Windows Media Player 10 — The Good, The Bad and the Ugly

Screen Shot

My Review on the New Windows Media Player 10 ? The Good, The Bad and The Ugly

The review was Slashdotted. Slashdot comments can be read here.

I am a Windows Media Player junkie. Having used the program for a number of years I think it is quite simply a brilliant piece of software ? a masterpiece developed by extremely talented engineers in so many ways. Even more spectacular is that it is free. Microsoft gives it away. If Microsoft didn?t give this software away I?d gladly pay money for it. I love it. Earlier today PC Magazine awarded the software a 4.5 out of 5 rating and a coveted Editor’s Choice Award. “WMP 10 at least equals?and in our estimation surpasses?the current leader in the field, Music Match Jukebox 9.”

I?ve been using the surprisingly stable Windows Media Player 10 Technical Beta for the past few months but thought I?d write a review on the software now that, as of 6:00 a.m. this morning it is in official release. My bias being duly noted and disclosed, what follows is my take.

The Good

1. Ripping. Microsoft did a really good thing partnering up with All Music Guide (AMG). Over the course of the past few years I?ve converted my entire extremely extensive CD library to mp3. I never would have pursued this task without this partnership. Why is this important? Simply pop your CD into your burner, click on the ?Rip? tab, and all of your track information is imported from AMG. Note that this is not perfect. Some CDs are not recognized by AMG. Most of the ones that are not recognized are fairly obscure CDs, CD Singles, Promos, Bootlegs, etc. 90% of the time all of the track information is there for your ripping pleasure. A very cool thing.

2. Meta Data Editing. Wow, so what if AMG has the data wrong? Simply right click on a track in Windows Media Player, go to Advanced Tag Editor and from there correct whatever information is incorrect. You can highlight multiple tracks to correct metadata. If I have a CD that AMG identifies the artist as ?THE GRATEFUL DEAD? in all caps and I want it to be ?The Grateful Dead? so that it matches my other albums, easy enough. You just select the tracks, right click, go to advanced tag editor and make the change. Really, really got this one right.

3. Mp3 ripping. It?s admirable that Microsoft finally listened to their users on this one and gave in. In all of the previous versions of Window?s Media Player Microsoft forced you to rip your tunes to WMA. Microsoft sought to justify this by arguing that it was a better format than mp3, etc. They didn?t disallow mp3 ripping they just made it inconvenient. You had to buy a $10 add on plug in from a third party vendor or know enough about hacking WMP to figure out how to do it yourself. 180 degree change. Windows Media Player 10 fully supports mp3 ripping and high quality encoding at that. Kudos to Microsoft.

4. The new ?Composer? menu on the left hand window is a handy feature. Check it out. It?s new and I love it. Want to create a Bob Dylan covers playlist? Select Dylan under the composer menu then sort the window by artist and select all but Bob Dylan as a performer and save it as a Bob Dylan covers playlist. Very simple, very easy.

5. Ratings. WMP 10’s rating system is first rate. The key for the obsessive compulsive digital media collector is the same as the key for the obsessive compulsive LP or CD collector — organization. Before I’d digitized my music collection I’d spend hours pouring over my CDs, alphabetizing them, reorganizing them by music genre, etc. Much like the internet is significantly enhanced with filter and search tools like Google, Yahoo!, RSS, etc., a large digital library is not as meaningful without ways to organize it. One way to work with your music collection in WMP is with ratings. Microsoft developed a fine ratings system. How does this work? Rate each song you hear from one to five stars with a stroke of a right mouse click. Later when you are relaxing you can listen to only your favorite tracks.

6. Auto Playlists. Most of these are less useful to me with the exception of the ?Music Tracks I Have Not Rated? playlist. If I select this one I can spend a few hours listening, rating and further refining my library.

7. Crossfading. In the past one of the things I hated most was that long silence between songs. One song would end and then prior to the next one there would be more silence. It was awkward. A chilling moment when outside thoughts could get into your head. Now with crossfading it?s like I?m my own DJ. As Aimee Mann is ending, Husker Du is starting without the awkward silence that used to invade my space.

