Windows Media Player (WMP) is the first media player and media library application that was developed by Microsoft for playing audio, video and viewing images on personal computers running the Microsoft Windows operating system, as well as on Pocket PC and Windows Mobile-based devices. Editions of Windows Media Player were also released for classic Mac OS, Mac OS X and Solaris but development of these has since been discontinued.
Windows Media Player was eventually replaced in Windows 8 with Groove Music. Groove Music persisted in Windows 8.1 and Windows 10, before being replaced in turn with the Media Player in Windows 11.
In addition to being a media player, the application has the ability to rip audio file from and copy to compact discs, burn recordable discs in Audio CD format or as data discs with playlists such as an MP3 CD, synchronize content with a digital audio player (MP3 player) or other mobile devices, and enable users to purchase or rent music from a number of online music stores.
Windows Media Player 11 was made available for Windows XP and included in Windows Vista and Windows Server 2008. The default file formats are Windows Media Video (WMV), Windows Media Audio (WMA), and Advanced Systems Format (ASF), and its own XML based playlist format called Windows Playlist (WPL). The player is also able to utilize a digital rights management service in the form of Windows Media DRM.
Windows Media Player 12 is the most recent version of Windows Media Player prior to Windows 11. It was released on October 22, 2009, along with Windows 7 and has not been made available for previous versions of Windows nor has it been updated since for Windows 8, Windows 8.1, Windows 10, and Windows 11. Windows 8 and later instead use Groove Music (for audio) and Microsoft Movies & TV (for video) as the default playback applications for most media; As of October 2021, Windows Media Player is still included as a Windows component. Windows RT does not run Windows Media Player.
On November 16, 2021, Microsoft announced that it would replace Groove Music with the new Media Player application, though the legacy Windows Media Player will continue to be optionally available with Windows 11.
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