Pros and Cons
Windows Media Player comes with Windows operating systems such as Windows XP, Vista and 7. In some ways, this is both a benefit and a detriment. Windows Media Player is ready to use when you set up your computer, but it can't be completely uninstalled and reinstalled should it experience problems. If you have installed a later version of Windows Media Player, however, you can roll back to the earlier version.
Windows Media Player offers intuitive navigation of the audio and video library. You can organize your songs by album, genre, year, rating or artist. Videos can be organized by actors, genre or rating. One of the most useful features of Windows Media Player is the ability to create playlists. You can mix up songs from different albums or unrelated videos in any order in your playlist, then save your playlist for future use. Later versions of Windows Media Player also include access to the Media Guide, a website where you can browse for music, movies, TV and Internet radio. You can watch music videos, streaming TV and movie trailers, download music files, play games and listen to streaming Internet radio through the Media Guide.
One of Windows Media Player's biggest disadvantages is that it often doesn't stream video properly, especially over slow DSL connections. Windows Media Player is also limited as to which portable devices it can sync to. For example, it won't sync to an iPod or even Microsoft's own Zune. Also, the classic Windows menu is disabled by default. You must right-click the toolbar to access these menus, or you must select "Show Classic Menus" to gain access to them above the toolbar. Although the tabbed interface is fairly intuitive, many people don't think to check the down arrows for the drop-down menus, and thus can't access many of Windows Media Player's advanced features and options.
Although you may encounter a few annoyances with the program, the fact remains that Windows Media Player is free for anyone running Windows. Overall, when you examine all its features, Windows Media Player comes up a winner.