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Windows Media Player 12 Free Plugins: Add-on Tools for WMP 12

Improve WMP 12 by using free plugins to add more features

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Free Plugins For Windows Media Player 12

Windows Media Player (WMP) 12 just like previous versions has the facility to use third-party software plugins. These typically add new options or improve existing built-in features.

To see some of the best free plugins designed for digital music tasks, read through the list below.

1. Windows Media Player Plus

The Windows Media Player Plus plugin can be thought of as more of a toolbox than one particular add-on. There's quite a lot of tools to help enhance Windows Media Player 12. For instance, if you want to be able to edit advanced metadata information, then its Tag Editor Plus tool gives you a fair few options. Editing embedded album art is just one option -- you can directly view, change, or remove an image in a song.

You can also perform other useful tasks using Windows Media Player Plus like: disk numbering, stop or close the WMP program after a playlist finishes, or configure it to remember what song you were playing next time you launch WMP.

This free plugin is highly recommended if you want to add a range of useful tools for organizing and playing digital music.

2. WMP Keys

The problem with most jukebox software (including Windows Media Player 12) is that the keyboard shortcuts they use are normally non-configurable. However, if you install the WMP Keys plugin, you'll suddenly have a way of customizing WMP 12's hotkeys. Not every keyboard shortcut can be customized using WMP Keys, but the common ones such as: play/pause, next/previous, forwards/backwards scan, etc. can be changed.

If you like using keyboard shortcuts to speed up repetitive tasks, but don't like the defaults, then WMP Keys is a handy plugin to use.

3. Lyrics Plugin

This type of addon is probably the most popular way of expanding the usefulness of Windows Media Player 12. Rather than displaying all the word at once (like some lyrics plugins do), this add-on uses timed lyrics so you see the words on-screen in real-time as the song plays.

Lyrics Plugin uses an online database to do this so you'll need to have Internet access to use it.

To learn more about this plugin, see our tutorial on how to view song lyrics in Windows Media Player.

4. Directshow Filters (added Support for FLAC, OGG Vorbis, and Others)

Although this set of open source codecs aren't true Windows Media Player plugins per say, they do bridge the compatibility gap. When you have installed them, it's possible to play FLAC files directly in WMP 12 (and WMP 11).

As well as being able to play FLAC files without having to convert them to a lossy format, these Directshow filters also add support for Ogg Vorbis, Theora, Speex, and WebM audio formats too.

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