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What is Windows Media Player, Windows Media Player Wiki

Before your Windows Media Player 12 download or update (for Windows 8.1/10/11 and Mac), please get to know the definition of Windows Media Player.

Definition and Functions of Windows Media Player

Windows Media Player (abbreviated WMP) is a proprietary digital file (video/audio/image) player and multimedia library application developed by Microsoft that is used for playing video, audio, and viewing images. It is the default media player on the desktops, notebooks, Pocket PC and mobile devices running the Microsoft Windows operating system, say, Windows NT 4.0, Windows 3.0 MM and Windows 3.1, Windows 9x, Windows 2000 to Windows 8.1, Windows 10, Windows 11, Windows CE and Windows Mobile. Editions of Windows Media Player were also once released for Mac OS 8 and 9, Mac OS X and Solaris, but have not been further developed ever since.

On November 16, 2021, Microsoft replaced Groove Music used on Windows 8 and Windows 10 by default with the new Media Player, optionally available with Windows 11 on February 15, 2022.

In addition to being a media player, Windows Media Player includes the ability to rip music from and copy music to compact discs, burn recordable discs in Audio CD format or as data discs with playlists such as an MP3 CD, synchronize content with a digital audio player (MP3 player) or other mobile devices, and enable users to purchase or rent music from a number of online music stores. And it supports quite a lot of videos natively including MPEG-1, WMV, ASF etc. It can also play AVI files but AVI is a container, which means in order to play these files with WMP, you may need to install additional codecs, such as FFDShow. You can also play MPEG-2 with WMP if you have a codec installed, which is done when you install DVD player software like WinX DVD Player and 5KPlayer.

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Windows Media Player

Availability of Windows Media Player

After knowing about what is Windows Media Player, let's turn to its practicality. Specifically, the previous version, Windows Media Player 11 runs on Windows XP and is included in Windows Vista and Windows Server 2008. The most up-to-date version, Windows Media Player 12, is only available in Windows 7, Windows 8, Windows 8.1, Windows Server 2012, Windows Server 2012 R2 and Windows Server 2008 R2. However, it is not released for Windows RT, and there is no updated Windows Media Player for Windows 10 and Windows 8/8.1 anymore.

Windows Media Player supports not only PC platform, but also Windows Mobile platform. Windows Media Player for Pocket PC was first announced on January 6, 2000, and has been revised on a schedule roughly similar to that of the Windows version. Currently known as "Media Player 10 Mobile", this edition (released in October 2004) closely resembles the capabilities of the Windows version of WMP 10, including playlist capabilities, a media library, album art, WMA Lossless playback, support for DRM-protected media, video playback at 640x480 with stereo sound, and the same Energy Blue interface aesthetics also seen in recent versions of Windows XP Media Center Edition. It also supports synchronization with the desktop version of WMP 10, and additionally supports synchronizing and transcoding of recorded television shows from Windows Media Center.

Video Audio File Types Supported by Windows Media Player

Videos: .bdmv | .evo | .hevc | .mkv | .avi | .flv | .webm | .mp4 | .ts | .m4v | .m4a | .ogm, x265 | h.265 | HEVC | 10bit x264 | x264| h.264 | AVCHD | AVC | DivX | XviD MP4 | MPEG4 | MPEG2 and the like

Audios: .ac3 | .dts | .alac | .flac | .ape | .aac | .ogg | .ofr | .mpc | .3gp, etc.

Note: The playback abilities of H.264 and MPEG-4 Part 2, 3GP, MP4 and MOV, AVCHD (.m2ts and .mts) videos and AAC audio are added in Windows Media Player 12.

For more information, please refer to Windows Media Player Wiki.

Still have trouble about what is Windows Media Player or WMP related questions? Please feel free to Email Us >>

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 author - Matthew Palmer

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Jack Watt is a sought-after editor at Digiarty. He is responsible for digital and multimedia world, delivering definitive video and audio related software reviews, enlightening guides, and incisive analysis. As a fan of Apple, Jack Watt also brings his experience to more readers and focuses on writing of the Apple ecosystem at large.

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