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Having Fun

New Windows Media Player is a sound vision

by Gordon Black

the new Windows Media Player Call it the house of digital fun. It's the place where music, radio, video—sound and vision in all their formats—come together on your computer. The Windows MediaTM Player is your door to this house of entertainment and information. The current release of Windows Media Player brings a new level of audio and visual quality to music, video images, and more on the Web.

Windows Media Player allows you to play audio that's stored in a range of file formats, such as Windows Media Format, .MP3, .WAV and others. You can also use the player to view video files.

Fewer bytes, more sound
Improvements in the software (called codecs) mean that Windows Media Player retains the same level of audio quality of a recorded Compact Disc while using up fewer bytes of digital space than before. In turn, smaller files containing your favorite music translate into shorter download times. That's not all.

Windows Media Player also brings improved picture quality to video delivered via the Web. At slower speeds of connections (28.8 Kbps and 56.6 Kbps), the Player provides a higher quality of image than previously; on high-speed connections, such as cable and DSL modems, the image is close to the quality you can view on your television.

With this souped-up performance, more Web sites are supporting the Windows Media Format, including some of the most popular destinations on the Internet for music and video. is your site for streaming media
Music buffs take note. is a one-stop location for music files, videos, and the latest music news from thousands of artists in just about any category you can think of—from the current chart-toppers to emerging artists. You can search for your favorite group by name, or discover new ones in the music category of your choice.

The entertainment doesn't end with music. provides easy access to the latest news and information in a wide variety of categories, from business, technology, and computers to sports and travel. Leading Internet content providers such as Warner Bros., TV Guide Entertainment Network, CNN Interactive, and Capitol Records provide timely audio and video that you can view with your Microsoft Windows Media Player.

Windows Media Player is also your entry point to a range of other media on the Web, including dozens of virtual radio stations that will stream audio directly to your computer. For more information on listening while you work, take a look at our article on Web radio.

Join the digital media revolution
Not only can you find all of your music, video, and news in one place on the Web, you can now manage all of your digital media in one place on your computer. To catalog music files you’ve downloaded from the Internet, create custom playlists, and even convert audio CDs into Windows Media Format files that you can store on your computer, look no further than the next version of the Windows Media Player.

Windows Media Player 7 is the first all-in-one player that lets you copy CDs, listen to Internet radio, and watch videos; and is the best way to find, organize, and play digital music. The final release of the Windows Media Player 7 will be available later this year, however you can download a beta release and try all of its great features today.

If you have never tried listening to audio or viewing video over the Web—or organizing your CD collection on your computer—now is the time. The fun house is open for business 24 hours a day.

Codec stands for compression/decompression and is the name given to the software used to condense and expand multimedia files for transmission and eventual playing. Codecs are written for specific applications, such as spoken word, accoustic music, rock and roll etc.


Gordon Black
Gordon Black
thinks compiling your own CDs from favorite musicians is the best idea since the eight-track cassette.

Download Now

Download Windows Media PlayerIt takes just a few minutes (subject to your modem speed and Web traffic) to download the newest version of the Windows Media Player.

Note: In order to listen to audio on your computer, it must be equipped with a sound card and speakers.


Using your Windows Media Player:
To start the Windows Media Player, simply:

  • Click on a music file, or
  • Click Start, point to Programs, point to Accessories, point to Entertainment, and then click Windows Media Player.