Windows

Use Microsoft Media Player for your Windows XP apps

Microsoft Media Player can still play a number of multimedia file types such as AVI, WMA, WMV, MID, and WAV, so you may want to be able to use it in situations where you don't need the full power of Windows Media Player. Greg Shultz explains how you can use the player in Windows XP.

Windows XP’s original multimedia player, Microsoft Media Player 5.1, still remains on the operating system despite various updates (Windows Media Player 11 is the most current version of Microsoft’s multimedia player). While Microsoft Media Player is pretty basic by today's standards, it still serves a purpose.

Microsoft Media Player can still play a number of multimedia file types such as AVI, WMA, WMV, MID, and WAV, so you may want to be able to use it in situations where you don't need the full power of Windows Media Player. To use Microsoft Media Player, add it to the SendTo menu by following these steps:

  1. Press [Windows]R to open the Run dialog box.
  2. Type SendTo in the Open box and click OK.
  3. When the SendTo folder appears, right-click the folder, and select the New | Shortcut command.
  4. When the Create Shortcut wizard appears, type C:\Windows\system32\Mplay32.exe /Play in the text box and click Next.
  5. Name the shortcut Microsoft Media Player and then click Finish.

Now when you encounter an AVI, WMA, WMV, MID, or WAV file and you just want to sample it, you can right-click the file and select the SendTo | Microsoft Media Player command.

Note: This tip applies to Windows XP Home and Windows XP Professional.

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About

Greg Shultz is a freelance Technical Writer. Previously, he has worked as Documentation Specialist in the software industry, a Technical Support Specialist in educational industry, and a Technical Journalist in the computer publishing industry.

32 comments
tayiper
tayiper

Well, even better would be to point that link/shortcut to "mplayer2.exe" executable file (desc. says: Windows Media Player) located under the "%programfiles%\Windows Media Player\" directory instead of to less-feature-ritch "mplay32.exe" program (desc. says: Media Player) located under the "%windir%\system32\" directory, at least in my opinion. best regards, Tadej, Slovenia, Europe http://tadejpersic.50webs.com/

squeaker1st
squeaker1st

none of the directions given to open any thing worked!!

rghai6
rghai6

But, why not just use VLC which supports many more formats and is lightweight as well ?

hdfxsb83
hdfxsb83

why not just left click on your wallpaper then click on new then click on shortcut ? DUH!!!

vk3fbc
vk3fbc

If i try to update my MMP to version 11 after downloading i get the the reply ,,, My MMP is not compatable with the latest MMP.. (Another 25megs down the drain) Can anyone help pls.. Bryan vk3fbc@bigpond.net.au

jalexander
jalexander

Better yet would be to have a small triangle, that when clicked plays the highlighted wav/mp3 without having to open up the player. - Nero Express has such a feature, that allows you to quickly hear the song before adding it to the burn list. (It is a small black triangle play button) - In Windows 98 & Windows 2000, I remember being able to play a file directly inside Windows Explorer without having to open the player. (There was a small "player" on the left side of the window at the bottom that would play any audio or video in "explorer") Is this still possible in Windows XP?

k_d
k_d

Good idea but here is more... 1. navigate to the path listed, right mouse drag to desktop, save as shortcut, rename if desired, paste where convenient 2. Another media player 2 ver 6 at C:\I386\MPLAYER2.EXE 3. Don't forget an easy audio player (also recorder): %SystemRoot%\System32\sndrec32.exe Doug.S

pobstar1
pobstar1

Since 1999 I use Windows Media Player (Actualy Version 10) along with Winamp and I use it for those reasons. Quick lessoning of Mp3 or Wav files when I work on audio files with multiple files that need my attention. I use it also to make correction on the Meta data of the files or to create one. I use the function ???Find Album Info??? to add the CD cover picture to the song files that could be view on the TV when I lesson then on the living room home video center or the Zen Vision W 60Go that I use on travel. I use also WMP 10 when I work on Avi files to check the quality of the video that I work on before converting them on Wmv, Mpg 2 or Mp4. I use also Windows Media Player Classic 6.4 with the Real Media and QuickTime codec???s to play those files because I don???t like having any Real Media player or Quick Time on my PC. Real Media take over the control of the PC and won???t let me use other softwares that I want to use and it has spyware behavior that I disapprove. Quick Time doesn???t have the multiple drag and drop files function that I normally use to load the player and it is also taking to much CPU for nothing reasonable. This software is archaic and Apple should developed it better according to the evolution like others did, such Windows Media Player 10 or 11 or Winamp 5.35 only to mention those players that I work with and use them for music or video on my PC. To burn CD or DVD I prefer to use specific softwares like Nero or Roxio because you have a better control over what you want or need. A Player is a Player and a Burner is a Burner after all. Beside, it is always a good ting to have WMP on to lesson or view streaming internet files that are made with Windows encoding codecs.

snodger
snodger

There is an alternative approach using the standard context menu. Right-click on the audio file and select Open With... from the context menu. When the dialogue box opens, select Media Player.

