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====Windows Media Player 6.1 Released with Windows 98 Second Edition the multimedia player that had been part of the Windows operating system for many years now had a name,Windows Media Player. Windows Media Player now allowed Microsoft to grow a stable and expandable media software which would improve the user's interaction with media they had on their PC's Windows Media Player 6.1 now allowed users to play back the MP3 format, which was very widely used at the time. If you wanted to see how this version looked you can still access the very first edition of Windows Media Player on your Windows machine simply go to the Start menu, clicking run and then typing:====


==== This is still used by some users when they have compatibility issues, I recommend you try this player to play the files that may not work on Windows Media Player 9 or above, it doesn't always work but is worth a try Windows Media Player (abbreviated WMP) is a proprietary digital media player and media library application developed by Microsoft that is used for playing audio, video and viewing images on personal computers running the Microsoft Windows operating system, as well as on Pocket PC and Windows Mobile-based devices. Editions of Windows Media Player were also released for Mac OS, Mac OS X and Solaris but development of these has since been discontinued. In addition to being a media player, Windows Media Player includes the ability to rip music from and copy music to compact discs, burn recordable discs in Audio CD format or as data discs with playlists such as an MP3 CD, synchronize content with a digital audio player (MP3 player) or other mobile devices, and enable users to purchase or rent music from a number of online music stores. Windows Media Player replaced an earlier application called Media Player, adding features beyond simple video or audio playback. Windows Media Player 12 is the most recent version of Windows Media Player as of July 2009. It was released on July 22, 2009[3] along with Windows 7 and has not been released for previous versions of Windows. Windows Media Player 11 is available for Windows XP and included in Windows Vista and Windows Server 2008. The default file formats are Windows Media Video (WMV), Windows Media Audio (WMA), and Advanced Systems Format (ASF), and its own XML based playlist format called Windows Playlist (WPL). The player is also able to utilize a digital rights management service in the form of Windows Media DRM. Microsoft Windows has had a media player since 1991, when Windows 3.0 with MultiMedia Extensions was released. This version of Windows, which was included with "Multimedia PC"-compatible machines but not available for retail sale, included the Media Player application, was capable of playing .mmm animation files, and could be extended to support other formats.[6] It used MCI to handle media files. In November of the following year, Video for Windows was introduced with the ability to play digital video files in an AVI container format, with codec support for RLE and Video1, and support for playing uncompressed files. Indeo 3.2 was added in a later release. Video for Windows was first available as a free add-on to Windows 3.1, and later integrated into Windows 95 and Windows NT 4.0. In 1996 Microsoft released ActiveMovie, a replacement for Video for Windows that incorporates a new way of dealing with media files, and adds support for streaming media (which the original Media Player couldn't handle). ActiveMovie was renamed to DirectShow in 1996, and a new Media Player was created, known internally as Media Player All versions branded Windows Media Player (instead of simply Media Player) support DirectShow codecs. Version 6.4 was included with Windows Me, Windows 2000 and Windows XP, but was dropped in Windows Vista. Windows Media Player version 7 was a large revamp, first included with Windows Me with a new user interface, visualizations and increased functionality. Beginning with Windows Vista, Windows Media Player supports the Media Foundation framework besides DirectShow; as such it plays certain types of media using Media Foundation as well as some types of media using DirectShow. Windows Media Player 11 features many changes. The Media Library no longer presents the media items (such as albums and artists) in a tree-based listing. Rather, on selecting the category in the left panel, the contents will appear on the right, in a graphical manner with thumbnails featuring album art or other art depicting the item—a departure from textual presentation of information. The navigation pane can be customized for each library to show the user selected media or metadata categories. Missing album art can be added directly to the placeholders in the Library itself (though the program re-renders all album art imported this way into 1x1 pixel ratio, 200x200 resolution jpegs). There are separate Tiles, Icons, Details or Extended Tiles views for Music, Pictures, Video and Recorded TV which can be set individually from the navigation bar. Entries for Pictures and Video show their thumbnails. Windows Media Player 11 also includes the Windows Media Format 11 runtime which adds low bitrate support (below 128 kbit/s for WMA Pro), support for ripping music to WMA Pro 10 and updates the original WMA to version 9.2. Other features include: Instant Search - Searches and displays results as characters are being entered, without waiting for Enter key to be hit. Incremental search results are refined based on further characters that are typed.

   Improved synchronization features for loading content onto PlaysForSure-compatible portable players. WMP 11 supports reverse-synchronization, by which media present on the portable device can be replicated back to the PC.
   Support for ripping audio CDs to WAV and WMA 10 Pro formats.
   Media Sharing (via Windows Media Connect) allows content (Music, Pictures, Video) to be streamed to and from Universal Plug and Play (UPnP) AV enabled devices such as the PS3, Xbox 360, and Roku SoundBridge. This includes DRM protected PlaysForSure content. WMP 11 on Windows Vista can also connect to remote media libraries using this feature; this is not available on the Windows XP version.
   Disc spanning splits a burn list onto multiple discs in case the content does not fit on one disc.
   Portable devices appear in the navigation pane of the library where their content can be browsed and searched.
   Shuffle Sync to randomize content synced with the portable device, Multi PC Sync to synchronize portable device content across multiple PCs and Guest Sync to synchronize different content from multiple PCs with the portable device.
   The List pane includes an option to prompt the user to remove items skipped in a playlist upon save or skip them only during playback.
   CD Burning - CD Burning now shows a graphical bar showing how much space will be used on the disc.
   Stacking - Stacking allows graphical representations of how many albums there are in a specific category or folder. The pile appears larger as the category contains more albums.
   Global Status - Global status shows a broad overview of what the player is doing. The information presented includes status information regarding buffering, ripping, burning and synchronization.

