Creating Your Media Library with Windows Media Player

To tell the truth, I was never been a big fan of Windows Media Player. It always seemed to me that the developers at Microsoft were more interested in the device's custom visual designs and background visualizations than what mattered most: creating an excellent media player that works like a media player should. That has changed, starting with Windows Media Player 11, and now—with Windows Media Player 12— Microsoft has made the player even better by reducing the focus on custom visual designs (known as skins), streamlining the bloated menus, tightening up the interface, and completely reorganizing the media library. The result is a media player that:

• Makes it easy to organize and find your media

• Supports all media types: music, pictures, videos, recorded TV, and other media

• Provides professional enhancements for music and video playback

So much has changed in Windows Media Player 12 that (like Windows 7 itself) it seems more like a new program than the same old media player to which we've grown accustomed. Because of this, don't try to rip or burn CDs without first reading this chapter in its entirety. And whatever you do, don't give away your original CDs and DVDs just yet, because you're still going to need them. Also, right up front, you should know that Windows Media Player 12 can play audio and video files formatted for use with Apple iTunes and Apple iPod (as long as the files are not rights-management protected).

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