Audio & Video Software forum

General discussion

Windows Media Player 11 Beta is now available...

by John.Wilkinson / May 17, 2006 1:56 AM PDT
Windows Media Player 11 Beta

Click here to download the latest version directly from Microsoft.

Only available for Windows XP. SP2 is not required. WMP11 will not be available for users of Windows 2000 or previous versions of Windows.

* New stylish design as close to that as Vista's WMP11 as you can get.
* All music is automatically imported, which may take a while based on your collection patient.
* Redesigned engine enables the fast loading/browsing of large collections.
* A simplified music library that's easier to navigate.
* Built-in search bar so you can find lost music.
* Enhanced automatic music tagging.
* Drag-and-drop ability throughout.
* URGE music service is a partnership between Microsoft and MVT.

Cnet Reviews:
MP3 Insider: Ten reasons to love WMP11
Cnet's WMP11 Slideshow

My thoughts:
I've been using various builds of WMP11 Beta for a while now, and while my socks weren't blown off (after all, it is still Windows media Player), I was impressed. The new design is much more appealing and makes it much easier to navigate/use all of the features. The enhancements to the music library stand out the most, handling my 20+ GB collection of music with ease and allowing me to find the songs I want quickly. (WMP10 had a bad habit of momentarily freezing on me.) While it is still a beta, and therefore not bug-free (it did crash on me twice when it encountered a corrupted license, where it should just display a notification), I encourage anyone using Windows XP to give it a try. If you don't like it, you can revert back to WMP10.

You can uninstall WMP11 using the control panel. It is listed as a Windows XP Software Update, so it you are using Windows XP SP2 you'll need to check the box next to Show Updates at the top of Add/Remove Programs in order to view it. Uninstalling it will revert you back to the original version of Windows Media Player, which should be WMP9. If it returns you to WMP9 and you wish to return to WMP10, you can redownload WMP10 by clicking here.

Hope this helps,
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Miss my XM online radio, Bluesville for BluesJack
by BluesJack / May 25, 2006 9:04 PM PDT

I downloaded WMP 11 Beta when first released through C/net. I really loved the new interface layout and color. BUT, I missed my XM radio.

After about 10 days I rolled back to WMP 10 because I just wasn't keen on another music service, URGE. This is what happened on the rollback, XM was still gone and URGE was still there. I can get used to URGE, but does anyone know where XM went?


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WMP11 still has XM Satellite Radio...
by John.Wilkinson / May 26, 2006 12:57 AM PDT

URGE, the new service formed from a partnership between Microsoft and MTV, is the default music service in WMP11, but they give you the option of switching to one of a host of other music services, including XM Satellite Radio. In WMP, mouse-over "URGE" and you'll see a downwards it and select "browse all online stores." On the following screen simply click the tile for XM Satellite Radio, then clock Yes to confirm your choice. That's've got your preferred music service back. Happy

Hope this helps,

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Thanks John!
by BluesJack / May 26, 2006 8:27 PM PDT

I had not found the XM Satellite Radio option on WMP11, before I rolled back to WMP10. I have rediscovered it underneath the MS Butterfly on WMP10. I've thought I may have been too quick to rollback, but for now I think I'll wait for an updated version of WMP11 before I jump for it again.

Thank you John for your kind response.


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Any Video Enhancements?
by dougjp / May 25, 2006 9:11 PM PDT

Seems all I'm reading about is music. Does 11 do anything more with video?

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Enhanced equally...
by John.Wilkinson / May 26, 2006 12:42 AM PDT

WMP11 doesn't offer new codecs or anything like that, for music of video, with the main focus being on enhancing the interface and accessibility of all things, including video and pictures. While Music is more prominent since that's its primary function, you can access Video and Pictures by going to your Library and clicking on the music icon at the beginning of the directory-like listing (icon->Music->Library->etc).


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The style?
by ebarre / May 25, 2006 9:15 PM PDT

From what I have seen of it, so far, I like version 10 MUCH better. I do NOT like all of those icons. I prefer details. There is no option to change that.

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Do not try it
by cecilkear / May 26, 2006 12:01 AM PDT

I installed WMP 11 (Dell 930 MHz, 384M, SP2), or tried to. Failed to install - no error code RE: why the failure. Uninstalled via control panel. Now WMP v10 closes with an error after each video I play. I have not reloaded v10 nor checked for uninstalled parts of v11. Time wasted!

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Resizing itself...
by RMskater / May 26, 2006 1:41 AM PDT
In reply to: Do not try it

One thing that bothers me about WMP11 is that when I minimize it, then restore it, it's resized itself to be shorter than it is wide. Bah. Sad

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Reply to Do not try
by Toaster_Oven / May 26, 2006 1:59 AM PDT
In reply to: Do not try it

As with the IE 7 Beta browser, you must disable any antivirus or antispyware. Go to the Add/Remove and uninstall Windows Media Player 10, then go to Microsoft Website and look for and install Windows Media Player 10 again, this should resolve the second problem. Try to update the Media Player to 11 again with all Antivirus and Antispyware Apps disabled. After install, reboot the computer to activate the miniplayer and turn on all security apps. Hope this works, I had no problem with this method.

