How to use Windows Media Player.
Windows Media Player has been around for many years. Now in its 12th version, it still has a lot to offer when it comes to listening to music on your PC.
Windows Media Player (or just Media Player or simply WMP) Is already installed and ready to go on most versions of Windows 10. So why not use it?
In this guide we'll look at playing music, adding music folders to your library, playing music from audio CDs, creating playlists and finally, how to install WMP if you haven't got it on your PC..
How to play music using Windows Media Player.
Open Windows Media Player by clicking the START button and then typing -
windows media player
Click Windows Media Player at the top of the list.
If this is the first time you've search for a program or app like this, then don't worry about there not being a box to type into. One will appear as soon as you start typing.
Just click START, then type - "windows media player"
I know it's weird the first time you do it, but it works.
Windows Media Player isn't installed on all computers.
If your search results look something like this, and when you click on the entry nothing happens, them WMP probably isn't installed.
Click this link to scroll to the bottom of this page to see how to Install Windows Media Player on Windows 10.
If this is the first time you've used Windows Media Player, you'll see the "Welcome to Windows Media Player" settings screen.
Click the RECOMMENDED SETTINGS option and then click the FINISH button.
After that Media Player will open. The first thing it does is to scan your computer for music files.
How long this takes will depend on how much music you've got on your computer and the speed of your machine. But it shouldn't take too long.
If it's not already selected, click the Music button in the left pane.
In the right hand panel, you'll see all the music that you have in your Music folder.
To play any particular song simply double left click on it.
To play more than one song, you'll first have to tell Media Player which songs to play. You do this by selecting multiple tracks.
Hold down the CTRL (control) key on the keyboard (bottom left corner of the keyboard).
Then single left-click on each song you want Media Player to play.
Each track that you select will become highlighted.
When you've finished selecting the songs, click the PLAY button and Media Player will play all the songs that you selected.
If you can't see all your music in Windows Media Player.
By default, Windows Media Player scans your Music folder for music tracks.
But you could have music elsewhere on your computer. You could have music in folders on your Desktop, in your Downloads folder or anywhere else.
If that's the case, then you've got two options.
Firstly you could move your audio files into your Music folder. In which case, Media Player will then detect it.
Or secondly, you can tell Media Player which other folders to scan for audio files.
If you want Media Player to scan other folders for music files, such as on your Desktop, or in the Downloads folder.
Click the ORGANISE button in the top left corner, then on the menu, put your pointer on MANAGE LIBRARIES.
Another menu will open, click MUSIC.
The Music Library Locations window will open.
You will need to add the other folders or locations to the music library.
So click the ADD button.
The "Include Folder in Music" window will open. This is basically File Explorer which allows you to navigate to the folder that you want Media Player to check for audio files.
If you're not sure about using File Explorer check out this guide Windows File Explorer
In the left-hand pane, scroll up or down to find your user folder that has your music (such as Desktop, Downloads etc) and then left-click it once.
In this example, I've got a folder on my Desktop that I'd like to include in the library. So I'd left-click on Desktop.
In the right-hand pane, find the folder that you want to be included in Windows Media Players' library.
When you've found it, left-click it once and then click the INCLUDE FOLDER button.
Windows media player will search the files or folders specified and add any music tracks it finds to your library.
The folder you specified will be added to Windows Media Player's library.
If you want to add another folder, click the ADD button and continue adding folders/locations.
If you're done, click the OK button.
Play music directly from audio CD or USB drive.
You can, of course, play your music directly from a regular old audio CD, assuming your computer has a CD/DVD drive.
Or if you've got music stored on a USB drive, you can use that.
With the audio CD loaded into the CD drive, you'll see it appear in the left-hand panel of Media Player.
Usually, what you'll see is the name of the audio CD and the drive's letter.
Left-click once on the CD in the left panel and the contents will appear in the centre panel.
You can play the whole CD by clicking the PLAY button.
Individual tracks by double left-clicking them.
Or select multiple tracks by holding down the CTRL key and then selecting which tracks to play.
Windows Media Player can rip (copy) your audio CDs to your computer. It's easy to do, follow the At Home Computer guide to ripping audio CDs
For a USB drive, find the drive in the left-hand panel.
Then click the small arrowhead beside it to expand the contents of the drive.
With the USB drive expanded, click on the MUSIC option.
Media Player will scan the drive for audio files.
When it's finished, your music will appear in the centre panel and you can play it by clicking the PLAY button.
