When designing Windows Media Player 11, we looked at the needs of a wide range of users—from people who are just getting started with digital media to discriminating audiophiles with very large collections on their PCs. By incorporating this feedback into the design process, we made some significant changes to the Player to deliver a simpler, more visual way to navigate music, video, and other digital media and further improve the overall experience.
Streamlining and shortcuts
To simplify the Windows Media Player interface, the classic menus are now turned off by default, but still accessible by right-clicking anywhere on the Player's frame.
Fast access to settings
Right-click or click the down arrow that is assigned to each activity tab (Now Playing
, and Sync
) to reveal menu options that are relevant to each respective tab. This new feature offers quick access to the most common Player settings.
Universal back and forward buttons
ndows Media Player is now easier than ever with back and forward buttons located in the top-left corner. Simply flip back and forth between the various screens to retrace your steps or get back to a previous task.
Revamped playback controls
The new playback controls are easier to find and use and feature improved repeat, shuffle, and full-screen options.
With just one click, you can change the look of the area in the lower-left corner of the Player to a thumbnail view of an equalizer, album art, or playback status.
Windows Media Player 11 is loaded with smart, fun features that breathe new life into your music collection and create a much more personal entertainment experience. The new design lets you get the most out of your digital library and enjoy simple solutions for managing it all.
Discovering new music
Designed for music lovers
<A style="TEXT-DECORATION: none">Discovering new music
Windows Media Player 11 features a completely new way to add music to your existing collection—the URGE music service. Deeply integrated into the Player, URGE puts a best-in-class music service at your fingertips that takes full advantage of all the great new Player features.
URGE, from MTV Networks, is the featured digital music service for Windows Media Player 11. An immersive entertainment experience, URGE makes it easy to enjoy, explore, and get all the music you've ever heard of, and lots you haven't. URGE gives you access to over 2 million songs from every genre and exclusives from MTV, VH1, and CMT.
URGE's first-rate editorial and handcrafted music programming includes hundreds of playlists and radio stations, music blogs, artist profiles, and feature stories from leading music voices. URGE Feeds keep new music flowing straight to your PC and portable music player.
With URGE, you can purchase individual songs or albums from all your favorite artists. URGE All Access and All Access To Go subscriptions give you unlimited music playing and downloading for a low monthly or annual fee.
- Millions of songs. All musical styles…from hip-hop to country to jazz.
- Music and more from MTV, VH1, and CMT. Stuff you can’t find anywhere else.
- More than 500 playlists. Styles, Must-Haves, TV Shows, Celebrity, Years, Cities, and more.
- More than 130 radio stations. Professionally programmed. CD-quality. Commercial free.
- URGE Feeds. New music delivered straight to your PC and portable music player.
- Features, profiles, interviews, and blogs. From leading voices in music.
- Total music mobility. Take your music to go on compatible portable music players.
- Rip, burn, sync. It’s never been easier.
- Powerful media management. Seamlessly integrated with Windows Media Player 11.
For more information, visit URGE.com
Other music stores
Many of the great stores you know in Windows Media Player 10 are available in this version of the Player. To find Audible, FYE, Live365, Movielink, MSN Music, Napster, Passalong, Puretracks, Wal-Mart, and XM Radio, just click the Browse all Online Stores
option on the Online Stores
tab. Learn more about the stores available in the beta release
Great options for ripping CDs
Have CDs that you want to copy into your Windows Media Player library? No problem. Windows Media Player 11 makes ripping your entire music collection fast and simple. Learn more about ripping CDs
In addition to the current format options for ripping your music—Windows Media Audio (WMA), MP3, Windows Media Audio (Variable Bit Rate), and Windows Media Audio (Lossless)—Windows Media Player 11 introduces two new options: Windows Media Audio Pro and WAV (lossless). For more information, see Choosing a file format
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<A style="TEXT-DECORATION: none">Designed for music lovers
As you build a larger and larger digital music collection by ripping CDs, downloading songs from the Web, and buying music from online stores, it's more important than ever to be able to quickly organize and explore all of that music. Windows Media Player 11 is optimized to handle massive libraries of digital music—literally millions of tracks—so you can scroll, flip, and browse your way through your entire collection at high speed without skipping a beat.
