The list of media players for Windows is very large, but despite the multiple alternatives, Windows Media Player still remains one of the most reliable media players on the market. Sure, there are a few usability features missing, but nothing absolutely critical. This is where Windows Media Player Plus! from BM production kicks in. This plug-in reintroduces the simplified use from earlier Windows Media Player versions and adds some other tweaks that correct some of the shortcomings of Windows Media Player 12 that may have steered you away initially. This is what makes Windows Media Player Plus! such a hot download:
How To Download & Install Windows Media Player Plus
Before you start using the features Windows Media Player Plus offers, you need to download and install it first.
First, click here to access the download page. Scroll down and press the Download now! button. Next, install the file you have just downloaded.
The next time you open Windows Media Player, a properties menu will open automatically. Later on, if you want to edit the properties you will need to open the menu manually.
To open the Windows Media Player Plus! Settings window manually, right click or press and hold somewhere on the header of the Windows Media Player window. A contextual menu will open. Go to Tools -> Plug-in properties and then click or tap Windows Media Player Plus!.
Now that you've got Windows Media Player Plus! up and running, you can see for yourself what makes it a worthy download. Here's what we like best:
Reason 1: Simplified & Efficient Use Of The Player Library
Windows Media Player Plus! introduces some time-saving tweaks to the Windows Media Player library. They are not exactly groundbreaking, but they come in handy. After a week, try using Windows Media Player on a friend's computer and you will notice the difference.
The first and simplest tweak is Find as you type feature. This feature will allow you to begin a search by typing anywhere in the library instead of pressing the search bar first. It's a subtle change, but one that can save a lot of time.
To enable it, simply check Enable 'Find as you type' from the Windows Media Player Plus! Settings window shown previously and press OK.
Now, you can start typing anytime in the library to begin a search, even if you are not focused on the search bar.
Another tweak is the Disable group headers in the Library Pane feature. Activating this feature will cause your library items to appear in a continuous list. Enabling this feature is a matter of personal preference and it will have no effect on your productivity.
To activate it, check "Disable group headers in the Library Pane" from the same Windows Media Player Plus! Settings window and press OK.
This is how the library looks before activating this feature:
After you activate "Disable group headers in the Library Pane", you library will look like this:
The third tweak which helps you improve your library is "Add disc number (or "set") support to the media library". When you enable this feature, the disc numbers will be displayed before the track number so you can sort items in your library more efficiently. When sorting library items, the disc number has priority over the track number.
To enable this feature, check "Add disc number (or "set") support to the media library" from the Windows Media Player Plus! Settings window.
This is how your library will look like after activating this feature:
Another feature that will increase the your productivity and improve your library is File Menu.You can find it the Windows Media Player Plus! Settings window, after selecting Context Menus from the left panel.
File Menu allows you to access the standard contextual right-click menu of your media items from within Windows Media Player. This means you can copy the file, open it with a different application, delete it and perform other advanced options. This way you won't have to open File Explorer, find the files and then perform any action on them. This feature will save you some precious time.
To activate this feature check "... in the Library Pane (center)" for the items in Library Pane placed in the center, "... in the List Pane (right side)" for the items in the List Pane placed at the right or both, in the File Menu section.
Before checking File menu the right click menu looks like this:
After checking File menu the right click menu will add another option: File allowing you to perform certain actions on the file.
Reason 2: You Can Use Tag Editor Plus
Tag Editor Plus is probably the best part of Windows Media Player Plus!. This feature allows you to edit media information from a convenient tabbed window, much like you could in earlier versions of Windows Media Player and in iTunes. This is a much more comfortable way to edit song information than the standard method, which involves right-clicking each detail in the columns and pressing Edit. Editing tag using the standard method was explained in one of our guides: How to Sort, Tag and Rate Pictures in Windows Media Player 12.
You can enable this feature in the same window as File Menu by simply checking "... in the Library Pane (center)" for the items in Library Pane placed in the center, "... in the List Pane (right side)" for the items in the List Pane placed at the right or both, in the Tag Editor Plus section and press OK.
