Get around in the Player

Windows Media Player 11 for Windows XP was designed with more intuitive buttons, menus, and controls that make it easier for you to enjoy your digital media experience. When you use Windows Media Player 11, you’ll minimize the time you spend managing your music, pictures, and videos and maximize the time you spend enjoying them. Read this article for information about getting around in the user interface.

Start Windows Media Player 11

There are several ways to start Windows Media Player. You can start it the same way you start other programs (such as Microsoft Word, Microsoft Excel, and so on), or from a shortcut icon on your desktop. The following procedure shows an easy and sure-fire way to start it.

To start the Player

  1. On the taskbar, click Start.

  2. Point to All Programs, and then click Windows Media Player.

Switch to a tab to simplify a task

The tabs on the Player taskbar allow you to focus on a specific task, as shown in the following screen shot.

Screen shot of the Player taskbar

You can switch to a tab to see a view that targets the task you want to complete. The arrow that appears below each tab provides you with quick access to options and settings for that task. For example, the arrow below the Burn tab gives you the ability to burn the currently playing playlist to a CD in just a few clicks, as shown in the following screen shot.

Screen shot of the arrow below the Burn tab

As you switch between various tabs and views in the Player, use the Back and Forward buttons to retrace your steps, as shown in the following screen shot.

Screen shot of the Back and Forward buttons

Create lists to play, burn, or sync

Much of what you do in the Player requires that you set up a list first. For example, before burning to an audio CD, you create a list of the songs you want to burn. This release of the Player makes it easy to create lists by using the List pane, as shown in the following screen shot.

Screen shot of the List pane with songs added

You can add or remove items and move them around in the List pane until your list is set up exactly how you want it.

You have several options for adding songs, albums, or playlists to the List pane:

  • Drag items to the List pane from the Details pane of the Player or from a folder on your computer. The Details pane is the middle section of the Player that displays your content.

  • Switch to the tab for your task, right-click an item in the Details pane, and then click the command to add the item to the List pane. For example, click the Burn tab, right-click a file, and then click Add to "Burn List".

  • Right-click a file on your computer, and then click Add to Windows Media Player List.

To show or hide the List pane in the Now Playing tab, click the arrow below the Now Playing tab, and then click Show List Pane, as shown in the following screen shot.

Screen shot of the arrow below the Now Playing tab
To show or hide the List pane in the Library tab, click the Show List pane button Picture of the Show List pane button.
To clear an existing list and start again, click the Clear List pane button Picture of the Clear List pane button.

Browse and search made simple

This release of the Player gives you some new options for getting to your music, videos, and pictures quickly.

Browsing

Use the Select a category button Picture of the Select a category button on the address bar to switch to a category, such as Music, Pictures, or Video, and then select a view of that category in the Navigation pane. Content in your library is organized into the view you select, making it easy to browse even the largest library with a couple of mouse clicks. For example, switch to the Music category and then click Genre in the Navigation pane, as shown in the following screen shot.
Screen shot of the address bar and Navigation pane

You can also go deeper into a view by clicking the arrow on the address bar, as shown in the following screen shot.

Screen shot of the Genre arrow

Or you can back up a few steps by clicking higher up in the address bar. For example, if you want a view of all music in your library, click Music on the address bar, as shown in the following screen shot.

Screen shot of the address bar with music selected

To ensure the best experience when using the Player, it is important to have correct and complete media information, such as album and artist names. For information about adding or editing media information, see Organize and search your digital media collection.

Searching

Use the new search to quickly find what you’re looking for, as shown in the following screen shot.

Screen shot of the search box

As you type, the Player immediately displays information about the items in your library that match your search.

For information about searching, see Organize and search your digital media collection.

What about the menus?

Key tasks and options now appear in the Player taskbar tabs or on the arrows that appear below the tabs. However, if you want, you can still show the Classic Menus (previously known as the menu bar), as shown in the following screen shot.

Screen shot of the Classic Menus

To show the Classic Menus, right-click an empty area of the taskbar (such as the area to the left of the Now Playing tab) or an empty area to the left or right of the playback controls, and then click Show Classic Menus. Or, press CTRL+M.

Finding online stores

Many of the online stores you used in Windows Media Player 10 are also available in Windows Media Player 11. You can use an online store to rent or purchase a wide variety of music, videos, audio books, and other digital media.

To find online stores

  • Click the arrow below the Online Stores tab (located on the right side of the taskbar), and then click Browse all Online Stores.

Screen shot of Browse all Online Stores

Note that if you've previously selected an online store, that store's name or logo may appear on the Online Stores tab instead of the words "Online Stores."

Where is the Media Guide?

All of the features you loved about the Windowsmedia.com Guide in previous versions of the Player are still available in Windows Media Player 11. The Media Guide is like an electronic magazine; it is updated daily with links to the latest movies, music, and video on the Internet, and includes a broad range of topics from worldwide news to the latest developments in the entertainment industry. You can play everything displayed in the Media Guide feature by using the Player.

To use the Media Guide

  • Click the arrow below the Online Stores tab and then click Media Guide.

Screen shot of Media Guide

You can also view the Media Guide in a Web browser by visiting WindowsMedia.com.

Listen to online radio

You can use the Player to listen to radio stations that broadcast over the Internet. The Internet Radio feature (formerly known as the Radio Tuner) available through the Media Guide provides a list of some of the most popular stations from around the world.

Some online stores in the Player also offer radio services.

To listen to online radio in the Media Guide

  1. Click the arrow below the Online Stores tab, and then click Media Guide.

  2. Click the link for Radio.

You can also view the Internet Radio page in Media Guide in a Web browser by visiting WindowsMedia.com.

Note

  • Unauthorized use and/or duplication of copyrighted material may be a violation of copyright law in the United States and/or other countries/regions. Copyrighted material includes, but is not limited to, software, documentation, graphics, lyrics, photographs, clipart, animations, movie and video clips, as well as sound and music (including when MP3 encoded). Violation of U.S. and international copyright laws may subject you to significant civil and/or criminal penalties.