New Skins for Windows Media Player 12!

April 2, 2011, By Christian Cawley

Windows Media Player is a popular tool for many Windows users, enabling them to enjoy a wide selection of media types from movies to music to still photos. The latest version, Windows Media Player 12, comes pre-installed with Windows 7 and along with allowing media playback on your PC can be used to stream content to your Xbox 360, or other computers on your local network.

There are various ways to enjoy Windows Media Player on your desktop, from using it as a full screen media player, taking advantage of visualizations on the Now Playing screen (activated by right-clicking the album art, select Visualizations and then making a choice from any of the available options) or even having the player docked on your Windows taskbar.

However looking at Windows Media Player 12 in its normal layout can get a little boring. A better use of the media player and your Windows desktop real estate is to take advantage of some of the skins that are available from Microsoft.

New Skins for Windows Media Player 12

Are The Skins Safe?

It wasn’t so long ago that downloading add-ons for any application would lead to big trouble, with Microsoft Messenger plugins turning up on unofficial websites and causing all manner of problems. To avoid this, you should only be using plugins and modules from approved, safe locations and in the case of Windows Media Player this is naturally from Microsoft.

The skins, once installed, might take up a few more resources than the normal player view, but on the whole you shouldn’t notice any significant hit on your PC. They certainly shouldn’t cause any performance issues in Windows Media Player, and you will be able to disable them if there are any problems.

Selecting and Downloading a Windows Media Player Skin

To start enjoying Windows Media Player with a brand new look, go to View > Skin Chooser and select from the default choice of alternative skins. You will probably find that this list isn’t particularly extensive, so use the More Skins button to open your default web browser and visit

Here you will find a wide selection of skins in categories of Fun, Games, Movies, Techie and you can also list All skins.

All you need to do to add one of these skins to Windows Media Player is to find one that suits and click on Download. For instance in the Games category you will find games represented such as World of Warcraft or Half Life 2, so if you want to add one of these click on the Download button and use the Open With option to open the skin with Windows Media Player.

(Note that you may see an error message regarding compatibility. Click to ignore this as it shouldn’t cause any problems.)

To apply the skin, return to the View > Skin Chooser screen and select the skin that you want to use; a preview will be displayed in the main window, and all you have to do is select Apply Skin to switch from the bland old Windows Media Player default skin into something far more interesting!

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