Along with a releasing a new MSN Music service this past week, Microsoft has released a new version of it’s Media Player, integrating both together into one application. Microsoft wants Windows Media Player to be your one-stop multimedia headquarters. After a less-than-speedy installation, the app proposes to become the default player for a number of media formats. Make sure to uncheck any formats you want other programs to handle. The overhauled interface lets you manage your media library, rip CDs, burn discs, shop for tunes, and listen to Net radio stations from the full-screen view, but many users may prefer to listen to music or watch video in skin mode. Windows Media Player 10.0 offers nearly two dozen skins from which to choose, ranging from the pedestrian to the outlandish. You’ll also find a wide variety of visualizations and a 10-band equalizer for improving your audio-visual experience. In our testing, ripping CDs to MP3s and WMAs was a speedy and hassle-free process. The CD burner worked without a hitch, and importing and organizing our music library proved equally painless. The Net radio offerings, which include a number of presets and almost 1,000 stations from around the United States, impressed us. Like many competitors, Windows Media Player 10.0′s music store features $.99 downloads with some restrictions placed on use, although none seemed unreasonable. The music store’s selection didn’t seem as voluminous as others we’ve seen; the Alternative section contained only 24 albums, although the store was in beta mode when we looked at it. However, if it doesn’t have what you’re looking for, you can browse other stores such as Napster, Musicmatch, and Wal-Mart from directly within the application. All told, this version of Windows Media Player isn’t missing much and should give its competitors a serious run for their money.
Windows Media Player 10.0 Released
- September 5, 2004 | No Comments