You can use Windows Media Player to find and subscribe to music, video, and radio services, as well as other types of content, from online stores provided by Internet content providers. Depending on the store, you can do any number of things with the content, including playing, downloading to your computer, buying, burning, and syncing to a portable device. All downloaded content appears in the Windows Media Player Library. For more information about the Player Library, see Getting started with Windows Media Player.

To get started, browse through the stores that are available in the Player until you find the ones you want. Then, sign up with as many stores as you want and begin shopping. The available stores might vary based on your location.

Some stores require you to install additional software on your computer before you can use them. To add or remove a store plug-in, you must be logged on as an administrator or as a member of the Administrators group.

Stores provide content that is sometimes protected with media usage rights, which specify what you can do with the content. (For example, the file's media usage rights might specify that the file can't be burned to an audio CD, or they might limit the number of times the file can be burned to an audio CD or synced to a device.) Each store specifies the rights they will grant to you. For more information about protected files, see Windows Media Player DRM: frequently asked questions.

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To browse online stores

  1. Click the Start button Picture of the Start button, click All Programs, and then click Windows Media Player.
    If the Player is currently open and you’re in Now Playing mode, click the Switch to Library button Picture of the Switch to Library button in the upper-right corner of the Player.
  2. In the Player Library, click the arrow to the right of the Online stores button at the bottom of the navigation pane, and then click Browse all online stores.

    Picture of the Online Stores button
    Online stores button

    If the Media Guide button is visible instead of the Online stores button, click the arrow to the right of the Media Guide button, and then click Browse all online stores.

  3. In the list of stores available, click a store you're interested in, and wait for the Player to display the store.

    Notes

    • You must have Internet access to browse online stores.

    • If you have specific questions about how to use a particular online store, see the customer service or support links on the store's webpage.

To shop from a different store

If you've signed up with several different stores, it's easy to switch between them. Here's how:

  1. Click the Start button Picture of the Start button, click All Programs, and then click Windows Media Player.
    If the Player is currently open and you’re in Now Playing mode, click the Switch to Library button Picture of the Switch to Library button in the upper-right corner of the Player.
  2. In the Player Library, click the arrow to the right of the Online stores button at the bottom of the navigation pane, and then click Browse all online stores to find the store where you want to shop.

    If the Media Guide button is visible instead of the Online stores button, click the arrow to the right of the Media Guide button, and then click Browse all online stores.

To use the Media Guide

The Media Guide is a live webpage hosted by WindowsMedia.com that appears in the details pane of the Player Library. The guide is like an electronic magazine. It's updated daily with links to the latest movies, music, and videos on the Internet. It includes a broad range of topics from worldwide news to the latest developments in the entertainment industry. When you use the Player, you can play everything displayed in the Media Guide. Here's how:

  1. Click the Start button Picture of the Start button, click All Programs, and then click Windows Media Player.
    If the Player is currently open and you’re in Now Playing mode, click the Switch to Library button Picture of the Switch to Library button in the upper-right corner of the Player.
  2. In the Player Library, click the Media Guide button at the bottom of the navigation pane.

    If the Online stores button is visible instead of the Media Guide button, click the arrow to the right of the Online stores button, and then click Media Guide.