Tag Archives: wmp

Open Source Media Player Alternatives

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This live call involved a gentleman asking me for a good free alternative to Windows Media Player. He’s had a lot of trouble using WMP, and doesn’t really like it.

The chat room immediately went nuts on this request, yelling (typing, of course) out names of various media players. Everyone has their favorites, it seems. My first suggestion is VLC, and the other one is MPlayer. Both of them are free, and work very well. In fact, the new Google Video player is based on VLC.

MPlayer is a movie player which runs on many systems. It plays most MPEG/VOB, AVI, Ogg/OGM, VIVO, ASF/WMA/WMV, QT/MOV/MP4, RealMedia, Matroska, NUT, NuppelVideo, FLI, YUV4MPEG, FILM, RoQ, PVA files, supported by many native, XAnim, and Win32 DLL codecs. You can watch VideoCD, SVCD, DVD, 3ivx, DivX 3/4/5 and even WMV movies.

VLC media player is a highly portable multimedia player for various audio and video formats (MPEG-1, MPEG-2, MPEG-4, DivX, mp3, ogg, …) as well as DVDs, VCDs, and various streaming protocols. It can also be used as a server to stream in unicast or multicast in IPv4 or IPv6 on a high-bandwidth network.

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Customizing Windows Media Player


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http://live.pirillo.com/ – Have you recently updated Windows Media Player? Are all your icons now different looking and you hate it? I’ll show you an easy way to change that, without reverting back to an older version.

If you are in Library view within Windows Media Player 11, you’ll see the search box on the left. Next to that is a small icon with four small colored squares inside of that. Clicking on those squares will change the view you see. If you hate the new Album Cover view, you can change that to List or Tile, with the click of the mouse. You can also sort the icons easily by clicking on the up or down arrow at the top of any column.

If you don’t like the default columns, or want to add something, right click on any column heading. There, you can then add or take away specific columns. Customizing Windows Media Player is actually a very simple matter, thus no having to revert to an older version.

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Microsoft's Zune Competes with Microsoft

I don’t get it. Should I be using Napster, URGE, or Zune? Should I be using the Clix or the Zune? Should I be using Windows Media Player 11 or the Zune Marketplace software? There are too many choices, many of which are not interoperable, coming to me from the same company: Microsoft. Instead of simplifying the market, they’ve made it slightly more complicated with Zune (and likely pissed off countless partners in the process).

So, on one hand, I’m being told that URGE in combo with WMP is the way to go. On the other hand, I’m being told that Zune is the way to go (hardware, software, subscription) is the way to go. I certainly appreciate that there’s somewhat of a unified experience with Zune, but… now I have one more subscription to worry about… one more piece of software to worry about… and yet more choices that seem to completely nullify earlier efforts of Microsoft (itself) and its partners.

That I can see, there’s no clear cross-over between the Zune and Windows Media Center, for me to take my recorded shows on the go (since the Zune plays video). There’s no interaction with any other Microsoft product other than Windows. There’s no path to personalized media (podcasting, DVD ripping, etc.). In the interviews I’ve read, all of this is by design.

It’s almost like Microsoft is competing with itself – like it’s taking a mulligan on all earlier efforts in the digital media space.

Windows Media DRM is Corrupted

So, I’m getting ready for a trip to Colorado Springs for my future brother-in-law’s nuptuals. I figured I’d give the Clix a shot with Urge. I fire up the Windows Media Player and… blammo:

Your Windows Media DRM is Corrupted

“Your Windows Media DRM is Corrupted.” *sigh* I love DRM. It’s awesome. DRM is teh shiz. I want to make love to DRM, it’s so sexy. DRM is the ultimate. Give me more DRM. I want to spread DRM on my toast in the morning. I need DRM in my life.