app has demoted the Guide button and replaced it with the Music Services button. The new function changes based on which online music service you’ve configured. Aside from the new look, the Windows Media Player also made some changes in its Media Library. Instead of displaying a database-like list of text, the view is now more graphical with album representation of most of the main library view styles. Also, it now visually shows when a container has multiple items. 

Overall, these new features are nice, but they require a bit of work on the users’ end. Even in the smallest media collection, there is bound to be a missing or incorrect metadata, which isn’t easy to fix. Plus, while there are a bunch of new functions, there are still some that are missing. These include the integrated podcast capability, which is already present in iTunes. Furthermore, the WMA-based online music store—which you can connect to with WMP—is not as interesting as the ones you can connect to in iTunes. 

Nice improvement but not enough

The changes that Windows Media Players have undergone are a nice improvement to keep up with the ever-changing demands of the users. However, while the app has made a major leap and is better than its predecessors, it still misses numerous necessary features. The app still does not embrace the de facto standards of media players in the market today.

Windows Media Player 11 for Windows XP (WMP 11) offers great new ways to store and enjoy all your digital media. It's easier than ever to access all of your music, videos, pictures, and recorded TV on your computer. Play it, view it, organize it, or sync it to a portable device for enjoying on the go, or share with devices around your home—all from one place.

Windows Media Player 11 is designed to work with all versions of Windows XP with Service Pack 2, including Windows XP Home Edition N and Windows XP Professional N.

Simplicity In Design

Bring a whole new look to your digital entertainment.

More of the Music You Love

Breathe new life into your digital music experience.

All Your Entertainment in One Place

Store and enjoy all of your music, video, pictures, and recorded TV.

Enjoy Everywhere

Stay connected with your music, video, and pictures no matter where you are. Check out the new Media Sharing feature.

PROS

  • Cleaner and professional interface
  • Graphical file display
  • Allows users to access online music services
  • Still offers the classic functionalities

CONS

  • Misses a few necessary features
  • Inevitable missing or incorrect metadata in every playlist
  • Uninteresting music store offering

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