Microsoft has also released versions of Windows Media Player for other platforms including Windows Mobile, Mac OS, Mac OS X, Palm-size PC, Handheld PC, and Solaris. Of these, only the Windows Mobile edition continues to be actively developed and supported by Microsoft. Version 1 of the Zune software was also based on Windows Media Player, later versions are not. Windows Media Player for Pocket PC was first announced on January 6, 2000, and has been revised on a schedule roughly similar to that of the Windows version.21 Currently known as "Media Player 10 Mobile", this edition (released in October 2004) closely resembles the capabilities of the Windows version of WMP 10, including playlist capabilities, a media library, album art, WMA Lossless playback, support for DRM-protected media, video playback at 640x480 with stereo sound, and the same Energy Blue interface aesthetics also seen in recent versions of Windows XP Media Center Edition. It also supports synchronization with the desktop version of WMP 10, and additionally supports synchronizing and transcoding of recorded television shows from Media Center. Media Player 10 Mobile is not available as a download from Microsoft; distribution is done solely through OEM partners, and is typically included on devices based on Windows Mobile. Windows Mobile 6 includes a copy of Windows Media Player 10 Mobile, but with a similar (but not quite identical) theme as Windows Media Player 11. A portable media player (PMP) or digital audio player, (DAP) is a consumer electronics device that is capable of storing and playing digital media such as audio, images, video, documents, etc. the data is typically stored on a hard drive, microdrive, or flash memory. In contrast, analog portable audio players play music from cassette tapes, or records. Often digital audio players are sold as MP3 players, even if they support other file formats. Other types of electronic devices like cellphones, internet tablets, and digital cameras are sometimes referred as PMPs because of their playback capabilities. This article however focuses on portable devices that have the main function of playing media. The world's first company to announce a portable MP3 player and the attendant system for uploading MP3 audio content to a personal computer and then downloading it onto a personal MP3 player was Audio Highway. Under the direction of founder and CEO, Nathan Schulhof, Audio Highway announced its Listen Up player on September 23, 1996, won an Innovations Award for its Listen Up player and its Listen Up Personal Audio System at the Consumer Electronics Show in January 1997, and began shipping the Listen Up player in the United States in September 1997. The Listen Up player also won a People's Choice Award[8] at the 2nd annual Internet Showcase conference, held Jan. 30, 1998. The device was not mass-produced; only about 25 units were made. As the lead inventor on three U.S. patents, as well as co-inventor on another U.S. patent, Schulhof is sometimes referred to as "the father of the MP3 player industry." Most audio formats use lossy compression, to produce as small as possible a file compatible with the desired sound quality. There is a trade-off between size and sound quality of lossily compressed files; most formats allow different combinations—e.g., MP3 files may use between 32 (worst) and 320 (best) kilobits per second. Different lossy formats may give files of different sizes for the same perceived quality. The formats supported by a particular DAP depend upon its firmware; sometimes a firmware update adds more formats. To listen to a file on a player, it must be in a supported format; format conversion on a computer is usually possible, but with loss of quality. MP3 is the dominant format, and is almost universally supported.[26] It is a proprietary format; manufacturers must pay a small royalty to be allowed to support it[citation needed]. The main proprietary alternative formats are AAC and WMA. Unlike MP3, these formats support DRM restrictions that are often enforced by files from paid download services. Free formats, which do not require manufacturers or music distributors to pay a fee, are available, though less widely supported. Examples include Ogg Vorbis, FLAC, and Speex. Most players can also play uncompressed PCM in a container such as WAV or AIFF. PMPs are usually packaged with an installation CD/DVD that inserts device drivers (and for some players, software that is capable of seamlessly transferring files between the player and the computer). For recent players, however, these are usually available online via the manufacturers' websites, or natively recognized by the operating system through Universal Mass Storage (UMS) or Media Transfer Protocol (MTP).

Although these issues are not usually controversial within digital audio players, they are matters of continuing controversy and litigation, including but not limited to content distribution and protection, and digital rights management (DRM).

Lawsuit with RIAA

The Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) filed a lawsuit in late 1998 against Diamond Multimedia for its Rio players,[17][28] alleging that the device encouraged copying music illegally. But Diamond won a legal victory on the shoulders of the Sony Corp. v. Universal City Studios case and DAPs were legally ruled as electronic devices.

Risk of hearing damage

According to SCENIHR, the risk of hearing damage from digital audio players depends on both sound level and listening time. The listening habits of most users are unlikely to cause hearing loss, but some people are putting their hearing at risk, because they set the volume control very high or listen to music at high levels for many hours per day. Such listening habits may result in temporary or permanent hearing loss, tinnitus, and difficulties understanding speech in noisy environments

Alternative methods to reduce risk Much of the risk of hearing loss is largely associated to the fact that many use headphones with the devices, and that they consider them personal devices instead of stereo system components. If a digital audio player is connected via its TRS connector to a separate amplification device like a bookshelf stereo or car head-unit, then the output can be via speakers rather than a headphone.

The term “digital audio player” most commonly refers to “portable music players that use nonremovable, erasable digital media instead of removable media as a means for storing and playing digital music recordings” (Holmes 2006). It is a major transformation for the recording industry, since removable media had long been the standard method for recording sound, from the first tinfoil and cardboard cylinders of early phonographs, to shellac and vinyl resin long-play records, to coated magnetic tape and polycarbonate-covered aluminum film discs. While early digital music lived up to the music industry’s concern of piracy, recent years have seen an explosion of digital music use as computer software and audio compression formats have made music and digital audio players both extremely portable, and extremely fashionable. NTRODUCTION TO FAMOUS MEDIA PLAYERS====


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