8. Improved interface. Microsoft provided a much improved cosmetic overhaul to WMP 10. One of the things I like a lot in the libraries is that they color code (light blue and a lighter blue) between lines now making it easier to follow the data on a track across the screen. The three window screen is also an improvement making it easier to work with your library while playing tracks. The only thing I wish they would do though would be to allow me to show my star rating in the now playing column. I don’t like having to hover my mouse over the track to see if I’ve rated it yet or not. I wish that they would let me resize the now playing column just a little bit and elect to add a ratings column in there. Along with the improved interface are improved tab descriptions, rip, burn, synch, library and now playing. Much better labeled and simplified than in WMP 9.

9. IROCK Beam it. Ok, now I know this has nothing to do with WMP but I can?t resist giving them the plug. IROCK Beam it is one of the single best purchases I?ve made in the last year. Tired of listening to crap radio in your car? Don?t want to pony up for XM Satellite? Simply plug this little device into your portable device?s (in my case my laptop) headphone jack and tune your car radio to 88.7 and you are your own DJ. No commercials, no bad songs, only things on YOUR playlist. You ARE the puppetmaster — spinning records for yourself as you speed 90 mph over the Bay Bridge.

Best of all I think the thing only cost me like $25. For the life of me I cannot figure out why this little device is not just automatically built into every laptop and mp3 player that exists. The only negative is that I have to plug it in all the time. How cool would it be if it were built into my Thinkpad and I could just turn station 88.7 FM on and have it play my digital library in the car. Some hardware manufacturer ought to do this.

The Bad

1. The single largest problem with Microsoft Media Player 10 remains the poor performance you have with large digital libraries. If you have 5,000 mp3s or less, this is not an issue. On the other hand if you are a hardcore, diehard, digital music enthusiast like I am then this simply will not cut it. I did notice a speed improvement between the WMP 9, WMP 10 Technical Beta and the final release of WMP 10 but it still can take about 1 minute and 30 seconds to move between playlists, libraries, etc. for my collection. Microsoft needs to continue to work on indexing and possibly allowing users to run the application in RAM to improve performance.

2. Update: see this post for a workaround to the laptop as a portable device problem.

What, my laptop is not an external device? Wait a minute? what?s going on around here? In 1994 Bill Gates gave an interview to Playboy magazine. In the interview Bill was asked, ?PLAYBOY: Do you use a PDA?? Bill responded, ?GATES: I carry a standard 486 portable machine with me whenever I travel, because I have my e-mail on it. I used one of the original Newton’s for a week, and its available if you’d like it. ? I?m not sure if Bill carries around an mp3 player with him now but as for me, my laptop is my mp3 player. I do not want a PDA, I do not want a pocket pc, I do not want an iPod. Since I pretty much take my IBM Thinkpad T40 with me everywhere I go it is easy enough to pop the headphones into the jack, open up WMP 10 and play my music.

The problem? I can?t fit my entire digital mp3 library (3 Maxtor 250 gig drives) on my laptop. The solution? Make a playlist of all of my 5 Star rated music and synch it to my ?portable device? — my Thinkpad. It amazes me that in this day and age Microsoft refuses to view a laptop as a portable device. Accordingly I have no easy way to get my 5 star music on to my laptop.

3. Update: In the options panel of the player under the library tab there is a box you can check called “maintain my star ratings as global ratings in the media files.” This apparently allows every player accessing the media to see the same ratings. Although this feature was not as seamless as I would have liked it now appears to be working (kind of…). Initially I had to completely delete my library and reimport it as this feature was stuck. It would start to migrate my ratings but get stuck at 0% progress even if I let it run overnight. Now it does seem to work but I’m still not sure how to make the rating updates “live.” For instance, if I rate a song 5 star in either the living room on the media center PC or my main home office PC it is not reflected on the other PC until that track is played… or so it appears. Theoretically this feature should make the ratings migration plug in unnecessary. I’d love it if there were a way though to tell my living room PC to “update” to reflect all the ratings I’ve made on my office PC without having to play the file in the living room.

The Ratings Migration Plug in does not work. OK so I mentioned before that I love the ratings feature built into WMP. My problem is this. I spend hours and hours in my home office rating songs as I hear them. I build a well managed library sorted from one to five stars. Now I?m sitting in my living room with my Media Center Edition PC and want to only hear my 5 star songs. Guess what? I can?t do it. With WMP 9 I used to be able to use the Ratings Migration Plug in and save the ratings on my home office PC and then restore them on my networked MCE machine in the living room. For some reason with WMP 10 the Ratings Migration plug in no longer works. Thus unless I want to manually re-rate my entire library there is no way to create a five star listening list in the living room. Very, very frustrating.

