Windows Media Player

You can use Windows Media Player—one of the most useful freebie features of Windows XP—to play sounds, play digital movies, or tune in to Internet radio stations. It’s the Grand Central Station for digital music and movies, as well as the junction for your hard drive, CD player, CD burner, MP3 player, and the Internet (from which you can download new music files and movie clips).

In its insatiable quest to dominate the world of digital music and video, Microsoft keeps updating Windows Media Player, usually redesigning it beyond recognition with each update. For example, Windows XP originally came with version 8. Version 10, described in these pages, is infinitely better-looking and more clearly laid out. If you don’t have Windows Media Player 10, you can download it for free from Microsoft’s Web site.

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