Microsoft released a beta version of the Windows Media Player 11. The company offers downloadable beta versions for Windows XP SP2, Windows XP Tablet PC SP2 and Windows XP Media Center Edition 2005 Update Rollup 2 for free.
The new media player features a redesigned graphical interface and delivers a simpler, more visual way to navigate music, video, and other digital media.
The classic menus are now turned off by default, but still accessible by right-clicking anywhere on the Player's frame. Right-click or click the down arrow that is assigned to each activity tab (Now Playing, Library, Rip, Burn, and Sync) will reveal menu options that are relevant to each respective tab. New playback controls are easier to find and use and feature improved repeat, shuffle, and full-screen options.
Windows Media Player 11 also features a new way to add music to your existing collection?the URGE music service
. URGE, from MTV Networks, is the featured digital music service for Windows Media Player 11. URGE gives you access to over 2 million songs from every genre and exclusives from MTV, VH1, and CMT.
URGE's music programming includes hundreds of playlists and radio stations, music blogs, artist profiles, and feature stories from leading music voices. URGE All Access ($9.95 per month or $99 per year with two months free) and All Access To Go ($14.95 per month or $149 per year with two months free) subscriptions give you unlimited music playing and downloading. URGE also offers consumers the option to purchase individual tracks for 99 cents, or purchase entire albums or playlists.
In addition to the current format options for ripping music - Windows Media Audio (WMA), MP3, Windows Media Audio (Variable Bit Rate), and Windows Media Audio (Lossless) - Windows Media Player 11 introduces two new options: Windows Media Audio Pro and WAV (lossless). The format is designed to be used in low storage capacity portable devices, such as mobile phones, where the increased efficiencies of the format improve the audio quality at lower bit rates. Note that not all portable devices support this format.
Windows Media Player 11 also offers options for enjoying your digital media library away from your computer. New PlaysForSure devices like the iriver clix and the Creative Zen Vision:M helping you stay connected with your music, video, and pictures on the go.
For additional information and downloads, visit http://www.microsoft.com/windows/windowsmedia/player/11/