Windows Media Player Review & Use Guide

Windows Media Player Review & Use Guide

/ Andrew Holdeman

The word content can mean various things depending on the subject at hand. In this case, it’s focused on media and what an optimized media player can provide for you. Even if you’re familiar with editing video files, the process of downloading or transferring them is imperative, making it worth your time to look into media software.

Utilizing Windows Media player for multimedia files will be helpful when trying to avoid potentially malicious file formats. Not only will Windows users acknowledge the media player’s additional tools, but they will also come to see that there isn’t any unwanted bundled software after installation.

Windows Media Player

Windows Media Player is free media player software made by Microsoft. Its main functions consist of viewing video files and images and playing audio files on a Windows-based operating system.

Examples consist of downloading free videos off of YouTube and playing free movies. However, it doesn’t only consist of online features. You can edit and install video and audio files with offline viewing on flash drives, Blu-Ray audio CDs, or off of any media library on portable devices.

Key interactive features with an offline interface include ripping and burning CDs. The optional part to rip means that you are extracting data or audio from a disc, while burning means quite literally that you are burning (creating) content on a disc.

How to Download Windows Media Player

Windows Media Player is a free program for Windows computers and open-source software. Open source software allows anybody to view updates and all version history of the program.

To install Windows Media Player, you’ll want to navigate to your Windows 10 home page. In the bottom left of the screen, you need to right-click the icon for “Windows.”

windows settings

Next, you will be presented with the settings screen, giving you access to the program’s key features. Find the option that says “apps” and click it. This will then take you to the “Apps and Features” page.

Once you arrive, select “Manage Optional Features” towards the middle of the page.

application settings
apps and features 1

That new screen will appear when you click, showing you a list of application files. You will then scroll down until you find Windows Media Player. Once clicking it, a brief description and an install button will appear. When you use the install button, the app will disappear and reappear at the top of the list showing a bar for the installation file process.

After completing the installation file, you can safely exit the Apps and Features page and the settings page. Once you’re back at the Windows home screen, you will click the Windows icon at the bottom left of the screen. All apps, games, and PC tools should pop up, with Windows Media Player at the top of the list.

add a feature 1
manage optional features
windows media player

Windows Media Player will start automatically and perform on its latest version.

What is the Best Media Player Software?

Most media players operate at the same speed and have the same features—the ability to watch movies with or without DVD playback. The optional features to play video or music file formats that you’d usually see on mobile phones and TVs are made easy to view on your computer.

The most significant issues that many users see with Windows Media Player are that it hasn’t been updated since Windows 7 and that the program is limited to Windows platforms only. This becomes a deal breaker for people who own multiple types of devices. Live streaming and podcasting are standard features with media player utilities that, unfortunately, aren’t a tool with Windows Media Player.

WMP also does not have a frequently reviewed music store, which makes it difficult to download or play new music.

With the software not being updated for so long, it seems unlikely we’ll see Windows Media Player 13.

What Operating System do I need?

For Windows Media Player, you guessed it; you will need any operating system that supports Windows 10. It’s also capable of being installed into previous versions of Windows, like 8.1 and 7.

windows based devices

What File Formats does Windows Media Player Support?

Aside from updates and modern new features, users steered away from Windows Media Player because it did not support many different media formats. However, the last update changed this capability. Now the software supports various formats such as MOV, XviD, AVI, DivX, AAC, or WMV. Another tool in the update enabled the media player not to have to use codecs to play any files.

Are there any tool changes between Windows 7-10?

Every feature offered by the player for Windows 10 is capable of being utilized on Windows 7. The biggest obstacles, in this case, are hardware and making sure your PC is as up-to-date as possible. An out-of-date device can lead to significant differences in how your software utilizes your system’s tools, such as the ability to play movies on DVD or CD-based games.

Playing music or any basic audio will require little update checks for users whenever using any free media player.

Can I use Windows Media Player on Mac?

You can operate the Windows Media Player on Apple systems like cross-platform software. There are two different ways to install it. You can access Windows Media Player through third-party applications on the internet, such as Flip4Mac and VLC media player.

The other optional way to operate Windows Media Player on Mac is using Parallels Desktop.

Parallels Desktop is a popular, fast, integrated app that allows users to integrate Microsoft and Windows software on Apple operating systems. The Microsoft advanced features used on media files would perform the same way as a Windows operating system or computer.

You can also easily play videos and audio with the same quality after downloading WMP to your Mac PC.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can Windows Media Player play DVDs?

Yes, a Media Player can play DVDs, Gaming CDs, and even record videos from flash drives and memory cards, and it will operate the same way even when WMP is downloaded to an Apple-based system.

Does Windows 11 still have Windows Media Player?

Yes, Media Player for Windows is still operable on Windows 10 and 11, though you may still use other media player platforms that support more features.

How do I open Video files in Windows Media Player?

Once you have updated your desktop to utilize Windows Media Player as your primary media player, you can go to your files and right-click any video, image, or recording. You can select “open” with Windows Media Player upon the options given.

What is the default Media Player for Windows 10?

Windows Media player is still an option seen by users when looking at uninstalled apps and features, but for Windows 10, the “Movies and TV” app is the current default media player app.

Andrew Holdeman
Meet the author

Andrew is highly experienced with many writing platforms and automation systems. He has spent over 6 years sculpting content and troubleshooting for various companies. He also enjoys to spend time with his family and his fiancé, while pursuing a thriving and active lifestyle.