You can use Windows Media Player to play digital media files that are in your Player Library, on your computer or a network folder, or on a website.
For information about using the Player to play a CD or DVD, see Play a CD or DVD in Windows Media Player. For more information about the Player Library, see Getting started with Windows Media Player.
In the Player Library, browse or search for the item that you want to play.
To play a file in the Player Library, do one of the following:
In the details pane, double-click the item to begin playing it.
Click the Play tab, and then drag an item from the details pane to the list pane.
You can drag individual items (such as one or more songs) or collections of items (such as one or more albums, artists, genres, years, or ratings) to the list pane. If you drag a collection of items to the list pane, the first item in the list will begin playing.
If the list pane already contains other items, you can clear the contents by clicking the Clear list button.
For more information about finding items in the Player Library, see Find items in the Windows Media Player Library.
To play a file that isn't included in the Player Library, do one of the following:
In the Player Library, click the Play tab, and then drag the file from any location into the list pane.
Drag the file into a folder monitored by the Player.
For example, drag a song file from the Internet into a folder included in the Music library. For more information about adding items to your Player Library, see Add items to the Windows Media Player Library.
If you’re still having trouble playing an audio file, you can try using the Playing Audio troubleshooter to automatically find and fix some common problems.
Open the Playing Audio troubleshooter by clicking the Start button , and then clicking Control Panel. In the search box, type troubleshooter, and then click Troubleshooting. Under Hardware and Sound, click Troubleshoot audio playback.
You can use Windows Media Player to play digital media files that are in your Player library, on your computer or a network folder, or on a website.
If you find that files play back too quickly in the Player, try installing new drivers for your sound card. For more information, see the manufacturer's website or check for driver updates on the Windows Update website.
Click the Library tab, and then browse or search for the item that you want to play.
Do one of the following:
Drag an item to the List pane.
You can drag individual items (such as one or more songs) or collections of items (such as one or more albums, artists, genres, years, or ratings) to the List pane.
Double-click the item to begin playing it.
Depending upon what you double-click, several items might be played. To play a single item, drag the item to List pane instead.
If the Player can't play a particular file, the issue may be related to media usage rights. See Windows Media Player DRM: frequently asked questions for more information on resolving media usage rights problems.
The slider is unavailable for some files.
Click the link on the webpage.
If you have difficulty playing files on webpages when using a Netscape browser, you may need to reinstall the Windows Media Player Plug-in for Netscape Navigator from the Microsoft website. To add or remove a plug-in, you must be logged on as an administrator or a member of the Administrators group.
Click the File menu, and then click Open.
If the File menu is not visible, show the Classic Menus.
Navigate to the appropriate location, click the file, and then click Open. You can specify the following kinds of locations:
Click the File menu, and then click Open URL.
Type the URL to the file, and then click OK. You can specify the following kinds of locations:
mms://server/filename (for example, a file with a .wma, .wmv, or .mp3 extension)
mms://server/sami.asf?SAMI=http://server/sami/sami_demo.smi (Synchronized Accessible Media Interchange (SAMI) file)
Some files contain markers, which are like tracks on a CD. If you are playing a file that contains markers, you can jump to the section of the file you want by selecting the marker for that section.
Click the View menu, point to File Markers, and then click the marker you want.
If the View menu is not visible, show the Classic Menus.
The Player automatically stops playing a file when you use the Fast User Switching feature to change which user is using the computer. If you want playback to continue, do the following:
Click the arrow below the Now Playing tab, and then click More Options.
On the Player tab, clear the Stop playback when switching to a different user check box.
You can choose to play files that have a consistent file name in compact mode.
This is useful, for example, if your company routes voice mail messages to your e‑mail program.
Note that if the Player is already running when you play the file, the Player will remain in its current display mode.
On the Player tab, select the Start in compact mode for file names that contain this text check box.
In the text box, type all or part of the file name that you want to play in compact mode.
If the playback of a song or video was interrupted by listening to another media item, such as a voicemail recording, press CTRL+B to resume playback of the original item.
See all support pages for music, photos, & video.
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