Tag Archives: media player

Software Spoilage

Jeff Atwood had an interesting post about software spoilage, in which he quotes PC World’s list of no-longer-good-too-bloated applications which includes Windows Media Player 11.

Are they kidding? WMP11 is a LOT better than WMP 9 and 10. It has better organization, and the fact that I can do instant filtering on albums, genres, artists, songs, and anything else is a killer feature. I’ve got about 16,000 tracks, mostly classical and soundtrack. I couldn’t live without WMP11’s organizational and filtering capabilities. Sure, it’s big, but I don’t notice a slowdown.

I do agree about other things in the list. Paint Shop Pro has definitely become much too big. What was attractive about it was its small size and lack of features, which made it approachable. Nowadays, I use Paint.Net. Simple, open-source, easy to use.

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Windows Media Player 11 continued…

Some things I really like about the new media player:

  • It is a LOT faster. I have at least 15,000 songs I’ve ripped from my large CD collection. WMP 10 took far too long enumerating albums and songs.
  • The instant search may become my primary way of finding specific music to listen to.
  • I like the tile view — it makes the experience of picking music to play sort of like browsing a physical array of CDs. I have so much music that I often don’t know what I want to listen to–browsing is essential.
  • Very intuitive–I figured out how to navigate among the new views very easily.
  • The shuffle/repeat options is much more prominent on the play-control bar. I switch shuffle on and off constantly.

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Windows Media Player 11

The best media player just got better.

At work, I just downloaded the new version of Windows Media Player 11 in beta. From what little I’ve used it, it’s a HUGE improvement.

One potential thing I slightly miss is that I can’t view albums in the left-hand “browser” and the tracks in the right-hand “content” view. This allowed me to easily move tracks to differently-named albums during editing. But maybe there is a way to do it, or a completely different technique altogether that works just as well.

Also, the readme notes that there are potential problems with IE7 Beta 2, which I have at home. I’ll give it a try anyway and blog my results.

 


Check out my latest book, the essential, in-depth guide to performance for all .NET developers:

Writing High-Performance.NET Code, 2nd Edition by Ben Watson. Available for pre-order:

Editing Tracks in Windows Media Player

I recently embarked on a complete overhaul of my digital music library–including re-ripping all of my hundreds of CDs into WMA at 192 Kbps. It took a few weeks to get through  that, and now I’m going through each album “normalizing” it–fixing up names, album artists, composers, etc. It’s quite an effort and very tedious at times.

I just discovered yesterday that the keyboard is your friend in Windows Media Player. Using the mouse, you have to higlight a track, and then click again to enter the field (but be careful not to double-click, or it will start playing that track instead).

With the keyboard, you highlight a track, hit F2 to edit the first field (track number in my case). Don’t hit enter when you’re done editing a field, but use the tab/shift-tab keys to move between fields and the up/down arrow keys to move between tracks. This is saving a ton of time.

So why didn’t I realize this before? Part of me wants to say it’s my fault: I’m very computer-saavy and use the keyboard whenever I can and I ought to have tried something. However, another part of me is thinking that the interface does not indicate that the keyboard is a viable option here.


Check out my latest book, the essential, in-depth guide to performance for all .NET developers:

Writing High-Performance.NET Code, 2nd Edition by Ben Watson. Available for pre-order: