Supported by more than one skin element.


The traditional format in which audio and video are transmitted by using a wave or analog signal. An analog signal may not work with digital speakers; computers use digital signals.

anchor window

A small window that can appear in the lower-right corner of the screen when Windows Media Player is in skin mode. You can use the window to return to full mode and access other commands.


A Windows Media metafile that gives a player the information needed to receive content. Announcement files contain Extensible Markup Language (XML) scripts.

aspect ratio

The ratio of the width of an image to its height.


A name-value data pair.


The data transfer capacity of a transmission medium.

bit rate

The number of bits transferred per unit of time, typically expressed in bits per second.


A method by which a client receives a stream. During a broadcast connection, clients cannot control the stream. This is the opposite of an on-demand presentation.

broadcast multicast

Delivery of one stream by a Windows Media server to many clients. From a client perspective, a broadcast is a connectionless experience because the client never connects to a Windows Media server.


An area of memory reserved for temporarily holding data before that data is used by a receiving device or application. Buffering protects against the interruption of data flow.


Text that accompanies images or videos, as either a supplemental description or a transcript of spoken words.


See definition for: compact disc (CD)


Any computer or program connecting to, or requesting the services of, another computer or program. Client can also refer to the software that enables the computer or program to establish the connection.

clipping image

An image that is not displayed, but instead defines the visible region of another image.

closed disc

A CD or DVD that has gone through a process during burning that makes the contents of the disc visible to playback programs and devices. After a disc is closed, no additional data can be burned to it. Some playback devices, such as some portable, home, and car CD and DVD players, cannot play discs that have not been closed.


An abbreviation for compressor/decompressor. Software or hardware used to compress and decompress digital media.

compact disc (CD)

An optical storage medium for digital data.


A process for removing redundant data from a digital media file or stream to reduce its size or the bandwidth used.


Audio, video, images, text, or any other information that is contained in a digital media file or stream.

down image

An image that is displayed when the mouse button is in the down position over a control.


To copy a file from one computer to another using a modem or network.


A fundamental syntactic unit in markup languages, such as HTML or XML. Elements are delimited by start tags and end tags. Empty elements are defined using an empty-element tag.


To convert audio and video content to a specified digital format, usually involving compression technology or encryption technology.

error correction

In Windows Media Player, a process to ensure that digital audio data is read from the CD-ROM drive accurately during playback or copying. Using error correction can prevent undesirable noises that are not part of the original material.

Extensible Markup Language (XML)

A markup language that provides a format for describing structured data. XML is a World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) specification, and is a subset of Standard Generalized Markup Language (SGML).

file format

The structure or organization of data in a file. File format is usually indicated by the file name extension.

file name extension

A set of characters added to the end of a file name that identifies the file type or format.

file type

The format of a file, commonly indicated by its file name extension. The file type indicates which program the file was created in and can be opened with.

frame rate

The number of video frames displayed per second. Higher frame rates generally produce smoother movement in the picture.

full mode

The default operational state of Windows Media Player from which all of its features are available. The Player can also appear in skin mode, mini Player mode, or full-screen mode.

global attribute

An attribute associated with a skin definition file as a whole, which can be accessed from any element.

hover image

An image that is displayed for a control whenever the mouse pointer hovers over it.


See definition for: Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP)

Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP)

A standard set of rules that computers use to transfer information over the Internet.

intelligent streaming

A type of streaming that detects network conditions and adjusts the properties of a video or audio stream to maximize quality.


In Windows Media Player, a database that contains information about digital media files on a computer, a network drive, or the Internet.

licensed file

A Windows Media file that has an associated license that defines how the file can be played. The restrictions stated in the license vary depending on the license creator. When a CD track is copied by using Windows Media Player, a license can be assigned to the newly created file. Under that license, the file can only be played on the computer where the file was created.

lossy compression

A process for compressing data in which information deemed unnecessary is removed and cannot be recovered upon decompression. Typically used with audio and visual data in which a slight degradation of quality is acceptable.

mapping image

An image that is not displayed, but instead defines significant regions on another image through the use of colors.

media usage rights

Permissions to use a protected Windows Media-based file in a particular way. For example, a content provider, such as an online music store, can grant you the right to play a song on your computer (a play right), to burn the song to an audio CD (a burn right), or to sync the song to a portable device (a sync right). The content provider dictates the terms of the rights (for example, which rights it grants to you and for how long) and the Windows Media Digital Rights Management (DRM) component enforces those rights. Also known as a license.


Data about data. Title, subject, author, and size are examples of a file's metadata.

metafile playlist

A Windows Media metafile that contains information about a series of digital media items.


A programming function that is related to a particular object and can be called to modify the object's properties or to achieve a particular effect that the object is responsible for. Methods can be passed pieces of information called parameters in order to modify the resulting behavior. Frequently, the result of a method call is the return of a different piece of information that can then be used by another part of the program.

Microsoft Media Server (MMS) protocol

A proprietary protocol using UDP or TCP to deliver content as a unicast stream.


See definition for: Musical Instrument Digital Interface (MIDI)


See definition for: Multipurpose Internet Mail Extension (MIME)

MMS protocol

See definition for: Microsoft Media Server (MMS) protocol

Moving Picture Experts Group (MPEG)

The committee that creates international standards for coding audio-visual information to a digital, compressed format. The acronym MPEG is appended to the beginning of individual specifications developed by the committee. For example, MPEG-2 refers to the standard ISO/IEC - 11172.


