Managing Music & Videos on Windows Phone

July 6, 2011, By Christian Cawley

Given that the first wave of phones were produced by Samsung, LG and HTC, you should have expected Windows Phone 7 to have a strong collection of media options, and these are available and unified in the Music & Videos Hub, a special area of the phone dedicated to playing video files, music, podcasts and also access any third party apps with a media streaming function.

Thanks to synchronizing with the Zune desktop player on your Windows computer, the hub allows you to manage and playback all sorts of content that you might have found on your computer or on the web (although note that Flash streaming isn’t available in the initial release of Windows Phone).

In addition to the digital options, with your headset attached to your phone you can use your device as a standard FM radio, a feature that is very easy to use if you fancy a change from the usual library of MP3s and video clips.

Managing music and videos on Windows Phone

Playing Back MP3s and Videos

After syncing your media files form a PC to your phone, hit the Music & Videos tile to open the full view. You can use the play button to get started straightaway with some random tunes, or use the Music button to browse Artists, Albums, Songs, Playlists and Genres in your library.

Any of these can be played back at any time, and your phone can even be reset to the Start screen if necessary while the music plays along in the background; this is great if you were planning to listen to music while surfing the web, although note that not all services and apps will allow you to do this.

Videos are sorted into All, Television, Music, Films and Personal, and each type can be viewed on your Windows Phone. Some devices have a kickstand for good quality widescreen viewing, but all offer good quality sound reproduction along with high definition visuals wherever possible.

Whatever type of media you’re enjoying, Windows Phone 7 features an easy to use player which for audio content will display the album cover and the current track; for videos, the clip will be displayed in landscape mode. Both options feature a progress bar, play/pause and forward/back buttons.

Enjoying Podcasts on Windows Phone

In addition to radio and MP3s, you can enjoy further audio content in the shape of podcasts, which can either be downloaded directly to your Windows Phone using the Podcasts! free app from the Marketplace or downloaded via your Zune desktop client.

Once these have been downloaded and synced you can listen to podcasts via the appropriate menu item in the Music & Videos Hub; podcasts are separated into Audio and Video and utilize the standard playback tools as above.

Purchase Music from the Marketplace

In addition, you can also purchase music from the Windows Phone Marketplace. This option is available either via the Music & Videos Hub or via the Marketplace Hub and features a vast selection of music by artists from across the spectrum of genres.

Buying a tune or album is simply a case of finding the artist, album or song in question and selecting the appropriate Buy link; you must, however a credit card on file with your Windows Live account for the purchase to be approved.

Once bought, your new MP3 will be found alongside other music in your portable collection!

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