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[removed feature] Windows 8's Media Player losses Media Guide/Store

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#1 Nazmus Shakib Khandaker

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Posted 03 October 2012 - 05:38

It appears that Windows Media Player 12 for Windows 8 is not only loosing its DVD playback feature, but also its built in media store, including the outdated and useless Media Guide.

Media Guide for Windows Media Player was an online Media Store that started to be integrated to Windows Media Player with Version 7, introduced alongside Windows ME 12 years ago! It was part of Microsoft's then online media Strategy, branded as "Windows Media" with its newly launched website, http://windowsmedia.com. The media store has seen some improvements during the Windows XP era but very little during the Windows Vista Era.

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With Windows Media Player version 10, Microsoft added the ability to have third party online media store to be integrated alongside Media Guide. They could also create special links in the specialized store toolbar. In Windows Media Player 10, there were multiple default stores out of the box with Media Guide. Users could switch between the stores easily. Windows Media Player 11 left the feature intact but didn't improve much upon it.

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By the time Windows Media Player 12 was released in 2009 with Windows 7, it was clear that Microsoft had no strategy with Media Guide. The site stalled, left as is. Sure, there were new music and videos added to the site, but other than that, the site remained stuck in its Vista days. In fact, you can visit the website today; you will see new featured music and videos, but the site will bear look of the Microsoft websites in 2007. Windows Media Player 12 in Windows 7 kept the ability to access media guides and third party stores, but removed the specialized toolbar. It seemed as if it was left to rot. Microsoft had another media strategy at the time: zune.

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Three years later, with the launch of Windows 8, it seems that Microsoft is finally pulling the plug on Media Guide, a 12 year old online media strategy. In Windows 8's version of Windows Media Player, there is no Media Guide. Media Guide and other third party stores are no longer integrated in Windows Media Player. As you can see in the screenshot below, there is no store in Media Player in Windows 8.

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This marks the end of Microsoft's attempt to integrate an online store with Windows Media Player. Instead, Microsoft integrated a media player to its online store by introducing the Zune player. Today, Microsoft's online media strategy is Xbox. Rather than putting Xbox music and video in Windows Media Player, a music and video player is added to a Xbox Music and Video Store app. Same goal, but the reverse way of doing it. This probably highlights that Microsoft want to focus primarily on the Store experience and make media playback (local) a secondary experience on top of the store.

Let me know what you think!

Best,

Nazmus Khandaker


#2 remixedcat

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Posted 03 October 2012 - 07:05

nobody used it so why bother having it in there to bloat stuff up???

#3 BajiRav

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Posted 03 October 2012 - 07:23

nobody used it so why bother having it in there to bloat stuff up???

better still - Xbox music/video will replace it. So why have two?

#4 rfirth

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Posted 03 October 2012 - 07:27

nobody used it so why bother having it in there to bloat stuff up???


On a new Windows install, WMP would ask you the first time you ran it what settings to use... express or custom... I always did a custom setup specifically so I could tell it not to setup Media Guide and that store.

This is a very very welcome change.

better still - Xbox music/video will replace it. So why have two?


Indeed.

#5 jamieakers

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Posted 03 October 2012 - 07:50

On a new Windows install, WMP would ask you the first time you ran it what settings to use... express or custom... I always did a custom setup specifically so I could tell it not to setup Media Guide and that store.

I thought I was the only one that did this! The Media Guide was a nuisance in WMP, if you inadvertently clicked it (which happened frequently due to the button location) you had to wait 10 seconds for it to load just so you could get out of it again. A welcome change indeed :)

#6 BajiRav

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Posted 03 October 2012 - 08:32

has anyone noticed that if you start playing music in WMP/Win8, then pause it after few tracks - the CPU usage of the UPnP service or media sharing service (can't recall exactly) goes through the roof? :/

#7 OP Nazmus Shakib Khandaker

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Posted 03 October 2012 - 15:41

@BajiRav hmm, I don't think I experienced that problem. I will see if I can try to replicate the problem, though.

#8 +InsaneNutter

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Posted 03 October 2012 - 15:56

I thought I was the only one that did this! The Media Guide was a nuisance in WMP, if you inadvertently clicked it (which happened frequently due to the button location) you had to wait 10 seconds for it to load just so you could get out of it again. A welcome change indeed :)


Same here, most defiantly a welcomed change!

Totally off topic, however by far the best looking Windows Media Player:

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#9 oliver182

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Posted 03 October 2012 - 16:00

I had forgotten how WMP 10 looked like :p . Memories...

#10 grayscale

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Posted 03 October 2012 - 16:04

What I would want is for them to replace/re-skin WMP to look like Zune Software. Oh well, a man can dream :p (basically a Zune Software sans the store, sync, etc)

#11 jamieakers

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Posted 03 October 2012 - 16:07

What I would want is for them to replace/re-skin WMP to look like Zune Software. Oh well, a man can dream :p (basically a Zune Software sans the store, sync, etc)


If they haven't changed it then it is basically a skinned app anyway with just a bunch of XAML driving it under the hood. It's definitely do-able.

#12 Deactivated.

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Posted 03 October 2012 - 16:08

Same here, most defiantly a welcomed change!

Totally off topic, however by far the best looking Windows Media Player:


I kind of liked the XP era WMP. Of course I switched to iTunes as soon as it became available for Windows.

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#13 UXGaurav

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Posted 03 October 2012 - 16:21

Good riddance. Media Guide was nothing but an embedded browser page to the Media Guide website. Just use your browser to navigate to it.

#14 OP Nazmus Shakib Khandaker

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Posted 03 October 2012 - 16:27

Good riddance. Media Guide was nothing but an embedded browser page to the Media Guide website. Just use your browser to navigate to it.


Media Guide is an awful website in itself. It also slowed the heck out of Media Player. One accidental click would bog down the Media Player.

Also, I really liked the look of Windows Media Player 9. Looked nice and subtle.

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#15 .Neo

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Posted 03 October 2012 - 16:38

Also, I really liked the look of Windows Media Player 9. Looked nice and subtle.

Whoa, that one took me back!