Digital Media


Playing and Organizing Digital

Media Files 407


Sharing and Syncing Digital Media 441


Using Windows Media Center 463


Playing and Organizing Digital Media Files

Which File Formats and Codecs Does Windows 7 Support?

Using Windows Media Player

Ripping CDs

Managing Your Media Library

Working with (and Around) Digital Rights 412 Management

WiNDows 7 includes version 12 of Windows Media Player, a full-featured program that allows you to play, rip, copy, tag, rate, find, organize, synchronize, burn, and share digital media files. Windows Media Player 12 works with all sorts of media, but it's especially well suited for the task of managing digital music files .

In this chapter, we start with a list of digital media formats that can now be played back directly in Windows without requiring third-party software. We explain how to play music, videos, and DVDs and how to customize the Windows Media Player interface. We also provide instructions on the best ways to copy music from CDs to your media library, maintaining a balance between audio quality and disk space.

Throughout this section, we assume you've correctly installed and configured all the hardware necessary to use the features under discussion, including sound cards, speakers, CD/ DVD burners, and TV tuners .

Windows Media Player 12 works identically in all editions of Windows 7, with one exception: although you can watch DVDs using any edition, the required DVD decoder is not included with the Starter or Home Basic editions; you'll need to install a third-party decoder or upgrade to a DVD-ready Windows 7 edition before you can watch a DVD in Windows Media Player. The basic picture importing and viewing capabilities in Windows Photo Viewer are identical in all editions .

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