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I was at a friend's place when I got an excited call from a colleague: he gushed, "WMP 11 is here!" I wasted no time in getting online and starting the download. It refused to install because my friend, like so many of us, has a pirated version of XP Professional. A quick lecture about the wrongs of piracy later, I headed home to get what I was hoping would finally be competition for Apple's iTunes.
My "broadband" connection at home had decided to play truant the previous day, so it was only when I got to work that I could complete the download and installation of WMP 11. Nothing different here-it looked and felt exactly like the WMP 10 installation, until I came across the option to sign up for URGE. Reassured that this was indeed WMP 11, I skipped the URGE sign-up and finished the installation. URGE, if you missed out on the news, is a tie-up between Microsoft and MTV which aims to do just what iTunes has done to the world of online music.
"So pretty!" were the first words a female colleague who passed my desk when she had a passing look at my monitor. I have to agree, though not in those same words. The interface somehow manages to look fresh, while still providing you with the familiarity of the older WMP interfaces-much unlike what Microsoft did with their Office suite!
Managed to accumulate a large number of MP3s from my friends-quite illegally! Before you send the cops after me, I should tell you that I did this as a test, and have since deleted all of them. I scattered the collection across four partitions and various folder levels, and then had WMP 11 search all my drives for media. In earlier versions this would take ages; WMP 11 took about five minutes to find almost 20,000 files including music, pictures, and videos.
"Where's the setting that lets me add a song to the Now Playing List by double-clicking it?"
Older versions of WMP would allow you to choose what would happen when you double-clicked a song in the Library-it would either play that song, or if you had set it up that way, it would add the song to the queue in the Now Playing List. Being so used to the previous versions, I happened to queue up 47 songs, and then accidentally double-clicked the 48th song I wanted to add to the playlist. The result? Just one song in the playlist…go back and add the first 47 all over again! I aged a year in one day!
Someone sat at my computer and turned on visualisations. I always hated those, but WMP 11 has some new ones, and they're not half bad!
Minor glitches aside, WMP 11 is a pleasure to use. It's fast, good looking, comes with URGE, and has syncing capabilities-very useful for those with portable digital audio players.
UninstalledWMP11today.Thedouble-click-plays-now-instead-of-queuing-songs irritant finally got to me! For now, it's back to WMP 10. If and when I get the time to hack my Registry, and if I find the offensive key that causes this major irritant, I will re-install it in a flash. All else taken into account, this is the best version of WMP yet.