See definition for: Moving Picture Experts Group (MPEG)


A content delivery method in which a single stream is transmitted from a media server to multiple clients. The clients have no connection with the server. Instead, the server sends a single copy of the stream across the network to multicast-enabled routers, which replicate the data. Clients can then receive the stream by monitoring a specific multicast IP address and port.

Multipurpose Internet Mail Extension (MIME)

A standard that extends the Simple Mail Transport Protocol (SMTP) for encoding non-ASCII data files such as video, sound, and binary files for attachment to Internet email.

Musical Instrument Digital Interface (MIDI)

A specification of the MIDI Manufacturers Association (MMA). The specification defines a protocol for describing music data, such as note on and note off messages; a file format for storing music data, called Standard MIDI; and a standard hardware interface.


A collection of properties and methods that serve a particular purpose and are treated as a unit.

online store

In Windows Media Player, a website that offers digital media content by subscription or for purchase.


A unit of information transmitted from one computer or device to another on a network.


A piece of information that is passed into a method in order to achieve a particular result.


See definition for: sync partnership


A list of digital media content.


A hardware- or software-based interface used to transfer information between a computer and other devices. Hardware ports are physical connections that are visible on the outside of the computer. Software ports are the numbered gateways in programs that software programs use to exchange information.

portable device

A mobile electronic device that can exchange files or other data with a computer or device. Examples of portable devices include Pocket PCs, portable digital music players, and Smartphones.


A predefined setting. For Windows Media Player, there are presets defined for both equalizer settings and for most visualizations.

progress bar

A meter-like indicator within a graphical user interface that shows the progress of a process, such as a file download or an installation.


A piece of information that specifies a particular detail of an object.


A standard set of formats and procedures that enable computers to exchange information.

proxy server

A server located on a network between client software, such as a Web browser, and another server. It intercepts all requests to the server to determine whether it can fulfill them itself. If not, it forwards the request to another server.

publishing point

An organized memory location that is identified by a name on a Windows Media server. The name is part of the URL used by a client when requesting content from the server. See also: broadcast publishing point, on-demand publishing point.


See definition for: Synchronized Accessible Media Interchange (SAMI)


A user interface that provides an alternative appearance and customized functionality for software such as Windows Media Player.

skin definition file

An XML document that specifies the elements in a skin, along with their relationships and functionality. A skin definition file has a .wms file name extension.

skin mode

An operational state of Windows Media Player in which its user interface is displayed as a skin.


A control within a graphical user interface in which an indicator called a thumb can be moved along a continuous path into a number of different positions.


A characteristic of a button control within a graphical user interface in which the button, when clicked, remains in a down position until it is clicked again. A sticky button is also known as a toggle.


Digital media that is in the process of being delivered in a continuous flow across a network.


A method of delivering digital media across a network in a continuous flow. The digital media is played by client software as it is received. Typically, streaming makes it unnecessary for users to download a file before playing it.

subscription service

A service offered by an online store that lets you rent Windows Media-based files for a recurring fee, after which you can play or sync the files, depending on the service.

sync partnership

The set of rules on a computer and a portable device that allow digital media files and other information to be synchronized. Also known as a relationship.


In Windows Media Player, the process of maintaining digital media files on a portable device based on the rules in a partnership or actions specified by the user. This may require copying digital media files from a computer to a device, updating information on the device, or deleting files from the device.

Synchronized Accessible Media Interchange (SAMI)

An XML-based language for specifying closed captions in multiple languages and styles.


A portion of an XML file designated by a pair of angle brackets and the information between them that identifies an element and any of its attributes.


See definition for: Transmission Control Protocol (TCP)


The part of a slider control that can be moved to set the slider position.


A small text box usually containing help information that pops up when a mouse pointer hovers over a control.


An individual song or other discrete piece of audio content.

Transmission Control Protocol (TCP)

The protocol within TCP/IP that governs the breakup of data messages into packets to be sent via IP, and the reassembly and verification of the complete messages from packets received by IP.

Uniform Resource Locator (URL)

The address of a resource on a network. It conforms to the protocol://servername/resource syntax, where protocol is the name of the protocol used (such as http), servername is the name of the server, and resource is the directory path and file name of the resource. If a resource is not specified, a default one is often provided by the server.


See definition for: Uniform Resource Locator (URL)

User Datagram Protocol (UDP)

A connectionless transport protocol in the TCP/IP protocol stack that is used in cases where some packet loss is acceptable, for example, with digital media streams.


In Windows Media Player, a graphical display that changes in response to the audio signal.

Windows Media client

The ActiveX control called Windows Media Player that receives and renders content from Windows Media server components. The client can be on either the same computer as the server, or another computer.

Windows Media file

A file that contains audio, video, or script data. The content of the file is encoded with one of the Windows Media codecs.

Windows Media Format

The format of a digital media file or stream that was encoded with Windows Media codecs.

Windows Media metafile

In Windows Media technologies, a file that provides information about Windows Media files and their presentation. File name extensions for Windows Media metafiles include .asx, .wax, .wvx, .wmx, and .nsc.


See definition for: Extensible Markup Language (XML)