Marty-7
Marty-7

I couldn't get "SendTo" to work from the Run box, but you can navigate to it pretty quickly. It's in C:\Documents and Settings\\SendTo. Otherwise, cool suggestion - as usual - thanx Greg!

mSn mSN
mSn mSN

Didn't work....short cut command was never an option. I could have however used the cmd window but wasn't sure it that was right or not

cdiazb
cdiazb

Windows Media Player is in Program Files. And Shortcut (SendTo) does not work.

DukeCylk
DukeCylk

Windows can't find it, maybe its disabled here on my work PC?

tesseract7
tesseract7

Yep... will work providing that a codec exists that will run under MMP, BUT the biggest thing for me is that it can also play mp3 files without anything extra - and using hardly any resources.

Marty-7
Marty-7

Because it's already resident on the machine, it gets the job done and it keeps us from pretending we're really cool by matter-of-factly throwing out open source downloads on bulletin boards...

pobstar1
pobstar1

You must have Windows XP or Vista to run Version 11 of WMP

seanferd
seanferd

If you follow the Send To instructions by the author of the article (Greg Shultz), try changing the command in the shortcut to C:\Windows\system32\Mplay32.exe /Play /Close /Embedding Your milage may vary, for some reason. I'm not running Windows at the moment, so I can't check. If it doesn't work, check in Task Manager to see if Mplayer is running (but not playing) and kill it to free up resources. And you have my apologies. If you try it multiple times, there will be multiple instances of Mplayer running, so check for it and kill it so your system doesn't slow to a crawl. If it works, hooray!

powell_todd
powell_todd

Just typing "SendTo" in the Start->Run prompt didn't work for me either, but you can type out: "C:\Documents and Settings\{userid}\SendTo" where you replace {userid} with your login ID. Also make sure you surround it with the quotes. Once the folder is displayed, you should be able to choose File->New->Shortcut from the menu.

seanferd
seanferd

There are 2 different media players. Windows MP and Microsoft MP. WMP is in Program Files. MMP is apparently in C:\Windows\system32. Maybe try it this way: Right-click your desktop. From the menu select Shortcut. Click the Browse button in the Create Shortcut window. Double-click the Windows folder. Next, find the System32 folder and double-click it. Now find the file Mplay32.exe and double-click it. Now you have C:\Windows\system32\Mplay32.exe in the text box of the Create Shortcut window. Click on the text so that it is not highlighted. Move the cursor to the end of the text, hit Spacebar, then type /Play. Alternatively, you can copy C:\Windows\system32\Mplay32.exe from this text and paste it directly into the textbox. Click the Next button. Name the shortcut anything you like. Click Finish button. Shortcut is on desktop now. Double-click My Computer icon on desktop. Find folder C:\Documents and Settings\{your user name}\SendTo. Put media player shortcut in here.

hblueknight
hblueknight

I tried to copy and paste and that didn't pick up the slashes \ or / I had to add them and then it worked fine

Tech_Monkey
Tech_Monkey

doesnt work for me either, get msg: Windows cannot find 'SendTo'..

charlesmartel
charlesmartel

Internet Explorer also plays MP3's, at least since version 4. Just open the MP3 from the "File" menu, just as you would an html file. It's a unique talent (among browsers).

CharlieSpencer
CharlieSpencer

I plan to use that last phrase in the future. I hope you don't mind.

ron.dondelinger
ron.dondelinger

Being yet another largely unnoticed and under-utilized feature of Windows, perhaps Microsoft will include Mplayer32 in the SendTo folder in a future Service Pack. Naaaah! That would be too much sense. Better yet to lead users to look for other means to achieve the same end.

snodger
snodger

No need for quotes if you enter %userprofile%\sendto

cashtime
cashtime

Just make sure you enter a space between 'exe' and '/Play' at the end of the address in the text box.

yotatun2cab
yotatun2cab

Make sure you have a SPACE after the mplay32 before the /play.

mnewton
mnewton

Close Outlook. Click on start - run then type in Fixmapi.exe. Open Outlook. Now you should be able to send a file..

Shadetree Engineer
Shadetree Engineer

I have IE 6 on XP Pro SP2, I tried opening an mp3 and it just passes it to WMP. Maybe there's a setting in IE that I don't know about?

clutterbug
clutterbug

thank you so much for the pointer...the space solved the problem I was having when typing the path...

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