| By Lincoln Spector |
As music CDs give way to downloaded tunes, PCs are taking on a new role as personal, digital jukeboxes.
There are plenty of Windows music players to choose from, but one of the best — Window Media Player 12 — comes free with every copy of Windows 7. Here’s how to make it even better.
Over the years, I’ve checked out most of the music players for Windows PCs. I’ve used the venerable Winamp and tried the upstart iTunes. But I keep coming back to Windows Media Player (WMP) — it’s attractive, easy to use, and does almost everything I want my digital music player to do.
As with many Microsoft products, however, WMP 12 has features that are not immediately obvious. Add a few setting changes and add-ons, and WMP becomes an even better app for listening to music on your PC.
In this article, I’ll tell you how to switch between WMP’s two modes, improve audio playback quality, create smart playlists, and stop the music at the end of the current song. And I’ll tell you about a free plugin that adds new features to WMP — and old ones that Microsoft stupidly removed.
I won’t cover WMP’s talents as a video player — that’s a topic for another day. But many of the following audio tips can also enhance your video playback experience.
Don’t like Media Player’s look? Change it!
Windows Media Player runs in two basic modes: Library and Now Playing. Not only do they have very different looks, but some settings can be changed only in one or the other of these modes.