Not long after we reported it leaked, Microsoft officially released Windows Media Player 10, which sports many new features and a new user interface.
This release hosts a new User Interface that is cleaner and lesser cluttered, but the basic layout appears to be mostly the same. The player comes with a default skin not based on any previous versions of Media Player. The skin, which is mostly of a glassy-blue gradient has received many negative reactions as Microsoft seems to be 'going blue' on most of their recently released applications.
As we reported earlier, Microsoft has shipped the player which integrates to online music stores. Not only is MSN's Music store available, but also a variety of their stores include Napster, Wal-Mart and Music-Match. This is Microsoft's first step in going online for music, after Apple's footsteps with iTunes.
Microsoft also promises easy Syncing procedures with many portable devices, and they have announced future compatibility with soon to come Windows Mobile–based Portable Media Centers, which includes Creative's next generation of audio/video player, the Nomad 'Zen'.
Folder Synchronization is featured in this release, which basically monitors your choice of folders which contain your media for changes in files, which will automatically reflect to the built-in playlist. Also, as we mentioned, possibly one of the most spectacular feature of this new version is the ability to encode music into high bitrate mp3 format.
Download: Windows Media Player 10 (Approx. 12MB)
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News source: Microsoft Windows Media Player 10