When software is integrated into the operating system, its use becomes apparent. On older versions of Windows, opening media will open Windows Media Player unless you’ve installed an alternative like VLC. It wasn’t the best media player, but it worked out of the box and that’s exactly what most users are looking for.
Unfortunately, Microsoft ended support for Windows Media Player in 2009 and the latest release (Windows Media Player 12) is over ten years old. It’s a little outdated now, but you can download Windows Media Player 12 and use it on Windows 10 by following these steps.
How to download and install Windows Media Player 12
You may not realize it, but you really don’t need to download Windows Media Player 12 on a Windows 10 PC. Although it is not officially supported or used at this time, Windows Media Player is still available on Windows, it is hidden in the menu. Start so that you can use it in the Windows Accessories folder.
If it’s not there, you can quickly enable it as Microsoft includes it as an optional Windows feature. It should still work to play some types of media, although DVD playback via Windows Media Player 12 is no longer supported. You will also need alternative software to play Blu-ray discs.
- To enable Windows Media Player 12, press Win + R on your keyboard or right-click the Start menu and select Start. In the Run command box, enter optionalfeatures and click OK. This will open the Windows Components Settings menu, where you can enable or disable Windows features.
- In the Windows Features box, click the + next to the Multimedia Features category. Make sure the checkbox next to Windows Media Player is checked, then click OK to confirm.
- If Windows Media Player is not already installed on your computer, it will be installed at this point. You will need to restart your computer for the changes to take effect.
- When your computer restarts, you can find and open Windows Media Player from the Windows Start menu in the Windows Accessories folder.
- Windows Media Player will not be used as the default media playback application, even after you enable it. If you want to change this, open the Windows Settings menu by right-clicking on Start> Windows Settings.
- From here, click Applications> Default Applications and select Windows Media Player for Video Player and Music Player options.
Use Groove Music or Microsoft Movies & TV Apps
Windows Media Player is a brand that Microsoft has long abandoned. This was originally in favor of promoting its also defunct Zune brand with the Zune Music Pass app, leveraging Microsoft’s early success in portable multimedia.
The Xbox turnaround followed with the Xbox Video and Xbox Music apps, but again, these were dropped as Microsoft’s own ambitions changed. These apps still exist, but with new names and new interfaces: Groove Music and Microsoft Movies & TV (or Film & TV in some markets, such as the UK).
These are the two official replacements for Windows Media Player in Windows 10. Groove Music, for example, is a pretty basic music player with several cool features like the ability to create a cloud collection of your music files across multiple devices using OneDrive
If you want to play video content, Windows will nudge you to use Microsoft Movies & TV instead. Not only does it play mainstream video formats like MP4 and AVI, but it can also be used to rent TV series or Full HD movies in the built-in rental market, although this is only available in certain locations.
In this regard, Movies & TV aims to compete with other major media rental apps like Google Play or Amazon Prime Video If you choose to rent content through the PC app, you can also access it on Xbox if you want.
However, it cannot be denied that Movies & TV and Groove Music do not have the same brand awareness that Microsoft did with Windows Media Player. However, by dividing the Media Player features into two applications, Microsoft is trying to offer more distinctive features than the original Media Player for each intended purpose.
They may be the perfect replacement for Windows Media Player, or they may lack the functionality you expect. For example, one issue with both apps is the lack of generic file format support that you will see in third party alternatives. This problem can only be solved by switching to an alternative media player.
Alternative Media Players for Windows 10
Instead of using a decade old media player, there are more modern and better alternatives to Windows Media Player available for Windows users. There are many free media players for Windows, but VLC is probably the best option for most users.
Like third party media players, VLC is the best option for most Windows and Mac users. It plays almost all types of media, and you can even use VLC to manage music playlists, or use VLC with Chromecast to play media content remotely on your TV.
If you’re looking for an alternative to VLC, you might prefer to try Plex or Kodi. Both Kodi and Plex can be used to play media, but if you’re looking for a great media server, Plex is the way to go, as it allows you to share your favorite movies and TV shows across multiple devices on your network.
The world has changed, so music lovers can instead look for a music streaming service like Spotify or Apple Music Both services allow you to import your own music collection into their apps, and also give you access to the music of other artists and musicians you may already have.
Media Playback on Windows 10
Using Windows Media Player 12 on Windows 10 is probably not the best option, but it will allow you to quickly play some common media files. However, you will have problems playing new media formats such as MKV in Windows Media Player. For most users, it will be better to use an alternative like VLC instead of this outdated player.
Of course, don’t forget Microsoft’s official replacements for Windows Media Player 12. While Groove Music and Microsoft Movies & TV apps are often overlooked, they help you play media on your PC without installing additional third-party software, although VLC is still the best option for you. most users.