You can also select multiple tracks, just as you might with an audio CD.
How to set Windows Media Player as the default music player.
Windows 10 comes with two media players installed by default. Windows Media Player and Microsoft Groove Music app.
Generally, the Groove Music app will be set as the default audio player.
Which simply means that when you're browsing your music folders and double left click a track to listen to it.
Then the Groove Music app will open and play your music.
And that's fine. It'll work, you can listen to your music.
But if you'd prefer to have Windows Media Player open and play your music, you'll have to set it as the default music player.
It's very easy to do.
To set Windows Media Player as the default music player in Windows 10, left-click the START button and then type -
default music player
Left-click "Choose a default music player" (System settings) at the top of the list.
The DEFAULT APPS page will open.
In the Music Player options box you'll see the current default player.
Left-click once in the box.
The "Choose an application" pop up menu will open.
Left-click Windows Media Player to set it as the default music player.
From now on, whenever you double left-click an audio file, it will open and play in Windows Media Player.
A playlist is simply a list that tells Windows Media Player which songs to play.
But the best part of playlists is that the songs don't need to be in the same folder. You can add tracks to your playlists from any folder on your computer.
Once you've created a playlist, give it a descriptive name, something like Rainy Day music, Holiday Songs, Party Hits etc and you're set to go.
How to create a playlist in Windows Media Player.
Open Windows Media Player.
If it isn't showing you're music tracks, left-click the MUSIC tab in the left-hand panel.
Scroll through your music tracks until you find one to add to your new playlist.
When you find a track, drag it into the right-hand panel.
To drag and drop a track, put your pointer onto it, then hold down the left-hand mouse button.
Now move your mouse to the right-hand panel and the rack will move with you.
Release the mouse button to drop the song onto the playlist.
To speed things up, you can use the CTRL key on the keyboard to select multiple tracks and then drag them all at once onto the playlist.
Keep adding your music to the playlist until you've added everything you want.
When you've finished adding tracks to your playlist, you'll need to save it.
At the top of the list, you'll see it's as yet an "Unsaved list".
Left click once in the "Unsaved list" box.
Unsaved Playlist becomes highlighted.
Now you can type in anything that you want to name the playlist.
Add or remove tracks from playlists.
Even though you've saved your playlist, that doesn't mean you can't change it.
It's very easy to either add or remove songs from a saved playlist.
To add tracks, double left click on the playlist to load it up.
It'll begin playing.
Left-click once on the MUSIC tab in the left panel.
Now simply drag whichever song you want to add and drop it onto the list.
To remove a song from your playlist, right-click on the track, then, on the menu that appears, left-click REMOVE FROM LIST.
To create a new playlist.
Once you've created a particular playlist, you might want to carry on and create a second or third etc.
To begin creating another playlist, click the CLEAR LIST button.
The previous list will disappear allowing you to start adding tracks for your next playlist.
Place your playlists on Desktop for quick access.
A really great feature about playlists is that you can add shortcuts to them on your Desktop.
So to play your music it's just a quick double left-click.
You don't even need to open Media Player.
To add shortcuts to your playlists onto your Desktop, open Windows Media Player.
Then right-click on one of your saved playlists.
On the menu that appears, left-click OPEN FILE LOCATION.
Your playlist folder will open.
Select the playlist that you want to add to your Desktop.
Right-click on it.
On the menu, move your pointer onto SEND TO.
How to install Windows Media Player.
On some Windows 10 computers, it's possible that you don't actually have Windows Media Player installed.
If you find Media Player isn't on your PC, it's easy to install it.
To install Windows Media Player, right-click the START button.
On the menu that opens, left-click APPS AND FEATURES.
You'll now see a long list of the optional features that are available for Windows 10.
Scroll down the list (very near the bottom) until you find Windows Media Player.
Left-click once in the box beside WMP to select it and then click the INSTALL button.
Please note that you have to place a tick in the box in order to install Windows Media Player.
Media Player will be installed automatically.
You have to restart your computer once the install has finished.
But after that, you should be good to go.
How to pin Windows Media Player to Start and/or Taskbar
If you're using WMP regularly, why not pin it to your Start panel or Taskbar.
Having Windows Media Player pinned to your Start or Taskbar, you can launch it very quickly with just a single left click.
To pin WMP to either START or your Taskbar, or both, left-click the START button type
windows media player.
When WMP appears at the top of the list, right-click on it.
On the menu that appears, left-click either PINT TO START or PIN TO TASKBAR, depending on which option you'd like.