060611-windows-media-player1.jpgI never will be able to say exactly what possessed me to try Windows Media Player in the first place, but I will always remember just how horrible it was. There are just so many things wrong with this player I don't even know where to start, so I'll start with the one thing it did right: sound quality.The sound quality of Windows Media Player was pretty rock solid, with a coherent, if a little unresponsive equalizer. The sound enhancements tool really did make my music sound cooler, maybe not better, but definitely cooler. I left that off most of the time. From the moment I started it up though, I had high quality sound coming out of all of my speakers.

Once I got done fiddling with the sound enhancements though, reality started to set in. I was using an immensely ugly, clunky interface that was a fairly unappealing shade of blue to boot. I had a hard time switching rapidly between playlists, categories within my library, autoplaylists, all that stuff. Everything I wanted to use at any given moment seemed buried behind some button with a title that didn't help, or worse, a button with no label and just some cryptic icon.

Behind all the apparent complexity must be some genuine complexity too. I was outraged by how long it takes WMP to switch between views. I should never have to wait that long to go from Now Playing to my library. Stack on some ugly visualizations that take up completely outrageous amounts of system resources, and a sidebar that sucks up resources and bandwidth to download album art off the internet even when there's perfectly good images in the IDv3 tags, and you have yourself a really, really, really bad music player.

Stay away from WMP, it's just not worth the trouble.

  • Overall: 3/10
  • Music Management: 4/10
  • Sound Quality: 8/10
  • Aesthetics: 5/10
  • Geek Appeal: 3/10
  • Efficiency: 4/10
  • iPod Support: 0/10
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