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WMP11 - Pretty, but major problems.
by w3w0 / May 26, 2006 5:26 AM PDT
In reply to: Do not try it

I personally like the new overall look and feel of WMP11. I only use it for my music library. I have found that there are some big bugs with the product. The biggest is the labeling of the columns and how the column titles relate to MP3 ID3 tags.

I'm confused on what columns are associated with what tags on MP3 cuts. As a example in WMP11 in a Album listing it shows for song "Do You Believe in Magic" in both the "Contributing Artist" and "Album Artist" columns it shows "The Lovin' Spoonful". If I then go to Windows Explorer and call up the Properties of this song none of the available tags are labeled "Contributing Artist" and "Album Artist", however the "Artist" tag is populated with "The Lovin' Spoonful". The MP3 tag "Artist" does not show in the "View Columns" dialog of WMP11, go figure.

I don't think it would be too much to ask for the Column names in WMP11 to agree with the file tag names in the actual file and for the display to actually show what's in that tag. The "Display column" should also have the tag "Artist" added.

The next question is around Media Center Edition... If you look closely at MCE 2005 rollup 2 you'll find that to properly catalog your music you will need to have a ID3 tag called "Album Artist" (and this is a different tag than the "Artist" tag) populated to get the proper relationship established between Albums and Artists. The tag "Album Artist" is not even accessible from Windows XP SP2 Explorer, but can be accessed from MCE 2005 and some 3rd party tag editors.

This is a example of 3 groups at Microsoft implementing differently from a common information base. We need consistency in the use of common data! It would go a long way in reducing much user confusion when attempting to use Windows and the supporting cast of products, especially when the products are from the same vendor. Where there is common data there should be a repository that defines that data and that data's use.

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Tagging Errors
by hogan / May 26, 2006 7:06 AM PDT

This sounds like the ongoing saga of Microsoft. I have CDs not listed on the internet and (Kill) Bill software keeps renaming my files, even when I go throgh the submission process. I have a recording of Casablanca (yes, *that* film), that is continually renamed as the zombies and a Faure recording that (KIll) Bill keeps converting to Japanese.

All this is the Bad Bill problem; nasty software, incompetent staff but a strong legal department.

These falults are as much back end as front end. Stick to Yahoo or Real.

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Great for non-techies especially
by fnash / May 26, 2006 12:06 AM PDT

I have it installed on my laptop and my wife's laptop. I like the new look and fast searching best. I'm a PC/network tech so I can work with just about any interface. My wife is computer clueless and likes stuff that's easier for her to figure out and she loves the new look and features available for people like her. So far it's been very stable too.

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MusicMatch verses WMP11
by dickstub / May 26, 2006 12:39 AM PDT

MusicMatch 7.5 will not plat through WMP11

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Urge is being written up for draconian DRM behaviour.
by Kiddpeat / May 26, 2006 12:58 AM PDT

Its extensive user license allows it to update or replace modules without asking for permission, and to do extensive spying. The comments say it should be classed as spyware according to MS definitions, but MS is obviously giving it a pass.

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by Toaster_Oven / May 26, 2006 2:02 AM PDT

When I installed the media player, I simply skipped the Urge install. Solution> Don't install Urge or go back and unistall Urge from the Add/Remove.

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No Podcast!?
by daveworld / May 26, 2006 3:15 AM PDT

Podcast/videocast please!
Win 2000 support please! (XP = bloatware)

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I don't care for beta versions.
by dano83860 / May 26, 2006 3:08 PM PDT

Microsoft is a large corporation with lots of resources. Let them do their own testing

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Love it
by jamesyfx / May 26, 2006 8:02 PM PDT

I think it's great, the way it all looks as if it's just one super-enhanced folder.

The interface is a tad on the blurry side, but hey.

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by nfortin / May 26, 2006 8:03 PM PDT


I would like to take you for your advise about WMP11,
I just downloaded yesterday.

Best regards Patrick

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Love it, love it, love it!!!
by Yahudah1947 / June 19, 2006 2:45 AM PDT

I had enjoyed WMP9 & had it all set up just the way I wanted it & never had any problems with it until WMP10 came along. I downloaded that upgrade & had nothing but trouble with my player from that day on. I could barely play my cds, but you could forget about any video. I was enrolled in an online Bible study with video that I could never get to stream right. WMP9 never had any problems with video. So I was totally out-of-love with WMP. Then I got the message that they had released WMP11 beta...could not wait to find out if they had fixed all the problems I had been having with 10...BOY, did they! The layout is set up so great..very orgainized the way I like everything to be & it plays beautifully, even video. Microsoft, thank you so much from the bottom of my heart for the new upgrade. It's terrific!

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