4. Lack of support for some of the new ?lossless? formats. Recently I began playing around with some of the new lossless music formats out there via downloads from places like Largehearted Boy. Much to my disappointment, many of these formats (FLAC, etc.) as well as Real Media files cannot be played on my WMP. It would be nice if WMP could at minimum convert these files to mp3 for my listening enjoyment.

5. It’s not easy to convert songs purchased from Microsoft’s new media service to an iPod. Big deal though, I’d never buy an iPod anyway. It is funny though that on a Microsoft site earlier today according to EFF Deep Links they show you how to do a workaround the DRM process on this.

“Although Apple computers and Apple iPods do not support the PC standard Windows Media format for music, it is still possible to transfer MSN Music downloads to an iPod, but it will require some extra effort. To transfer MSN-downloaded music to an iPod, you need to first create a CD with the music, and then you need to import that CD into iTunes. This process will convert the music into a format that can play on the iPod. We’re sorry that this isn’t easier – unfortunately Apple refuses to allow other companies to integrate with the iPod’s proprietary music format. If you are an iPod owner already and unhappy about this policy, you are welcome to send feedback to Apple requesting that they change their interoperability policy.”

Subsequent to EFF posting this it appears that Microsoft modified their language a little bit so as not to look so much like the pirates of Redmond Caribbean. Check out the link now. Looks like they dropped that little bit part about how to get around Apple’s DRM. Oopsie.

Update #1: EFF wrote a little opinion piece on the above referenced move by Microsoft here.

74 Replies to “Windows Media Player 10 — The Good, The Bad and the Ugly”

  1. Great review and summary, thanks. A few points:

    on Meta Data Editing – this is even easier than using advanced tag editor. You can just hold the shift key while selecting multiple tracks, then right click and choose Edit to change the metadata (of course, your method lets you get at a bunch MORE metadata – but for simple changes, this is super easy.)

    and on the Ratings Plugin – I think if you go to Tooks > Options > Library and choose “Maintain my star ratings as global ratings in the media files” you’ll get what you want.

    Hope this helps!

  2. Actually I tried the Tools > Options > Library > Maintain my global ratings. Still when I tell my Media Center PC to find the mp3s on the network they all come back as unrated in the MCE machine in the living room. It should be easier than this to get my ratings on to my living room MCE machine.

    I used to edit metadata via the player instead of the advanced tag editor but I found that many of the changes where only being done in the player and not in the file with previous versions. Since the advanced tag editor seemed to actually affect the metadata in the file (not just the player) I probably have a little more faith in this method.

    Thanks for the comments. I’d love to hear why the Ratings Migration plug in no longer works. Quite frankly this technology should be built into the player itself.

  3. i absent-mindedly didn’t read the title of the article and while reading began to think how odd it was for you to be reviewing iTunes 3.0 :p

  4. They weren’t telling you how to get around Apple’s DRM, they were telling you how to get around their own.

    Itunes can’t import protected WMAs so by putting them on a CD first you are breaking Microsoft’s protection and enabling iTunes to import an unprotected song.

  5. Oh well… Welcome to 2004 guys… I never understood how somebody could really use WMP9 or WMP8, I’m pleased to see WMP10 seems to be on par with the rest of the players now. πŸ˜‰

  6. The only problem with the IROCK device you mentioned is that 88.7 is an actual radio station where I live, and one I listen to. This would seem to make the Beam It somewhat less than useful, unless it has multiple frequencies or some such.

  7. Sounds like you’ve discovered what a full-blown version of Winamp can do, only made by MS. Crossfading, library customization, multi-format input and output, etc have all been around. Seriously…combining all you mentioned with DSP effects (mixing, compression, beat synchronizing), the ability to transfer playlists easily, you’d noticed WMP10 is just catching up to existing players.

    They still need stream ripping, skinning and nicer eye candy to win the contest. You need to try a few other players πŸ™‚

  8. Wow, looks like iTunes, sounds like it works like iTunes too, just not as well.

    Good old MS, wait for somebody else to do the real work and steal the appearance and features to call your own.


  9. I love this comment.

    “Mp3 ripping. It’s admirable that Microsoft finally listened to their users on this one and gave in.”

    Just goes to show that Thomas is a little bit out of touch. This actually goes to show that MS can see the writing on the wall and realized that if they didn’t offer this functionality that they’d lose more people to Apple since iTunes has done this since day one.

