Windows Media Player (WMP) has been arguably the most prevalent media player on the market. Whether you like or dislike Microsoft, "the company", isn't relevant for the sake of this article and by extension, their product - that's best saved for a business and/or OS discussion.

As most of you undoubtedly know, Microsoft has recently released Windows Media Player 10. And it is a pretty fair guess that you probably have it installed on the computer that you are currently using to read this article.

It really is pointless for us to simply show what has changed both feature-wise and, to a lesser extent, the design because you are likely already putting it to use. However, in the past few years, Microsoft has developed a good grasp of aesthetics, usability, features, and a knack to know how to implement a combination of all three into an end product. Our case in point would be MCE and its iterations (2004 edition and beyond). This is the reason why we make references to WMP often times in our personal video recorder (PVR) software reviews, as there are key pointers that other companies can take from Microsoft.

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  • Mgz - Tuesday, September 21, 2004 - link


    No word from the new Windows Media 9.1? No word from the new FhG ACM MP3 Encoder 3.0.22?
  • Mgz - Tuesday, September 21, 2004 - link

  • mbhame - Tuesday, September 21, 2004 - link

    Where's the "Pornability" factor in this review? :P Reply
  • Aquila76 - Monday, September 20, 2004 - link

    I think skins, and desktop themes for that matter, are the biggest amounts of MS bloat. How many of us have seen the systemwide impact that occurs by turning on 'Active Desktop' and other so-called appearance features (animated cursors and icons, etc.)?

    What I like about WMP 9 & 10 is that it can be minimized to a seperate toolbar (or to the system tray if you get the bonus pack) to be completely non-intrusive. What I don't like is the skins that you are forced to install with WMP7 and up.
  • SKiller - Monday, September 20, 2004 - link

    I really don't get the obsession with appearances of a video player. If I'm watching a movie, it's full screen and I don't want to see any controls. All standard manipulation should be done via keyboard shortcuts. For all other times, a simple, clean interface like MPC provides is all that's needed. The really important part of a media player is support as vtech mentioned. Reply
  • Gholam - Monday, September 20, 2004 - link

    Cramming both audio and video playback into a single program doesn't work. To quote Skull ( - It's a football _and_ a telephone!

    Separate solutions are so much better... I use Winamp for audio - even though it tries to be a video player as well, it's lousy for that; and BSPlayer for video - nothing better exists. Media Player Classic for realvideo clips, when I absolutely can't avoid them.
  • Avalon - Sunday, September 19, 2004 - link

    I use WMP because it's not Realplayer. Reply
  • Glassmaster - Sunday, September 19, 2004 - link

    MPC forever!!!

  • vtech - Sunday, September 19, 2004 - link

    I don't understand why anybody uses this crappy player. Subtitles? Deinterlacing? Cropping? Aspect-ratio changes? Nothing. Just few megabytes of lousy skins. Reply
  • leohuf - Sunday, September 19, 2004 - link


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