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windows media player 11

Ordinarily I don't say too much about software here since the information presented usually goes obsolete a scant few months later, but I'm going to write about this anyway.

Anyone who has Windows XP set to automatically retrieve updates is well aware that Windows Media Player updates itself to version 11. The first thing I did is uninstalled it, or as Microsoft calls it, a "rollback" to version 10. What happens? The auto-updater downloads it again. And again. And again.

So finally I said "fuggit" and let XP use WMP 11 since it wants to be in there so badly.

Note before continuing: iTunes has this exact same problem. I have the latest version of QuickTime installed (and I actually purchased a license for it!) I have the auto-updater turned on to download updates and whatnot. Without fail, that updater will periodically prompt me in no uncertain terms to DOWNLOAD ITUNES! DOWNLOAD ITUNES! DO IT! My answer: NO. So it doesn't matter if you're a Mac person or a Windows person. Both major players annoy you just the same.

Anyway..

My initial impression of WMP 11: I don't like it. Gone is the "light" look in favor of a much darker look. Takes longer to load. Several controls are now in different areas. Bleah, bleah and bleah.

However, I finally found some stuff about it I actually like, with the first one being this:

Yes, this is WMP 11, mini-sized. I really like this. I found out how to do it by accident as I was making the application window smaller. When small enough, it "snaps" to this size and is easily re-sizable back to a larger window again. Cool. This I like. Small, out of the way, and moreover fast.

The second thing I really dig is that full-screen video and visualizations are finally done correctly. No wild'n'stupid monitor resolution changes or any crap like that. Press ALT+Enter and ta-da, full screen without any b.s. involved.

In addition, the controls for full screen are finally done right, too. When you move your mouse, a semi-transparent control display is shown. Leave the mouse alone and it disappears. This is good and they should have done this years ago.

So that's my two cents on that. Enjoy. You're gonna have to anyway if you use XP whether you want to or not. 🙂

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