    Truly, a review from someone that doesn’t seem to have any experience with the competition. Otherwise you’d know that all of the nice features are from iTunes…

  10. “Advanced Tag Editor” lol, never tried MassTagger in foobar2000 ( have you? This review is pretty much worthless IMHO.

  11. Its kinda understandable that they don’t view a laptop as an external device, as (goes without saying) its an entirely different computer and, with many DRM licences letting you transfer to unlimited external devices, transferring to a laptop would make distributing music files to other people a whole lot easier. That said, the fact that you can make cds and the re-rip unprotected files seems common knowledge so DRM is only going to stop a handful of people sharing their music.

  12. Funny though, you seem to never have used iTunes.
    ALL THE FEATURES you quote in “The GOOD” have been in iTunes for at least a couple of years (auto playlists = smart playlist, composer tag, ), and some since its inception (line colouring, tag editing, ripping cum tag import -with cddb mind you- , crossfading, EXCELLENT interface -not only improved, just amazing since day one- etc.).
    I admit PC users did not have iTunes before last year, but they yearned for it. Now they have it, it has had all of these “WMP innovations” for ages, let’s tip our hat to the real good developers.
    I am not saying WMP10 is bad (to me the interface until 9 was a shame to any UI developer, hope 10 got its act together), I am saying that your review could basically read :
    “at last, WMP10 catches up with WinAmp5 which itself had caught up with iTunes. What took them so long? “, and you would not have needed to write this long emphatic enamoured write-up.

    It is so easy to copy, why do it so slowly once you have accepted to blatlantly do it.

    I am now a happy mac user, but have used (and developed) on PCs for years. I
    Let’s not start about iPod being proprietary, WMA itself is proprietary.
    Go lobby the majors if you want no DRM. Or don’t let MS overtake the whole market if you want standards.

  13. In response to the comment about not allowing laptops as external devices due to DRM, this does not make sense. I could copy every single file I want to over the network to my laptop no problem. I’m not sure why there is a problem with filtering and only copying over my five stars. Certainly my laptop would fall into fair use. I don’t think people that use their laptops as their mp3 players should be discriminated against in this fashion if this indeed is the argument for not supporting laptops as external devices.

  14. I’ve used WMP 9 series for a long time now. most of the features mentioned in your review are ones I’ve utilized in WMP 9 for nearly a year. Admitedly, The fact that MP3 encoding can now be done WITHOUT a plugin is nice (I already have a plugin for it however). I have heard rumors of some third-party plugins not working in WMP 10, and have seen first-hand their failure in the beta release. Despite the few frills WMP 10 has to offer, I am tempted to stay with the sufficiently useful 9 series. The skinning and plugins alone put WMP 9 series well over the ultimately unstable i-tunes.

    Aside from the MP3 ripping and color-coding, could you list any other 10-specific redeeming features?

  15. But the bottom line if you use Win 2k windows media 10 won’t be the media player you’ll be using.
    Cmon Microsoft..take care of the large base of win 2k users.

  16. Don’t use Windows Media Player – so you’re surprised that it’s free? Ever wondered why? Microsoft want to control digital media formats – who would use their crippled mp3 encoder if people had to pay for it? Who would encode to the purely Microsoft wma format if people had to pay for it? Microsoft will never support open standards like Ogg Vorbis ( – which encodes either at ~50% higher average bitrate for same file size or same average bitrate for ~50% smaller file size. Winamp ( is a much better proprietary media player alternative which does support Ogg Vorbis. VideoLan Client ( is a brilliant open-source media player. CDex ( is an excellent open-source CD ripper/encoder. All of which have superior mp3 support.

  17. “the media player toolbar doesn’t work anymore”

    Try rebooting. I installed WMP10 and was about to uninstall, until I rebooted, and found that it worked again. Hooray!

  18. All of the features that are being listed/discussed with WMP10 and more are already present in iTunes. No to undermine WMP but iTunes has been out for some time now, which ties in my commitment to it. What possible irresistable incentive does WMP offer over iTunes that would make me think about about moving.

  19. Excellent review, but it makes me wonder if you’ve ever explored winamp. Despite it’s recent security issues (that have since been patched) most of the features you rave about have been available for some time in WinAmp. The one exception being the file number limitation, I’m not sure what the limitation is in WinAmp, but it seems to choke when you try to add more than a few thousand songs to a playlist. Windows media player is an excellent all around media player (good for video as well as audio), but WinAmp might be an excellent alternative audio player to check out.

