- Though many previously bundled applets now will ship separately to Windows 7, Windows Media Player remains part of the core OS. Windows 7 will ship with Windows Media Player 12, which includes some surprising new features.
The UI itself is brighter and lighter than WMP11. Some buttons and toolbar items have been moved around, but the experience should be pretty familiar to users of version 11. What does represent a big change is the removal of the Now Playing button, which in WMP11 switches to a view showing the current playlist.
This is because WMP12 completely separates library management from what's currently playing, with two distinct player modes; Now Playing view, and Library view. Library view contains all the library manipulation features that should be familiar from WMP11. Now Playing view contains the current playlist, visualizations, and videos.
There's also a new taskbar miniviewer that works with the new Windows 7 taskbar, and WMP12 includes support for Jump Lists.
Aside from the split between Library and Now Playing, the basic operation of WMP12 is the same as in version 11. There are plenty of small refinements, like automatic previewing (hovering on any song plays a 15-second preview of the song), and the Library view now shows all media types in the tree simultaneously...