Thursday, May 18, 2006


I downloaded[^] and installed the beta of Windows Media Player 11 today.

Early days yet but I like what I see. The thing I particularly like compared with WMP10 is the search functionality; it narrows the range keystroke by keystroke. Type in a composer name and there are the tracks almost instantly. I found that missing 3rd movement of Scriabin's 3rd Symphony within about 5 seconds. I know it may not work for everyone but it surely does for me and my style of listening.

It also shows you the album cover (if known) in each view against the tracks. Very handy if you're used to handling the physical media; with WMP10 you had to click on the 'More Info' button to display it and half the time it'd take you to an MSN web page that attempted to sell you on music only vaguely related to the item being viewed.

If you're in Artist view and have multiple albums from the one artist it shows not only how many albums but the (approximate) total playing time. You don't want to see the stats[^] against Philip Glass! (But I bet you click anyway) :-)

And they added volume control to the toolbar view! Almost worth the upgrade for that alone!

So, in short, I think WMP11 is a pretty good upgrade from WMP10. It adds some nice new stuff and hasn't, so far as I've discovered with an evenings playing with it, removed anything.

They still insist on calling each track a song but I imagine I'm going to be pretty much in the minority on that point.

The upgrade was painless but strangely, at the office, it wanted to reboot at the end; here at home it didn't. *shrug* The upgrade does what every good upgrade should do; it imports all settings from the previous version that make sense in the context of the new version and it correctly imported my media.

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