  20. “…There are more than 70 portable audio devices that support MSN Music today, and we hope that someday Apple decides to join with the industry and support consumer choice….”

    Microsoft changed the wording but are still clueless. How about Microsoft join the WWW standard and not require ActiveX to use the music store site. Where is my [customer] HTTP client choice, hum? The word hypocrites comes to mind to describe this sort of thing.

    Microsoft is *ALL* about lock-in, lock-out secret, proprietary file formats and they have the nerve to bash Apple because they too sing the Microsoft song. Go figure.

    If you are a Microsoft PHB, the following words have been know to cause cardiac arrest due to induced trauma in thinking out-of-the-box.

    How about some Open Standards… it seems it would solve all the problems here.

  21. You used to be able to get full cd information, reviews, artist information etc through Windows Media linking to the AMG site. Is this still possible?

  22. Man you need to step out of the square and NOT USE MICROSOFT CRAP!

    Bsaplayer = Video
    Winamp = Audio

    Do yourself a favour.

  23. 90% hits by AMG? Crikey, that sure beats the 99.9% I get by using the completely OPEN (specializing in obscure cd’s and singles) – which is, I should mention, supported by… ooh, pretty much any ripping program out there.

  24. Thomas, man, you need to at least be aware of what the other players do before writing a review. If you don’t take off the blinders, you can’t see beyond your nose, which is the view this review offers. WMP10 is better than 9, but still lacks compared to winamp, JR or itunes. AMG a very cool thing? Ha ha, ignorance is bliss, go try freedb.

  25. Almost everything mentioned in this article Windows Media Player 10 can do reminds me on iTunes. Except the fact that it doesn’t do the same things half as good as iTunes does.

    Therefore, I regard WMP 10 a complete iTunes rip-off. After having visited the SOHO Apple Store, I have really changed my mind about Apple computers – their ease-of-use, their speed and last-but-not-least their sympathy are more inimitable than ever before. I’ve already ordered my new iMac G5 and can’t wait to forget all that Micro-crap and just do my stuff – better.

  26. I used to use winamp (back in the 2.0 days) but since then I made the switch to WMP 9 and now 10. winamp 5 isn’t as intuitive and media players features arent buried like they are in WMP.

    btw, any drm that allows the burning of audio cds has a very simple workaround, just burn and rip. i have done that with iTunes with ease. And with CD-RW you don’t even waste a perfectly good cd

  27. What about that broken image–the little red X in the upper right corner? It is the same way on my system. That seems like a *VERY* obvious bug, so why is it there?

  28. My first experiance with WMP 10 was trying to right-click in skim mode to change my settings lo and behold the same thing came up when in full mode, and it eclipsed the tools menu so I couldn’t clear the history and get rid of it. The next thing I noticed (aside from the broken image in the corner of the window) was that you had to exit and restart WMP on order to play media you added to the library from an external device (My external HDD where I keep all of my media to be more specific) If you didn’t exit WMP and restart it, you had to go through each of the tracks one by one telling WMP where on the HDD to find them. And what happened to the mouse-over menu bar?

    All in all I hated WMP 10, all of it’s good features (aside from MP3 ripping) were the same as in WMP 9 – just harder to get at. What Microsoft did with it is somewhat akin to what Apple did with OSX – made it an idiot’s interface. If all you want to do is play a CD or a file (on your LOCAL disk) then it is as easy as breathing; for everything else however, you have to be able to find your way around the flashy, new and ultimately more complex player. (being able to find your way around the old player, or the computer it is installed on does not count) If it wasn’t for the fact that there is no uninstaller that can restore WMP 9, I would have been greatly relieved to return to it.

    Seeing is how I already had a plugin allowing me to rip to MP3 format in WMP 9, I see no redeeming features whatsoever. AND I CAN’T GET RID OF IT!

    So let’s all give a big cheer to the folks at Microsoft for finally trying (but still failing) to duplicate i-tunes’ success. Now if you’ll excuse me, I need to go and download i-tunes.

  29. Hey Thomas,
    I was wondering if you felt that they’ve made enough improvements from WMP9 to 10 in terms of stuff that really needed to be fixed such as the problems with WMIS if you try finding media previously ripped outside of WMP. Not to mention quicker access to music randomly like one has with WinAmp etc. You do mention plenty of good things (maybe not enough bad?), but there’s still so many ways it can be improved to catch up to iTunes and WinAmp which it really needs to do. At the moment you can’t really use WMP the same as WinAmp, even with the taskbar player. I’m sure you’ve tried using the little menu to play music at random. Do you not find this method of jumping through music to be extremely time consuming? What do you think of WinAmp’s Jump (CTRL+ALT+J is the global hotkey in v.5)? Wouldn’t it be nice to have something similar in of WMP?

