Learning Windows 7: Manage Your Music with Windows Media Player

By Brian Burgess on January 12th, 2010

If you’re moving from XP to Windows 7, you’ll notice that Windows Media Player 12 is a different than previous versions. Today we will take you through the process of managing your music collection in Windows 7 with Windows Media Player, and look at some of the new features.

Windows Media Player

If you want to keep music management simple, and not having to install extra software, using Window Media Player (WMP) will work just fine. In windows 7 it’s version 12 which is laid out differently, and has more options than previous versions you might be used to. It is a full-featured media player that will let you play music, rip and burn CD’s, copy, tag, rate, organize, and manage most of your media files. The first time you launch WMP, the easiest way to get it rolling is to go with the Recommended Settings. This will make it your default program for all of your music and video. If you’re more experienced, you can certainly use custom settings, but Recommended Settings is easy, and you can change settings at a later time.

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After choosing Recommended Settings and clicking Finish, the player opens up showing a list of a few sample music selections.

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Play and Rip a Music CD

There are several ways to accomplish the same task in WMP, but here we will take a look at a series of steps that will allow you to listen to a CD and Rip it to your library as well. To play a CD just pop it in the drive and WMP will read the data, present the songs, and provide cover art. You can control the playback and volume from the controls on the bottom.

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Hover over the WMP app launcher on the Taskbar and you can easily control playback.

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Click on the Now Playing icon in the corner of WMP to switch to switch to see the album or song playing.

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You can resize it and still control playback and access other options. From the Now Playing mode you can click on the icon to Rip the CD into your library.

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This is a cool option because you can continue to listen to the CD while the ripping process completes. If you want to stop it for any reason just click on the Stop rip icon.

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If you want to see the progress of the ripping process, click on Switch to Library.

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The Library View opens and you can monitor the ripping process and manage other functions and features in the player.

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After the ripping process is complete, you will see the album and artwork in the Library and start rating songs.

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After ripping songs from CD you can find them in the My Music folder.

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Burn CD’s

Burning CD’s is a simple and straightforward process…just click on the Burn tab on the upper right side in Library view. Pop in a blank CD and drag the songs or album over that you want to burn.

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After you have the tracks you want to burn listed, click on the Start burn button.

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Burning progress is shown during the process and you can cancel the burn if you need to.

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Listen to Internet Radio

You can also listen to online radio stations with WMP. Just click on the Media Guide button to pull it up.

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Then at the top click on the Internet Radio Link.

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Then browse through different genres of music or search for specific stations that broadcast over the net.

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Sync your Portable Music Player

To put music on your portable music player, click on the Sync tab and plug in your mp3 player. Drag the tunes over that you want to add, then click on Start Sync. In this example we’re putting some music we just ripped onto a Creative Zen.

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Purchase Music

Through the Media Guide you can access different online stores to purchase your music from the Digital Media Mall.

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Stream Music

Another neat feature is being able to stream your music to other computers on your home network. Rather than get into the details here, head over to our article on how to Stream Media to Other Computers on a Home Network with Windows 7.

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Conclusion

This guide should get you started using Windows Media Player to handle your music needs. Again, there are many ways you can go about performing different tasks in WMP, and you’ll need to play around with it until you find what works for you. You can also use WMP to watch DVD’s and video files and we’ll take a look at that in a future post. If you want a quick and easy way to listen to music, Burn and Rip CD’s, and sync your portable media player, Windows Media Player 12 in Windows 7 lets you get the job done without having to install any additional software.

Brian Burgess worked in IT for 10 years before pursuing his passion for writing. He's been a tech blogger and journalist for the past seven years, and can be found on his about me page or Google+

  • Published 01/12/10
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