Discussion in 'other software & services' started by JayK, Feb 3, 2004.
Should I upgrade to windows mediaplayer 9?
What are the bad things about it?
I held off uprading Windows Media Player (I had the version that came with the XP release, I guess that was 8.0, or Media Player XP?), but then someone sent me a movie that needed codecs I just couldn't get for that older version so I finally caught up on all the upgrades. (Let's just say I'm usually highly resistent to change. )
My opinion so far...
It seems much better overall. It appears to "call out" less than the older version. (I block it in my firewall as I did the last version. The last version used to try to get out, this one never seems to try.) It is faster. (I have a little over 1000 files in its media library and there were much bigger CPU spikes trying to call up the library, reorder the columns and move from file to file in the play list on the old version.)
I haven't seen any downside to the upgrade at all.
I am using WMP9 and like LWM control it with my firewall. However, there is a substitute out [Free] called Media Player Classic which is even supposed to be better and no calling home. I have yet to try it which is what was recommended to replace WMP when I had a few problems. Am running it by everyone here to get feedback. Thumbs up or down.
I also use WMP 9 and it seems to just work better than the other media players I have used. I also block it's phoning home with my firewall.
Sorry for the late post, and I am pretty sure you are using 6.4xx now. I have a couple comments and a question for anyone who knows.
comment 1 - Windows Media Player 9 can rip audio cds and (to a limited extent) encode them into compressed files. I don't think 6.4 has that functionality.
comment 2 - I like the fact that you can select a group of files at once and play them with WMP-9. I am not talking about music lists (i don't like that feature a bit) I mean simple selecting more than one file in explorer and playing them---they open as a list, but you are able to navigate the files and folders the way you stored them, rather than the arcane media library were every thing is organized the Microsoft way. When i have tried that with MP-6.4xx all that happens is the first song plays.
OK - Question - Please Advise
Is there really anything to fear in WMP-9? It works well, I block what I can. My little Nephew made me stop and think when he said, "Well, if I'm going to be targetted for marketting at least it's more likely to be stuff I am interested in. (Don't get me wrong, i don't want more ads!) The reason I ask is that I have a pretty decent amount of experience with software players, and I have no love for microsoft, however i have to say it gives a lot of functionality for free, and even more if you have the premium codecs and sound enhancement dsp's. If there is a better free player, i haven't found it.
Hi Handsoff - I have MediaPlayer 9 and like LWM and others here, we control it with our firewall. You can do the same. On another forum one of the techies suggested that the following player is just as good if not better and does not send messages home. Check it out and see what you think of it. It is also free.
that points at sourceforges Media player 184.108.40.206, which I assume is pretty much like the 220.127.116.11 version that have installed. All the reasons i mentioned about ripping, encoding, and simultaneously loading multiple files still apply.
This is probably silly but I like the WMP battery randomization viewer (the pychodelic patterns) in WMP-9
It seems rude and pushy to me, that WMP-9 gives you a choice of searching for updates (or is it codecs?) every use, once a week, or once a month? What about the option, 'I can decide for my self if I want a new codec'.
I wonder if microsoft would ever consider the fact that people can think for themselves?
JayK - Have you thought about simply d/l'ing the codec pack available on the Windows Update site?
Will that even work for whatever version of WMP you already have? Pete
Hi Handsoff - on another forum awhile back Codecs were under discussion .... am posting a few of the posts relating to codecs. I hope this info. gives some insight. Both of these posters are well versed in computers. ******************
If you set WMP to automatic a window will popup and ask if you wish to download this specific codec.
Therefore, you do not have to hunt around for the codec.
Open WMP and go to TOOLS | OPTIONS | PLAYER and check mark "Download Codecs Automatically".
A very good point. WMP should have this feature enabled.
However, I suspect that this setting does not always provide the required codec if it is missing on a system.
My preferred method of sharing short WMV video clips is to imbed them on a web page. In theory, if a viewer does not have the required codec or player they are informed and links are provided for downloads. This process seems to work quite well for IE users. Users of NS, Mozilla, or Opera browsers may not get similar results. I suspect that one reason that may explain this is that IE uses ActiveX, whereas the other browsers do not and the automatic download process may require it.
