Windows Media Player 11 Beta is now available...
by John.Wilkinson - 5/17/06 8:56 AM
Windows Media Player 11 Beta
Click here to download the latest version directly from Microsoft.
Only available for Windows XP. SP2 is not required. WMP11 will not be available for users of Windows 2000 or previous versions of Windows.
* New stylish design as close to that as Vista's WMP11 as you can get.
* All music is automatically imported, which may take a while based on your collection size...be patient.
* Redesigned engine enables the fast loading/browsing of large collections.
* A simplified music library that's easier to navigate.
* Built-in search bar so you can find lost music.
* Enhanced automatic music tagging.
* Drag-and-drop ability throughout.
* URGE music service is a partnership between Microsoft and MVT.
MP3 Insider: Ten reasons to love WMP11
Cnet's WMP11 Slideshow
I've been using various builds of WMP11 Beta for a while now, and while my socks weren't blown off (after all, it is still Windows media Player), I was impressed. The new design is much more appealing and makes it much easier to navigate/use all of the features. The enhancements to the music library stand out the most, handling my 20+ GB collection of music with ease and allowing me to find the songs I want quickly. (WMP10 had a bad habit of momentarily freezing on me.) While it is still a beta, and therefore not bug-free (it did crash on me twice when it encountered a corrupted license, where it should just display a notification), I encourage anyone using Windows XP to give it a try. If you don't like it, you can revert back to WMP10.
You can uninstall WMP11 using the control panel. It is listed as a Windows XP Software Update, so it you are using Windows XP SP2 you'll need to check the box next to Show Updates at the top of Add/Remove Programs in order to view it. Uninstalling it will revert you back to the original version of Windows Media Player, which should be WMP9. If it returns you to WMP9 and you wish to return to WMP10, you can redownload WMP10 by clicking here.
Hope this helps,