    You’ve probably seen my WMP9 Good Bad and Ugly article πŸ™‚ but if not…

    – Corey

  30. So?….where’s THE UGLY?…you titeled sections, THE GOOD and THE BAD….where’s THE UGLY?….Seems you are not as thorough as you profess….

    It’s a GREAT idea to have a fan with a HD…..all 19 of my Maxtor 250 gigs function perfectly. Perhaps you should look at your power supplys…..THEY are usually the culprit when a HD goes bad……gotta have the right “gas” to run your engines….Gheese……we need more “logical” people in this world…..and while you’re at it…..check out this website…

  31. I just downloaded WMP 10 last night on my SPARE P3 PC. I am leery of this Janus DRM feature, so I’m going to learn more about that Big Brother feature before I install WMP 10 on my main PC that has all my digital music files (~7,000).

  32. Thomas
    Can you introduce me a video player with:
    1-zoom in capability at wish
    2-frame by frame play mode
    3-backward motion ability like what QuickTime has
    4-backing all formats.For example QuickTime doesn’t play DAT files.
    Thanks,Arya Mar. 5th

  33. Regarding your comment of crossfading I’m not too happy with WMP10’s implementation. The crossfading works fine when the songs end abruptly at the end, but nothing is done about songs that have several seconds of silence at the end. Several Winamp plugins that I have used (such as SqrSoft Advanced Crossfading) neatly remove the silence at the end of a track when crossfading.

    If I can do this with WMP10 with a plugin or otherwise, please let me know…

  34. Hi, i’m doing a project on comparing windows media player and real player.
    But i dont know what to put on the powerpoint.
    can u give me any information that would be relevant for this topic.
    thank you soooo much..

  35. Hello, I’m looking for a plug in for windows media player 10 which will rip a CD including CDDB information directly to OGG and/or FLAC at my choice at any time. Is this available at this time?

  36. My WMP version won’t rip to mp3 unless I buy an encoder. What am I doing wrong, or where can I get a free encoder?

  37. To all the complainers about iTunes supporting stuff before WMP or whatever, I seriously think iTunes is just as lacking as WMP.

    iTunes does not support plugins, isn’t skinnable, and locked to only iTunes. It flat-out encodes AirTunes streams, and you can only play the Apple formats on x86 machines. I give MS some credit for not locking its users into a single music stores or platforms or vendors. Besides, you can turn off the DRM features off both players if you don’t feel like downloading from online music stores.

    Both of these players are way behind, and I really don’t think iTunes really has any edge over WMP 10.

    My pet peave is that iTunes doesn’t even use all the available resources/databases to do a CD lookup!!

  38. WMP 10 lets you rip to mp3, you have to change the settings from default wma ripping to mp3. it’s a windows mp3 codec, not LAME version.

  39. How do I uninstall the darn thing (WMP 10)? I want to go back to WMP 9, but it won’t let me uninstall. It says it has rolled back, but it never works. WMP 10 is like a tape worm, stubborn thing to get rid of.

  40. I find Windows Media Player 10 a major disappointment compared to WMP 9.

    This is almost completely due to the lack of decent track and artist information. The defining feature which made me use WMP 9 over alternatives was the way that when a song was playing information on the song/album and the artist (e.g. biography, tour dates etc.) were displayed.

    Now in Windows Media Player an extremely brief description is given and links to other music that can be brought.

    I absoultly hate it when companies change their products to try and con more money out of people while at the same time reducing the functionality of the software to accomodate such money grabbing schemes.

  41. PhlatulentPhreddy said

    I like WMP 10 better than Itunes. The sound quality is better. Real Player also. IPOD is definitely the more convenient. My advice is to wait for Sony to bring out a new format as they have the best sound technology (SACD – any audiophile want to challenge this?). If they can do for the MP3 what they did for the CD they will blow away the competition. When you hear the soundstage from your STEREO (2 ears = 2 Speakers which should produce a “Sound Stage” with a realistic sound so that you close your eyes and the vocals are 5 feet in front of you and the bass is 2 feet on the left, drums back and center and keyboard on far right. If you listen to Michael Jackson type music get a boombox with plenty of batteries and some handcream. I’d like to convert from WMP10 to a format for IPOD. Does anyone know off hand if SWITCH does this. I guess I’ll RTFM and find out. Looking to buy a playback unit but the jury is out. Ipod is nice but sound quality is mediocre. Then again if you listen to music accompanied by a pinball sounding machine by all means get two.

