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Windows Media Player 10

The Microsoft® Windows Media® Player component provides playback functionality for digital media that includes music, videos, CDs, DVDs, and Internet Radio for end users and developers. The Windows Media Player component provides a playback application for the end user and an Application Programming Interface (API) for the developer. The Microsoft Windows Media Player control is a Microsoft ActiveX® control used for adding multimedia playback capabilities to Web pages and applications. The control provides a programming interface for rendering a variety of network streaming and non-streaming multimedia formats. Additionally, the Windows Media Player control includes the Windows Media Runtime that provides requisite runtime support to an application that has been developed using the Windows Media Format Software Development Kit (SDK).

Component Configuration

You can modify the following items in Windows Media Player:

  • Provide one or more custom visual styles, or Skins.
  • Configure Windows Media Player to use a custom skin as the default.
  • Set Windows Media Player as the default player for DVDs (DVD Auto play).
  • Enable MP3 encoding in Windows.

Designing a Custom Skin for Windows Media Player

A skin is a customized user interface (UI) that sits on top of Windows Media Player when the Player is in compact mode. To see Windows Media Player in compact mode, press CTRL+2. Windows Media Player comes with many Skins that users can choose from, and you can develop and distribute your own Skins. For more information about creating Skins, see the Windows Media Player Software Development Kit at this Microsoft Web site.

To make your custom skin available in Windows Media Player

  1. Create a skin as described in the Windows Media Player Software Development Kit.
  2. Copy the skin to the <systemdrive>\Program Files\Windows Media Player\Skins folder, where <systemdrive> is the drive that contains the Windows installation.

To set the default skin for Windows Media Player

  1. Create a skin as described in the Windows Media Player Software Development Kit.
  2. Copy the skin to the <systemdrive>\Program Files\Windows Media Player\Skins folder, where <systemdrive> is the drive that contains the Windows installation.
  3. On the destination computer, open the registry with Registry Editor or another registry editing tool.
  4. Set the value of HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\MediaPlayer\Preferences\<OEMSkin> to the file name of your skin.

Setting Windows Media Player as the Default DVD Application

If another DVD player is already installed and is set as the default player for DVDs, you can edit the registry to specify that Windows Media Player becomes the default player for DVDs.

To set Windows Media Player as the default player for DVDs

  1. Open the registry with Registry Editor or another registry editing tool.
  2. Set the value of HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\DVD\Shell\Play\Command equal to ""<systemdrive>\Windows Media Player\wmplayer.exe" /device:DVD "%L", where <systemdrive> is the drive that contains the Windows installation.

Enabling MP3 Encoding for Windows Media Player

Windows Media Player supports MP3 encoding. To enable Windows Media Player to encode MP3 files, you need to license an MP3 encoder, install the encoder, and then edit the registry settings.

To set Windows Media Player for MP3 Encoding

  1. On the target computer, open the registry with Registry Editor or another registry editing tool.
  2. Open the registry key HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\MediaPlayer\Settings\MP3Encoding.
  3. Set the values found in the following table:
    Registry keyTypeValue
    LowRateDWORD <datarate>
    LowRateSampleDWORD<Sample>
    MediumRateDWORD<datarate>
    MediumRateSampleDWORD<Sample>
    MediumHighRateDWORD<datarate>
    MediumHighRateSampleDWORD<Sample>
    HighRateDWORD<datarate>
    HighRateSampleDWORD<Sample>
    PreferredCodecString<codec name>
    Note   The value for PreferredCodec is limited to 255 characters.

    Make sure that the codecs you expect to use are installed. The Windows Media Player component includes the following codecs:

    • Windows Media video 8
    • Windows Media video 7
    • Media Screen capture 7
    • Acelp.Net
    • Mpeg-2 Layer3 (for MP3 playback)

    Windows Media Audio 10 is backwards compatible with all versions of Windows Media Audio.

Special Notes

There is an optional Windows Media Player Skins component that includes additional Skins. There is also a Windows Media Player Tour component that provides a rich out-of-the-box experience for end users. Both optional components require that Windows Media Player be selected in order to install.

Windows Media Player provides a tightly integrated user experience in both Windows Explorer and Internet Explorer. Omission of this component will result in a poor user experience when browsing directories or Web sites that contain audio or video files, or when using applications that do not install the required Windows Media runtime support. Specifically, the following components are dependent on Windows Media Player and will not function, or will provide a poor end user experience, if the Player is not present:

  • Media Bar in Windows Explorer and Internet Explorer
  • Audio CD writing Wizard
  • Auto play Wizard
  • Copying media to portable devices
  • Album Art in Windows Explorer
  • Welcome to Windows Media Player Tour
  • Additionally, any applications or Web sites developed with the Windows Media Player OCX (v6.4 or v7 clsid) or the Windows Media runtime will not properly function.

For More Information

For more information about developing applications for Windows Media Player or using the Windows Media Format Runtime and other developer-specific information in the Windows Media Player and Windows Media Format SDKs, see this Microsoft Web site.


© 2006 Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved.


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