Windows Media Player 11 Debuts for Windows XP

Dennis Faas's picture

Microsoft has recently released Windows Media Player 11, the newest installment for Windows XP.

One of the biggest changes is the Media Player's integration with "URGE," MTV Networks' digital music center. URGE's catalog offers more than 110,000 artists and over 2 million songs. Users can query for "instant searches," which easily narrows search results with each entry; they can also sign up to receive streaming content according to their preferences. The integration is one of the ways in which Microsoft hopes to surmount Apple's dominance in the digital music industry. (Source:

Michael Bloom, Vice President of Digital Music at MTV Networks and General Manager of URGE, expressed his satisfaction with the partnership.

"MTV Networks' collaboration with Microsoft on Media Player 11 gives URGE users a fully immersive and integrated music and entertainment experience. Our expertise in music programming and design combined with Microsoft's technology gives music fans the best way to discover and stay connected with the music and artists they love." (Source:

Other additions to Windows Media Player 11 include "shuffle sync" and "reverse sync" features, new shortcuts, dedicated categorical views for music, video and pictures, and audio fingerprinting capabilities which import track information for unidentified and mislabelled audio files. (Source:

Another often-noted improvement is the enhancement of navigation features. Sorting through music collections is now easier, as are most jukebox tasks. Menu options are also more task-oriented. (Source:

Even with improvements abound, many have criticized the new version. Roger Kay, Principal of Endpoint Technologies, has held that Microsoft needs to take a more holistic approach with its Media Player.

"I have noticed when you have all of these features loaded onto a system, it can be a bit much for the consumer," he explained. (Source:

Critic Jim Rapoza shadowed the sentiment, saying that while Windows Media Player 11 is a solid improvement over previous versions, it falls short of other media players on the market. (Source:

While the new Media Player has received its share of criticism from some, others have emphasized its new capabilities and features to confirm its superiority over previous versions. Rather than listening to critics, many users have opted to simply try it out themselves.

If you would like to do the same, visit the Media Player site to download the new version free of charge.

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