Windows Media Player

Windows Media Player

Windows Media Player is a free multimedia player available for Microsoft Windows that enables users to watch DVDs and CDs, rip audio files from, burn them to compact discs, synchronize content across portable devices and create and manage playlists.

It features a mini mode that displays only the most essential controls on the taskbar and flyout windows for media information and visualization. Furthermore, this player supports advanced encoding.


Microsoft provides Windows computers with a free program called WMP, an impressive media player with numerous features. Its tree-style file directory layout makes navigating large amounts of data easy, while its 10-way graphic equalizer comes pre-set for Rock, Jazz, Rap, Grunge Metal genres as well as SRS WOW effects to enhance audio quality further.

Since 1991, Windows Media Player has been included with Microsoft’s operating system and features the capability of playing multiple formats, including MP3 and WMA. You can rip CDs, create playlists, organize files into libraries, search metadata in any folder in a library as well as support various video formats. It can also stream content over local networks and sync music and photos with portable media devices or computers.

WMP now can connect directly with online music stores, making shopping and listening to songs much simpler. Furthermore, radio stations can be downloaded quickly as separate categories in Info Center view; WMP displays various visualizations including BlazingColors, ColorCubes PulsingColors Softie the Snowman!

Compatibility with other software

Windows Media Player software application is capable of playing most audio and video file formats on a computer, including digital music encoded with standards-based codecs. Furthermore, CD quality wave audio files as well as MP3 and WMA (Windows Media Audio) formats as well as AVI (audio video interleave) files may be played back when installed with appropriate video codecs.

Windows Media Player features integration with Universal Plug and Play media servers to synchronize content across local area networks, allowing music streaming from a PC to home entertainment systems and digital audio receivers over local area networks. This feature was previously provided by separate software called Windows Media Connect before being integrated into Windows Media Player beginning with version 11.

Microsoft has updated Windows Media Player Mobile regularly on a schedule similar to desktop Windows releases, offering closer matching of its capabilities to those available on both versions. Most recently, version 10 Mobile offers playlist capabilities, media library storage capabilities and support for DRM-protected PlaysForSure media files with its Energy Blue aesthetic design aesthetics introduced with desktop Windows operating systems.

Beginning with version 8, Windows Media Player software integrated with various online music stores. Selecting any store allows the Info Center view, radio station and other features to switch automatically over to using their services.

Audio and video playback

Windows Media Player goes beyond simply supporting standard audio formats and the MCI media control interface by also offering support for MIDI and CD audio playback as well as video playback in AVI format using an optional MCI driver, as well as having built-in support for MPEG-2 video decoder (along with WMV files that use default codec).

Full media libraries allow cataloguing files based on album, artist and genre; display cover art both full-screen and mini-player modes; organize files into playlists; perform basic media management tasks like importing music from other programs or streaming over the Internet; as well as advanced options like crossfading, EQ control (10 band graphic equalizer), SRS WOW audio post processing as well as variable playback speed from 0.5X up to 2.0X.

Since version 7, MediaCenter has supported synchronizing media to portable handheld devices and game consoles, in some cases automatically transcoding to formats more compatible with their destination devices.

As of the release of Windows 10, this software remains included with Windows, and can be activated by typing “features” into the search box or expanding the Windows Features menu in Control Panel. Since 1999 when Pocket PCs first received this version of the player, separate downloads have been available via Microsoft’s website; since 2004 when redesigned Windows Media Player featuring Energy Blue aesthetics was made available with WMA Lossless playback mode support and DRM protection added, separate versions can also be found available separately for XPs as well.

Organizing files

Windows Media Player’s Library feature can automatically organize all your digital music, photos, and video files so they are easier to locate and access. You can create playlists, burn mix CDs, synchronize content to portable music players or synchronize both versions automatically copy over folders selected for synchronization between them both.

Add files to your libraries by importing from audio or video CDs, downloading from online stores or adding digital media files already stored on your computer. You can even rip songs directly from audio CDs onto your computer before adding the tracks directly to the library. In addition, software exists which synchronizes high bit-rate song files onto newer portable devices capable of playing them natively while offering sufficient storage capacity to accommodate many files at one time.

The Player software monitors folders where you store music, pictures and videos for changes that allow it to automatically update its digital media library with any latest information. Alternatively, manually updating can be accomplished by selecting a folder where files reside and clicking Organize > Apply Media Information Changes or Manage Libraries > Monitor Additional Locations to update it manually with updated media file data.

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