There are other possibilities. For example in wetired's case a non-Microsoft codec was needed. I doubt that WMP would download this codec. Since it is based on software pirtaed from Microsoft, I can understand why WMP might discriminate against it.
Some codecs are not free. See the final para of Super Cookie's posting in the AVI thread which quotes a Microsoft notification about the availability of DVD decoders.
To find Codec properties: It is well hidden. You first need to open the Sounds and Audio Properties Applet in Control Panel.
Select the Hardware Tab, then Video Codecs, then Properties twice.
Before any player can play any video file it needs a special file called a codec that knows how to decode (i.e. decompress) the video file in question. When your player fails to play a video it is quite likely that it fails because the required codec is not on your PC or the player doesn't know where to find it.
Unfortunately WMP is worse than useless in this situation because it doesn't tell you why it can't play the file.
Also unfortunately, there are at least two codecs that I know of that may be required to decode AVI files depending on the process used to create them. The most common codec is Microsoft's MLE codec. The majority of AVI files will be decoded with this codec.
The DivX folks also create files they call AVI files using their own proprietary codecs. Windows XP installations do not come with these codecs, you have to install them. Its possible you may be trying to open one of these files and your PC dioesn't have the codec.
I find Irfanview (the single most useful image program I know of) to be helpful in identifying the video codec needed to play a video. You merely load the video into Irfanview and try to run it. If Irfanview cannot play the video, it provides an error message explaining why.
i will give infranview a try for identifying missing codecs. I have used a program called G-spot which is very useful for identifying codecs for .AVI files.
As for the auto-update thing, i do not agree that it is an option that should be enabled. If WMP-9 does not have the codec to play a file, i would much prefer that is simply return an error message to that effect. I have many different players and many different codecs. There is a considerable difference in their performances, and also some of them interfere with one another (although they are supprisingly good about not doing this these days). But my point isn't that i Know what i need more than the automated download, because i don't. My point is that i like to decide what i download. most of the time, i might just click "download the codec", other times i might try something else. I reminds me of an old saying:
"Automatic means you can't fix it by yourself"
it scam dont do it not worth it run alway run alway
windows media 9 and my verstion media plus edtion blow
no mpeg 2 support
plus limited in some media hacking ablitys the old media player 7 and 8 could do
no real upgrades microsoft perty much said here buy this or add this now we will screw you
you need third party codecs
and even those wont register correctly
if you want media player 9 to read mpeg 2 and be able to use movie maker 2 with mpeg 2 files
you have to buy a dvd video player called cinamaster and rigesterd cinamaster codecs
I use both WMP9 and MP6.4...
Depends on what you want to do as WMP9 is great, regardless of the paranoia factor, and easy.
MP6.4..can be easy but has tons of tweaks whereby it becomes more complex. It plays RealOne Video,Quicktime and everything else too.
I can't stand RealOne and after getting MP4.6.. that alone mad me a happy camper.
With WM9 one can pastn in the URL with .asx video and watch a better version then the little box on a website.
I have both and use both all the time.
OH COOL Zappa does that mean i can use old media player and my plus verstion with no probs
cause if i can use the old verstion v6 i can still run my hentai dat files on it that would rock plus i belive that verstion has mpeg v2 support
It's not really the codecs. There's a website I want to go which insists on showing videos only if I have WMP9.
I may as well address the paranoia factor. There are otherwise sane people out there who believe that Microsoft knows everything you view or listen to on media player - 9. Well, that is annoying, if true, however, its not going to stop me from using it when it suits my purposes....(in fact I expect to be listening to "the grey album" on it). And Blaze, I remember having the same objection to about the codecs. I think it is a very slimy tactic to prevent you from creating MP3's and push WMA format as a method to hold on to the pool of XP users that have the media player by default. However, since i preferred to have one product that can do "everything" I chose WMP-9. I have the Intervideo XPack for MP3, and DVD, and I have DFX dsp audio plugin. I'm not sure what you mean Blaze when you say they don't work right anyway...the MP3 encoding does for sure, and i dont use WMP for DVD, much anyways.
