Windows Media Player

Windows Media Player 12.0

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5

excellent

6.5
This program received 13 awards

Screenshots

  • Creating a playlist
  • Playing now
  • Network properties
  • Library properties
  • Library
  • Welcome screen

Editorial review

All comments (435)

Daniela Jefferson Senior editor

Many people would agree that Windows Media Player has proven to be one of the most reliable and convenient tools for managing one's media library. There is a lot it can do: organize your files, play videos and music, burn CDs, stream your media to other devices... the list of features is very large and very impressive.
One of WMP 12's most remarkable characteristics, however, is that it comes pre-installed in Windows 7. It means that the program is at your disposal the moment you turn on your new computer. You won't waste your time looking for media managers online, downloading the files, and installing them. WMP is all you will need.

Microsoft made numerous updates to WMP for the release in Windows 7. This new version is completely free from clutter, such as unnecessary buttons and menus, and this lets the users fully immerse themselves in the world of video and audio material on their computers. There is a number of built-in audio and video codecs already included with the program and the required missing codecs are automatically identified and downloaded from the Internet, so virtually any file can be played with the WMP.

While all other versions of the Windows Media Player were able to stream music, version 12 extends and simplifies media sharing across the network and the Internet. The new Play To feature allows you to share your media content with other computers running Windows 7 on your local network. The Remote Media Streaming makes your media library available over the Internet when you are on the road.

Smarter DVD playback, iDevice support (with required plug-ins and iTunes installed alongside), 15-second song previews and Jump Lists are some of the features that are worth mentioning. While the first three features are quite obvious, Jump Lists need explanations. They allow you to navigate through your media library amazingly fast; in addition, Jump Lists can be customized to fit your needs and style.

As usual, WMP options are overwhelming. It is a good and a bad thing at the same time. There are many settings to change, but a regular user won't need to tweak any of them, and an advanced user won't find what he is looking for. Yet again, Microsoft managed to add a lot, but nothing of substance.

WMP 12 does not include some of the features that were available in the previous versions of the program, including the taskbar-intergrated mini-player (some controls are now available in the application's thumbnail preview in the taskbar, however), the advanced tag editor, and the party mode. The player cannot be used with operating systems older than Windows 7. WMP 11, on the other hand, can be officially downloaded from Microsoft's servers and used with many of the previous versions of Windows operating system.

Pros

  • Pre-installed in Windows.
  • Built-in audio and video codecs.
  • Extended and simplified media sharing across the network and the Internet.
  • Customizable Jump Lists.

Cons

  • Some useful features are not included (e.g. party mode).
  • Cannot be used with operating systems older than Windows 7.

Latest comments

  All comments (435)
  • 5
    Guest Last month
    Pros: Preinstalled, system app, plays some video and some audio files, since most of us have .mp3 and .wma files it shouldn't be a problem, it runs smoother and faster than most media players.
    Cons: No aditional codecs, updates once in 4 years or so, some .mp3 files don't work well and seeking is not supported on some, the interface is a beautiful mess.

    Personally I never use this player simply because I run into trouble whenever I like a song it is not played, because the encoding is not supported or the seek is not supported, or it stumbles onto a movie it doesn't play or it tries to install some external codec from Microsoft that takes up a lot of space and can only play one type of files. Microsoft still has a lot of work to do on this media player in order to make it work properly and without glitches. The interface is fine, maybe some minor adjustments but the functionality is a mess to its core.

  • 26
    Guest 3 months ago

    Why does Windows not have the codec for the player of Music Stream Radio?

  • 31
    មុត រិទ្ធធារាជ 4 months ago

    VLC Media Player is a lot better than this. But still good.


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