With this feature enabled, you can start editing your media items' tags. To do that, right click or press and hold any item in the Library Pane or the List Pane (depending on which one you selected when you enabled this feature) and press Tag Editor Plus.
This will open the Tag Editor Plus window, which includes a form-style interface for quickly filling in media information. There are six tabs for commonly used tags and one Advanced tab, which includes everything you could possibly edit for a given file (including some things you shouldn't).
The Summary tab contains essential fields, including: Title, Artist, Track number, Album title and Album artist, Genre, Release year and disc number. You can also add a rating here.
The Track Info tab gets more specific, allowing you to add a subtitle, sub genre, mood, language and initial key in addition to the title information found in the Summary tab.
The Artist Info tab allows you to insert additional information about the artist, composer, writer and conductor.
In the Pictures tab images embedded into the music file can be viewed, changed, added and removed and the in Lyrics tab you can add the language of the songs and type the lyrics.
In the Comments tab, comments embedded into the music file can be edited and removed, and new comments can be added.
The last tab is Advanced. This includes everything you can alter, including values that aren't typically user-edited. You can only edit the tags marked with a pencil. For instance, you can change the play count. Some items cannot be edited, such as the SourceURL and the TrackingID. After you finish editing you media item press OK to save your changes.
Reason 3: You Can Add Now Playing Information In The Taskbar & Skype
Windows Media Player Plus! also allows you to add Now Playing information to the taskbar and to your Skype status.
You can activate title bar display, so Now playing information will be shown in the taskbar. First, in the Windows Media Player Plus! Settings window, go to the User Interface section.
Now, check "Show currently playing media in Windows Media Player's title bar".
Below, you can see the format of the title. By default, it was set to display "Title-Artist-Windows Media Player". This is how Windows Media Player looks before activating this feature:
And after activating this feature:
The differences are also visible in the taskbar:
Next, you will learn to display Now playing information in your Skype status.
First, open the Windows Media Player Plus! Settings window, press IM Clients from the left pane and check Skype (Mood message).
Now, allow Windows Media Player to use Skype by pressing Allow access in Skype.
You're are done. Now, whatever you are listening will be displayed as a Mood message.
Now playing information format can be customized. The Format field supports Advanced Title Formatting. As you probably noticed, you can use this feature for the title bar too.
To start customizing the format of Now playing information, click the ATF Editor button either from the IM Clients or User Interface section, depending on what you want to modify.
You can type in ATF values if you know them. If you don't, check out the Advanced Title Formatting. If you're not quite that geeky, you can click the Insert button to pull them up automatically.
In our example, ATF fields and functions are combined with normal text. Below you can see a preview of your title. Press OK to complete the action.
Reason 4: You Can Pick Up Where You Left Off
The remaining features from Windows Media Player Plus! help add continuity between the time you close Windows Media Player 12 and open it again.
Go to Restore Media at Startup from the left pane, in the Windows Media Player Plus! Settings window.
You can choose to pick up where you left off to varying degrees. You can simply have the last items you had in your playlist already queued up, or you can have them begin playing again at the point in the song you were at before you closed Windows Media Player. Additionally, you can have Windows Media Player Plus! rewind a few seconds, which is handy if you're listening to an audiobook or podcast, so you can get your bearings again.
The Restore plug-ins section slightly tweaks the way Windows Media Player behaves after a crash. By default, Windows Media Player 12 will automatically disable all plugins and notify you the next time you launch it. Windows Media Player Plus! will display an enhanced error message, which lets you re-enable all or some of your plug-ins right away.
We don't have an original screenshot of the enhanced error message, since we couldn't get Windows Media Player to crash on purpose, but if you want to see it in action, check out BM-Productions' screenshots.
Windows Media Player Plus! brings some subtle changes to Windows Media Player which improves its utility and capabilities. All these features will enhance the overall user experience. Windows Media Player is a good media player, but Windows Media Player Plus! makes it even better fixing its shortcomings. Try it out for yourself and let us know what you think. It's free and, like all Windows Media Player plug-ins, it's simple to disable and uninstall if you change your mind.