I think you may as well upgrade. I think it ss the best avi player. Some will say that the earlier WMP's are better, but not to my eyes. In the full screen mode you have access to the controls, and if you move your cursor away, then the controls automatically hide themselves and you are back to full screen. Trivial? Not if you don't like having to exit full screen mode just to access the controls. Another difference, lets say you are watching a video clip that does not have enough resolution to be viewed full screen (it well appear pixelated or washed out...). The obvious answer, do not watch it full screen, right? Right! But with WMP-6 if you make the screen smaller then at the same size you have to make your viewing window smaller. Well, that's not always agreeable if you have bright whites, or other distractions ...Not so, WMP-9. you can tell it to display, say 200% and yet keep the window full screen, and enjoy the black frame around the video. Well, the list goes on, but I doubt anyone would read on, so, have a nice day, or evening and hope you sort it out.
Not to sound cruel or anything, sorry to be a tad late, but doesn't WMP9 have a little option in there that you can specify where its allowed to go for music? It does have some protection. So you atleast can block known bad sites. I let nVidia talk to mine all the time, are you saying that this is a bad thing? I also like that it automatically adjusts to the size of the file it's downloading.
You don't sound cruel to me, and in fact, I never even thought about where WMP-9 might go for music. One of the things I like about these forums is getting to walk a mile in someone elses moccasins. You see, while you apparently play music files from websites. Peaches4U embeds videos with the wmv format. I use it mainly for.
1-converting my cd's and music dvd's into formats that i can play on my computer without having to actually locate the physical disc.
2-burning cd's for my car, where the life expectancy of cd's is measured in hours and minutes.
3-Uploading MP3's (not WMA's ...just because...) to my portable.
4-watching AVI, Divx, mpg, whatever video clips.
If i am paranoid about something, it would be that Microsoft may decide to avenge comments I have that they perceive as criticle of M$ ethics by supplying my mom with a list of the videos that I have been watching (which to my utter amazement they somehow have obtained).
If I have a criticism about the player it is that they take unfair advantage of its inclusion in windows, and lack of sophistication of new users push them into using their proprietary formats and omission of other industry standard formats. To further press their advantage, they attempt to lure the new user (henceforce to be refered to as "the rube") into adding all of their files into WMP's "media library". If all that weren't bad enough, WMP cannot even read the most basic MP3 tags, with the net result that should you decide to play an MP3 with WMP-9, it will either list the song as unknown, or call name it something it decides based on other options in its unnecessarily complex maze of options.
I agree with your point that we do have some control over what WMP-9 does. And it has some excellent features. However, I think I am not alone in feeling that the more control that I have over what WMP-9 is doing the better I like it.
I do run into that " I want the control " features with M$ often. The way things are today and after my last little go round with my machine, I can't even recieve an e-mail from my other computer, if it has an imbedded file attached. I'm still working on how to allow "good" stuff to get through.
If your serious about converting tunes, there are progs out there that come with remote mini's that can do that and compress at the same time. My daughters Sony does that and she can fit about 4 hrs of music to one MCD.
if I understand you comment:
"there are progs out there that come with remote mini's that can do that and compress at the same time. My daughters Sony does that and she can fit about 4 hrs of music to one MCD."
I am guessing your daughter has one of the new portable cd players that plays compressed formats on cd's. This, of course is a huge advantage in capacity over old fashion portable cd players that play only cd-audio format.
If I were buying a portable player today, That would probably be what I would get. However, what I have is a Rio 900 player which records songs to memory chips embedded in a proprietary memory backpack and internal - not replaceable memory chips.
The significance is this: Your daughter can basically use 100's of programs and her computers CD-R to create cheap disks holding 100's of songs each.
I, on the other hand am limited as to which player I can use because of the fact that the player must have a "plug-in" that allows it to send files to my player via a cable that is unique to Rio's. it is USB on one end with a odd looking trident-like connector that plugs into the Rio.
Morals of the story are this:
Solid state portables are very light and have no moving parts, however,
if you have favorite music programs that you use, be careful to make sure that that they offer a plug-in or else you find yourself in bed with the enemy.
Another lesson is that the philosophy that "I want to use one program to rip, encode, compress, convert, and send files to my portable because it will be simpler" has become nothing short of a paradox. If you think negotiating the mind-numbing stupidity of WMP-9's media library, advanced tag editor, privacy options, and autonomous codec installations is simple, then I say using several different straight-forward programs to accomplish the same thing is self-evident!
Sorry for the long post, I think the music capabilities of computers are important, and people should not have to waste time fencing with their software to do what they want to do.
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