Windows Media Player

Updated: 05/21/2018 by Computer Hope

The Windows Media Player logo.The Microsoft Windows Media Player, also known as WMP and Wmplayer is Microsoft's fully functional media player that is included for free with any copy of Windows. It allows users to view photos, play music, and watch video media. Additionally, Windows Media Player allows users to rip audio CDs and organize their music collections. It should be noted, however, that Windows Media Player will not play DVDs due to Copyright restrictions.

Supported file formats

The Windows Media Player is capable of playing almost every computer media (sound and video) file format. Audio formats examples include MP3, WMV, WMA, CDA, WAV, and other formats. For video, AVI and MPEG-4 are supported, along with other file formats. Other video formats are supported as long as the associated video codecs are installed. Microsoft also released a mobile version, called Windows Media Player 10 Mobile. It supported MP3, ASF, WMA and WMV media formats.

Windows Media Player history

The first version of the Windows Media Player came about in 1991; it was intended to be used with Windows 3.0. At that time, it was called Media Player and, since Windows 98 SE, it has been included with Windows. The current release, bundled with Windows 7, Windows 8, and Windows 10, is version 12. Since the release of version 7, support for burning and ripping audio CDs has been included as well.

How do I open Windows Media Player?

From Windows

Press the Windows key, type WMP, and then press Enter.

From MS-DOS and the Windows command line

If you enter something similar to the example text below into the command line, Windows Media Player open and start playing a song. This command can also be placed in a batch file to start a media file.

start wmplayer "i:\mp3\example.mp3"

Tip: When entering the path to the MP3 or other media file, make sure to specify the complete path.

Media Player, Software terms