Microsoft KB Archive/314571

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Article ID: 314571

Article Last Modified on 8/7/2007


  • Microsoft Windows Media Player 7.0

This article was previously published under Q314571


The information covered in this article is provided by: Microsoft Press.

This article is part 1 of a series of four articles. Part 1 explains how to play a Media Player file. To view the remaining articles in the series, click the link to the topic you want to view:

This information is an excerpt from the Microsoft Windows Media Player 7 Handbook book, "Chapter 2: How Does the Player Work". Learn More About Microsoft Windows Media Player 7 Handbook.


In this chapter you'll learn how to operate Windows Media Player 7. You'll see how to play files, use the buttons to navigate, change the settings, use the menus, and switch to different views and modes. You'll also be shown how to find files on the Internet, copy music from CDs, and use playlists.

Playing a file in only three steps

Playing music or video on the Player is a simple 1-2-3 process:

  1. Go to the Now Playing view.
  2. Pick a song from a playlist and click the song title.
  3. Then click the Play button to begin playing.

The three steps to playing a song are shown below in more detail.

Step 1: Start with the full mode Player

When you start Windows Media Player 7 for the first time, and you are connected to the Internet, you should see the full mode Player in the Media Guide view. Figure 2.1a shows a typical Media Guide view.

[[File:../gfx/mspresspilot_mediaplayer7_mediaguideview.gif|[GRAPHIC: Picture of Typical Media Guide View]]]
Figure 2.1a: Full mode Player in Media Guide view with Internet connection.

The Media Guide is a Web site that gives you a doorway into the world of audio and video on the Internet. The contents change nearly every day, giving you new audio and video selections, current entertainment news, and free downloads.

If you are not connected to the Internet, you'll see a screen similar to Figure 2.1b.

[[File:../gfx/mspresspilot_mediaplayer7_mediaguideviewnointernet.gif|[GRAPHIC: Picture of Media Guide View Without an Internet Connection]]]
Figure 2.1b: Media Guide view without an Internet connection.

You can now get started using Windows Media Player. Click Now Playing on the left side of the full mode Player. You should see a view similar to Figure 2.2.

[[File:../gfx/mspresspilot_mediaplayer7_nowplayingfullmode.gif|[GRAPHIC: Picture of Windows Media Player in Full Mode in the Now Playing View]]]
Figure 2.2: Windows Media Player in full mode in the Now Playing view.

If you don't see something like Figure 2.2, you're probably looking at a skin. A skin may have been loaded by the last person to use the Player; you won't be able to see the Now Playing view when a skin is running. If you are viewing a skin, you will want to return to the full mode of Windows Media Player.

Windows Media Player comes in two modes: full mode and compact mode. The compact mode is used to display skins, and the full mode displays the standard Player. To return to full mode from any skin, right-click anywhere on the skin and then click Return to Full Mode on the shortcut menu that appears.

The full mode has several different views it can display. Right now, all you want to do is play a file, so click Now Playing at the left side of the full mode Player. You should now see something that looks close to Figure 2.2. You probably will have a different visualization or a different playlist loaded on your computer, but you're ready to start.

Step 2: Choose a song

There are several ways to choose a file to play, but the easiest way is to use a playlist. Playlists will be covered in greater detail later in this series of articles, but to get you started, use the playlist that should be visible on the right side of the Now Playing view.

Figure 2.3 shows a Now Playing view with a playlist named "All Audio" that contains all the songs that the Player has information about. The third song, "Laure", is selected and playing. You can double-click any item in the playlist to start playing that item.

[[File:../gfx/mspresspilot_mediaplayer7_playlist.gif|[GRAPHIC: Picture of a Playlist with More Than One Item]]]
Figure 2.3: A playlist with more than one item.

You can learn more about using playlists later in this series of articles. There are other ways to choose audio and video files as well, and they will also be covered in this series of articles.

Step 3: Click Play

Now that you've selected a song title, click the Play button. It looks like an arrow that is pointing to the right. You can see it in Figure 2.4.

[[File:../gfx/mspresspilot_mediaplayer7_playbutton.gif|[GRAPHIC: Picture of the Play Button of the Full Mode Player]]]
Figure 2.4: The Play button of the full mode Player.

When you click the Play button, two things happen. The music starts playing and the button changes. The button now looks like Figure 2.5.

[[File:../gfx/mspresspilot_mediaplayer7_pausebutton.gif|[GRAPHIC: Picture of the Pause Button of the Full Mode Player]]]
Figure 2.5: The Pause button of the full mode Player.

This new button is the Pause button. Any time you want to stop the Player, just click the Pause button. That will stop the music playing and change the Pause button back to a Play button.


The information in this article is an excerpt from the Microsoft Windows Media Player 7 Handbook book, published by Microsoft Press.

[[File:../gfx/mspresspilot_mediaplayer7_handbook.gif|[GRAPHIC: Picture of Windows Media Player Handbook]]][1]

Learn More About Microsoft Windows Media Player 7 Handbook

For more information about this publication and other Microsoft Press titles, see

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