How to get an earlier (or later) version of WMP
January 6, 2012 9:19 AM   Subscribe

Can I download a version of WMP that my system wasn't supplied with? And from where?

Hi. This page seems to indicate you can choose which version of Windows Media Player you have on a given system. But it seems the common wisdom is that a program runs only with the OS it came with/on. This is from googling the question... I have Windows Vista on a Dell Inspiron laptop, WMP version 11. When the inevitable crash comes and I go to a Windows 7 computer, the WMP12 that it comes with, so I've heard, will give me headaches with its inability to read all the metadata from my current (backed-up) Music file. Thus I was hopeful about just downgrading to my old WMP11 at that time. Knowing I can do this would save me worry now that all the metadata will be lost. Will that be possible, or does anyone know when the next version of WMP -- hopefully corrected for this problem -- will be coming out? Thanks.
posted by noelpratt2nd to Computers & Internet (13 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
OldVersion WMP archive.
posted by griphus at 9:27 AM on January 6, 2012

You may also want to try out VLC or MPC to get around or help troubleshoot video playback issues with WMP.
posted by samsara at 9:35 AM on January 6, 2012

FWIW, Windows 7 N and KN editions do not come with WMP preinstalled.
posted by wongcorgi at 9:38 AM on January 6, 2012

Oh, yeah, unless you have a good reason to be using WMP, VLC beats it hands-down.
posted by griphus at 9:38 AM on January 6, 2012

I like WMP11. The OldVersion given above says you can get it but for xp and Vista. I'll presumably have Windows 7 when this Vista machine fails. So can one install/download an old version onto a newer system?
posted by noelpratt2nd at 9:45 AM on January 6, 2012

If it's compatible with Vista it should work fine on 7 as long as the architecture is correct (32-bit or 64-bit.) If it doesn't work, right click on the icon for the executable, go to "compatibility" and select Vista or XP.
posted by griphus at 9:49 AM on January 6, 2012

Er, properties then compatibility.
posted by griphus at 9:49 AM on January 6, 2012

Thanks. So Windows 7 will run WMP11 as long as the compatibility is switched to "Vista" or "XP." Now I'm looking through the DVDs that came with my Dell and am wondering which one would have WMP11 on it so as to install -- CAN I even reinstall onto another machine, though?
posted by noelpratt2nd at 11:36 AM on January 6, 2012

Er, rather, which reinstall disc so I can install for first time on another puter...?
posted by noelpratt2nd at 11:37 AM on January 6, 2012

Unless you're attached to the Library features of WMP, I've got to second the suggestion to go with VLC or my favorite, MPC:HC, that is, Media Player Classic: Home Cinema.

Why classic? It was developed based on the Windows Media Player from as late as Windows 98. Now, though, it's fully modern, runs beautifully in Win7 (32 or 64), and it never tries to sell you anything or organize your stuff. If hating those things is wrong, I don't want to be right.

It loads fast closes when you want it to, and it only does what it says-- plays media. It does have many settings if you want to dive in, and it does require external codecs (unlike VLC Player). Both MPC and VLC are free, but I think VLC, despite some huge improvements in the last few years, is not as friendly as MPC.
posted by Sunburnt at 12:49 PM on January 6, 2012

I appreciate the suggestions. But it is the library and all the organization I've put into it that I'd rather not attempt to duplicate with another program. I truly don't understand why no one seems to like WMP, I can't think of one thing I object to. I have no idea how it treats movies, etc., but I play MUSIC and it's all good for that. And I want the metadata to carry over when I install WMP11 on the new computer, because people have said WMP12 doesn't read it from previous versions. By the way, on which disc is the WMP program found if I bought this Dell in 2008 w/ Vista? Instead of waiting till I need the new puter, could I just install it from the disc onto an external hard drive for later use??
posted by noelpratt2nd at 1:10 PM on January 6, 2012

Not directly answering your question, but I have not had any issues reading all my mp3 metadata when moving from xp (wmp 10?) to W7 - and I am really very careful with my metadata.
As an aside; as a music player, I find WMP to be far preferable to the alternatives outlined above.
posted by xla76 at 11:29 PM on January 6, 2012

Hi, xla76: Wow, now that's good to hear. Do you have, not just mp3s, but ripped CDs that carried over with all the metadata? I also wonder if downloads played thru WMP would carry over well...
posted by noelpratt2nd at 7:33 AM on January 7, 2012

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