The navigation f
or the library remains in the left pane, but a number of improvements have been made to help with organization, layout, and flow. Music now has its own focused view, with a simple list showing artists, albums, songs, genres, years, and ratings. You can add additional items to this list by right-clicking Library
in the navigation pane and selecting Show more views
Album art views
l music shouldn't mean giving up your album art. Delivering a more visual experience, Windows Media Player 11 uses album art throughout the library, renewing an physical connection with music and providing you with a much easier reference when browsing through Artist, Album, and Song views.
Albums that share the same characteristics (Artist, Genre, Year, and so forth) are shown in "stacks," providing you with a visual reference that mimics a "stack" of CDs or records.
Adding missing album art
With the increased emph
asis on album art, Windows Media Player 11 also ensures that missing album art isn't a problem. Most album art can automatically be populated in the background using the advanced audio fingerprinting
capabilities in Windows Media Player 11.
You can also have the Player search the Web for missing album art and information (metadata) and add to your music files (tag) with the result. If, for some reason, album art isn't available and you have the artwork as a digital image or want to add customized album art, you can simply right-click on the blank album icon and select Paste Album Art
to add from a copied image.
Library layout options
Library views are customizable with Icon, Tile, and Detail options. Pane views, columns, and album art can also be resized to achieve your desired library layout and overall Player experience.
with fast performance are great, but what happens when you only remember part of a song title or you want to immediately jump right to the music you are looking for? Instant Search allows fast access to your digital music collection. Just type in the track, album, artist, or a keyword—or even part of a name—and let Instant Search do the work for you. Results are returned with each keystroke, narrowing down the choices as you type, and providing lightning-fast response time, regardless of the size of your library.
Advanced audio fingerprinting
With large digital music librarie
s, tracks usually comes from a number of different places, with varying levels of accurate media information (metadata). It's often hard to ensure all of your tracks are tagged appropriately. In addition to automated metadata tools that run in the background, Windows Media Player 11 now includes audio waveform matching that builds on existing media information features and precisely pinpoints the exact album information for your tracks.
How does this work? As you start ripping CDs into Windows Media Player 11, information is compiled through a database and waveforms are matched to identify the song. Information is verified and then attached to the song or album.
Playlists made easy
You can still create playlists by dragging songs or albums into the List pane, but Windows Media Player 11 includes two new options for creating and saving playlists. The Create Playlist
link in the navigation pane provides one-click access to creating playlists. Simple save and naming capabilities in the List pane provide intuitive playlist creation right at your fingertips.
New playlists can also be created on the fly using the Shuffle Playlist feature. This feature makes it a one-click process to create a new playlist out of your favorite tracks. With a simple click of the Shuffle Playlist
link, Windows Media Player generates a list of tracks weighted by highest ratings. With each click of the link, a fresh and completely new list of tracks is generated.
Windows Media Player 11 offers great new ways to store and enjoy digital media beyond music. It's easier than ever to access all of your video, pictures, and recorded TV on your computer. Play it, view it, organize it, sync it to a portable device for viewing on the go, or share with devices around your home—all from one place.
Storing and enjoying music, video, pictures, and recorded TV
Just as music enjoys its own listing in the Library pane, so do video, pictures, and recorded TV.
There are two ways to easily access these category views in Windows Media Player. You can click the music note icon just above the left navigation pane to reveal the drop-down list, or you can click the Library
tab to get to the quick access menu.
Keep things organized
Each category now has its own list view in the navigation pane that is tailored to best sort and organize content. For example, just as the Music view offers the appropriate Artist, Album, and Song options, the Pictures view offers Date Taken, Rating, and so forth; the Video view offers Actors, Genre, and so forth; and the Recorded TV view has Series, Actors, and so forth. Other new features available in the music library, such as thumbnail and stacking views, and Instant Search capabilities, extend to each media category, providing a simple, uniform experience across Windows Media Player 11.
