Videos and Views in Windows Media Player 12

March 21, 2011, By Christian Cawley

In addition to ripping CDs, you can play back and enjoy video clips and DVDs on your Windows 7 PC using Windows Media Player 12.

Equipped with the most up-to-date codecs at the time of its release in 2009, Windows Media Player 12 will allow you to watch a variety of different movie formats as well as enjoy your DVD collection (if your PC has a DVD player).

With videos stored on your PC, you can add these in to your Windows Media Player library, enabling you to access them at any time, both locally and via other devices.

Videos and views in Windows Media Player 12

Accessing the Video Library

If you have any video clips stored on your PC, Windows Media Player should be able to pick these up on first run, when it collates a library of music, video and picture content on your PC.

To view the contents of this library, use the Videos button on the left-side of the application window under Library. This will display a set of view choices, where you can sort your movie files by Actors, Genre, etc.

To add new video clips to your library, go to Organize > Manage Libraries > Videos and use the Add button to browse to a new source of clips on your PC – for instance you might have created a new partition that will be used exclusively for video clips which you might like to add to the library.

Switch Between Library, Skin and Now Playing Modes

While the music playing mode of Windows Media Player 12 allows you to listen to tracks while browsing the library, the video mode is slightly different. When you select a video clip and press Play, the clip will open in a new window, optimised to that clip’s resolution.

This can cause some confusion but you can head back to the library using the small icon of three small squares and an arrow that appears when you mouse-over the top-right corner of the clip.

Note that the clip will continue playing so you will need to find the corresponding icon in the lower-right corner of the window to return to this, or just press Pause.

Via the menu toolbar (available by pressing CTRL+M or tapping ALT) you will be able to switch between three modes, Library, Skin and Now Playing, which can be quickly switched between using CTRL+1, CTRL+2 and CTRL+3.

DVD and Video Playback in Windows Media Player 12

Playing a video clip in Windows Media Player 12 is simply a case of double-clicking the item in the library, or selecting it first and pressing Play. Alternatively you might browse to a clip on your PC in Windows Explorer and open it from here, or if Windows Media Player isn’t the default choice for this application, you might right-click the video clip and select Open with > Windows Media Player.

Meanwhile, DVDs can be enjoyed by opening Windows Media Player 12 and inserting the disc; within a few seconds the DVD menu will appear, and all you will need to do is interact with the various menu options with your mouse pointer rather than arrows and numbers on a remote control!

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