Windows Media Player 11 starts to play

Microsoft has announced the availability of Windows Media Player 11, focusing on device compatibility and search features.

Windows Media Player 11 starts to play

Billed as the ‘most-used media player in the world’, Microsoft claims that with WMP11 you can access music ‘faster than on any other media player’.

Real-time search facilities hone in on the sought-after music as the user types, and is entirely scalable, being as fast searching the tracks within an album as it is searching through the millions of tracks on the MTV URGE venture.

Microsoft is also keen to point out the ease with which you can pass content between devices. With the upcoming Microsoft Zune launch and its associated music service, its partners will want to see efforts to expand how WMP works with their devices. Microsoft claims support for more than 200 devices through the new software, as well as hundreds of online music and video services and radio stations.

It also offers a nod to the Web 2.0 movement, with technologies to blur the line between the local and online experience. Drag and drop lets you build playlists easily no matter where the content is located, and there are now both sync and reverse sync options.

For tracks that have been ripped without any information, Microsoft claims WMP11 will use ‘audio fingerprinting’ to import the necessary information and append it to the file.

There is support for more formats, including Windows Media Audio Professional and WAV lossless.

‘Windows Media Player 11 is the first media player to be truly designed with the digital entertainment lover in mind,’ said Mike Sievert, corporate VP of Windows at Microsoft. ‘The fresh, exciting new look, the ability to find songs and videos in an instant, and the enhanced capabilities for syncing with portable devices are not only exactly what customers have asked us for, they’re also a preview of what’s to come in Windows Vista.’

The new version is available from the Microsoft website.

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