Storing your entire digital media collection in Windows Media Player 11 has many great benefits, but what about options for enjoying your digital media library away from your computer? New PlaysForSure devices like the iriver clix
and the Creative Zen Vision:M
offer a great experience when teamed with Windows Media Player 11 and URGE, helping you stay connected with your music, video, and pictures no matter where you are. Check out more great devices
Creative Zen Vision:MSimplified device setup
Syncing portable devices with Windows Media Player 11 is as simple as 1-2-3. Windows Media Player 11 now features a smart, easy-to-use wizard that guides you through device sync after connecting a device for the first time. You can simply connect one of the more than 100 Windows Media-enabled devices and Windows Media Player 11 will automatically recognize it and allow you to customize the name of the device. The Player then defaults to the Sync
tab with an icon of your device, enabling quick and easy syncing of content. You can either choose to drag content to the Sync list or set up a permanent sync relationship using Auto Sync.
With Auto Sync, content syncing is automated in the background once the device is connected, ensuring that you always have the latest content on your device. Learn more about syncing
New sync features
Cool new portable device features were added to Windows Media Player 11. The Sync tab includes several new enhancements that simplify the portable device experience, including a new device capacity meter and the ability to explore the contents of your device using the same Instant Search and visual navigation found in the Library view.
Browse from device
A device icon in the left navigation pane appears when a device is connected and allows browsing of all device content using the Library pane. Just like navigating content in the local library, you can browse device content using album art views, scrolling and Instant Search.
With just one click, the new Shuffle Sync feature can calculate your device capacity and fill the device with a random sampling that is weighted toward the highest-rated content in your library.
The new Reverse Sync feature allows you to transfer digital media captured on your device back to your PC. Content, such as a photo captured on a phone or camera or music purchased over the phone can easily be transferred from a device to the Player library.
Do you find yourself juggling multiple Player libraries between your home and work computer? The Guest Sync feature offers a great solution for keeping your device current with selections from multiple PCs.
A gauge ap
pears in the Sync pane next to content when device syncing begins, providing a visual estimate of how much room is available on the device. Content download status is also shown in the bottom-left corner.
Help icons and troubleshooting
Windows Media Player 11 provides a much more transparent sync and management experience with protected content.
New help icons attach visual alerts next to content when a known issue with protected content is about to take place. These alerts appear before syncing and burning of protected content, which pre-empts sync and burn errors. Each icon is interactive, providing clear solutions, with links to available online sources to correct incompatibility or rights issues.
But portable audio devices aren't the only options for enjoying music, video, and pictures on the go. As flash storage capacity increases, the mobile phone has grown in importance as a portable media device. With Windows Media Player 11, you also receive a great sync experience with a host of mobile phones, including Windows Mobile-powered devices and other Windows Media-enabled phones, such as the Nokia N91, a mobile jukebox phone with room for thousands of songs (4 gigabytes of storage).
Creating custom CDs
Burning custom CDs is one of the benefits of having a large digital music library. The Burn
tab in Windows Media Player 11 has been enhanced to make this experience even better.
When you insert a blank CD into your PC, a capacity meter will appear in the Burn list, the same gas gauge as is used for device sync. As you drag and drop items into the Burn list, the meter will adjust accordingly. This helps you to better manage the work of getting the most music into your custom mix.
When burning a CD, a gas gauge icon, similar to the one that appears when you sync a device, provides a visual estimate of the remaining space on a CD.
New! Disc spanning feature
If you want to burn a larger amount of items than will fit on one disc, the new disc-spanning feature in Windows Media Player 11 queues up the next disc when you reach maximum capacity on the first disc. This provides an intuitive way to burn multiple custom CDs on the fly while providing the opportunity for last-minute reordering of content. Once the first disc is finished burning, your disc drive will open and you will be prompted to insert the next disc.
Burning data CDs
Switching from re
dbook audio to data CD burn provides an easy way to back up your entire music collection. Simply click the arrow on the Burn
tab and click Audio CD
or Data CD