  42. Gotta say I am hugely disappointed with 10 – it keeps crashing during ripping and playing, keeps refusing to include information about even top-line CDs, so they end up as “Unknown” unless I fill in all the tag details, and I think the layout is much worse. I have rolled back to version 9 which has its faults but is just fine for my purposes.

  43. The stupid thing completely trashed my folder structure when it connected to the internet and “intelligently” decided what folder structure I should have. Unfortunately it was based on bad CDDB info and as a result has completely scrambled a 200-track audio book. I am fuming with rage.

  44. I’m with the other Anon fella. WMP10 won’t rip any CD I have because of this:
    “Windows Media Player cannot rip the track because a compatible MP3 encoder is not installed on your computer. Install a compatible MP3 encoder or choose a different format to rip to (such as Windows Media Audio).”

    This is with the latest WMP10 version(

    The Rip settings has MP3 selected.

    It rips them as WMA just fine.

  45. Funny what happens when you look at the Troubleshooting section of Help. Doesn’t like 128kbps. Seems it’s a known problem on some systems. Tried a higher setting and MP3s rip fine.

  46. So how does one “rip” a cd to play somewhere besides the darn PC the WMA files are on… I have bought over 1000 CD legitimately, mostly with only 2 good songs on them. I feel if I eant to take those 2 songs off of each CD and burn them to a CD to listen to in my car, I should be able to do that.

    Or am I being narrowminded here?

  47. The WMP SDK is free. Writing an app or add-in to copy 5 star music would be easy enough with VB Express (free).

    I have a real problem with tags changing. I share my music library on my home network between 3 desktops and a laptop. I opened it up and clicked a song from Coldplay that I didn’t recognize and heard the original theme from Monday Night Football. Hmmm.

    I experimented and it appears that most, if not all, of the data is in the file itself. Apparently WMP caches the data. So what happens if I change the data, but then another computer plays the file? Does that PC write it’s cached info back into the file? I don’t know. All I know is that my stars and track data are changing and disappearing. Very frustrating. I’ll quit rambling.

  48. I’m what you would call a casual WMP user. Over the last couple years, I ripped my CDs to the computer and rated most of them (1 to 5 stars). Then I installed a new hard disc and copied all the files to it from a backup. WMP sees all the musinc but I can’t figure out where all my star ratings went. Can you help me restore them?


  49. The damn thing (WMP10) keeps
    completely crashing my computer
    whenever I try to rip from a sony CD-R. This is really getting irritating because I have to rip 1 song at a time, and even so, they stil don’t play! Even when I rip them to WMA!!! When it crashes, even the mouse stops moving. I’ve experienced similar problems with the legitimately bought
    Sean Paul: Dutty Rock. How can I fix

  50. How the fuck do I get rid of the thing? It lies and says it rolled back but it never leaves!

  51. I ripped a compilation CD that I had made previously and WMP10 believes that all the tracks are part of the same album. It’s almost like there is some unseen key that WMP10 is using to identify all the tracks as coming from the same CD. I can edit the tag for the first track, say it’s Sheryl Crow, but when I look up album info (like to get photos) it renames the other tracks to the names on the Sheryl Crow album. Very weird. Any help/advice would be appreciated…

  52. WMP10=Evil about sums it up. Windows Media Player deosn’t recognize 2 different burners. Both burners are working burners as one is new and the other came from a system in which it worked fine.

  53. To put forward one software BlazeDVD Pro:

    BlazeDVD Pro
    – A full-featured DVD/Video CD/Audio-CD and media file player, meet all demand on DVD playing including record DVD, image capture, bookmark and more.

  54. Does WMP 10 or 11 support ANY other databases other than AMG’s? Can’t get an answer to this from anyone.

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  56. I have spent hours in windows media player deleting duplicate songs, some as many as four of the same, only to have them start duplicating again before I get through the list! I have unchecked the boxes that I thought were causeing this to happen, but that did not help! Is there a way to prevent this program from adding duplicate songs? Please help if anyone knows how to fix this problem!!!

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